The major part of the IMRC library and archive was formed by a private individual during half a century of collecting books, journals, catalogs, brochures, and manuscripts pertaining to Russian visual culture – panting, sculpture, architecture, and the applied arts (furniture, ceramics, embroidery, jewelry, book, and stage design) . The focus of the Library is on the period 1890-1930 and, therefore, on Symbolism, the avant-garde, and early Socialist Realism, and includes not only monographs on primary and secondary artists of those movements, but also essays by art historians and critics, folios of engravings and lithographs, and runs of art historical magazines such as Iskusstvo, Iskusstvo kommuny Lukomor’e, Mir iskusstva, Starye gody, Svobodnym khudozhestvam, and Zolotoe runo. The collection contains rare books pertaining to individual artists such as Léon Bakst, Alexandre Benois, Pavel Filonov, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Mansurov, Vasilii Masiutin, Nikolai Remizov, Konstantin Somov, Vladimir Tatlin, and Vasilii Vereshchagin. Critics well represented in the Library include Sergei Ernst, Erik Gollerbakh, Nikolai Punin, Aleksei Sidorov, Yakov Tugendkhold, and Nikolai Vrangel. Regular donations of books and journals by private individuals as well as purchased acquisitions continue to expand the IMRC Library.
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The Archive includes original manuscripts, typescripts, and duplicated copies of writings by luminaries of early 20th century Russian culture, including Léon Bakst, Nikita Baliev, Alexandre Benois, David Burliuk, Nikolai Evreinov, Pavel Filonov, Mikhail Kuzmin, Kazimir Malevich, Konstantin Melnikov, Sergei Sudeikin, and Vera Sudeikina. The diverse materials include one of Baliev’s repertoire books for his Chauve Souris cabaret, Benois’ diaries for 1916-18, Malevich’s programs for the State Institute of Artistic Culture, and Sudeikina’s diaries for 1918-20. In addition, the Archive contains a comprehensive collection of manifestoes, correspondence, reports, and photographic materials pertaining to the artistic and literary dissident movement of the 1960s-80s in Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov, Kiev, and Odessa, which is enhanced by the large section of published monographs and catalogs on Soviet and post-Soviet counter-culture. Also deposited with the Archive are special collections of original artworks and writings by 20th century Russian artists, including Francisco Infante, Liudmila Ivanova, Ekaterina Semenova, and Andrei Tat.
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