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Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture

Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture

by Valerie A. Kivelson, Joan Neuberger

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ISBN-10: 0300164211

ISBN-13: 9780300164213

Pub. Date: 04/06/2010

Publisher: Yale University Press

What can Russian images and  objects—a tsar’s crown, a provincial  watercolor album, the Soviet Pioneer Palace—tell us about the Russian people and their culture?

This wide-ranging book is the first to explore the visual culture of Russia  over the entire span of Russian history, from ancient Kiev to contemporary, post-Soviet


What can Russian images and  objects—a tsar’s crown, a provincial  watercolor album, the Soviet Pioneer Palace—tell us about the Russian people and their culture?

This wide-ranging book is the first to explore the visual culture of Russia  over the entire span of Russian history, from ancient Kiev to contemporary, post-Soviet society. Illustrated with more than one hundred diverse and fascinating images, the book examines the ways that Russians have represented themselves visually, understood their visual environment, and used visual images in social and political contexts. Expert contributors discuss images and objects from all over the Russian/Soviet empire, including consumer goods, architectural monuments, religious icons, portraits, news and art photography, popular prints, films, folk art, and more.

Each of the concise and accessible essays in the volume offers a fresh interpretation of Russian cultural history. Putting visuality itself in focus as never before, Picturing Russia adds an entirely new dimension to the study of Russian literature, history, art, and culture. The book enriches our understanding of visual documents and shows the variety of ways they serve as far more than mere illustration.

Product Details

Yale University Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Acknowledgments xvii

1 Seeing into Being: An Introduction Valerie A. Kivelson Joan Neuberger 1

2 Dirty Old Books Simon Franklin 12

3 Visualizing and Illustrating Early Rus Housing David M. Goldfrank 17

4 The Crosier of St. Stefan of Perm A. V. Chernetsov 21

5 Sixteenth-Century Muscovite Cavalrymen Donald Ostrowski 28

6 Blessed Is the Host of the Heavenly Tsar: An Icon from the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin Daniel Rowland 33

7 The Cap of Monomakh Nancy Shields Kollmann 38

8 Church of the Intercession on the Moat / St. Basil's Cathedral Michael S. Flier 42

9 Mapping Serfdom: Peasant Dwellings on Seventeenth-Century Litigation Maps Valerie A. Kivelson 47

10 From Tsar to Emperor: Portraits of Aleksei and Peter I Lindsey Hughes 51

11 The Russian Round Table: Aleksei Zubov's Depiction of the Marriage of His Royal Highness, Peter the First, Autocrat of All the Russias Ernest A. Zitser 57

12 An Icon of Female Authority: The St. Catherine Image of 1721 Gary Marker 63

13 Conspicuous Consumption at the Court of Catherine the Great: Count Zakhar Chernyshev's Snuffbox Douglas Smith 67

14 Moving Pictures: The Optics of Serfdom on the Russian Estate Thomas Newlin 71

15 Neither Nobles nor Peasants: Plain Painting and the Emergence of the Merchant Estate David L. Ransel 76

16 Circles on a Square: The Heart of St. Petersburg Culture in the Early Nineteenth Century Richard Stites 81

17 Alexander Ivanov's Appearance of Christ to the People Laura Engelstein 86

18 Lubki of Emancipation Richard Wortman 90

19 Folk Art and Social Ritual Alison Hilton 96

20 Personal and Imperial: Fyodor Vasiliev's In the Crimean Mountains Christopher Ely 100

21 Shop Signs, Monuments, Souvenirs: Views of the Empire in Everyday Life Willard Sunderland 104

22 The Storming of Kars Stephen M. Norris 109

23 A. O. Karelin and Provincial Bourgeois Photography Catherine Evtuhov 113

24 European Fashion in Russia Christine Ruane 119

25 The Savior on the Waters Church War Memorial in St. Petersburg Nadieszda Kizenko 124

26 Workers in Suits: Performing the Self Mark D. Steinberg 128

27 Visualizing Masculinity: The Male Sex That Was Not One in Fin-de-Siècle Russia Louise McReynolds 133

28 Pictographs of Power: The 500-Ruble Note of 1912 James Cracraft 139

29 Visualizing 1917 William G. Rosenberg 142

30 Looking at Tatlin's Stove Christina Kiaer 148

31 Soviet Images of Jehovah in the 1920s Robert Weinberg 152

32 National Types Francine Hirsch 157

33 Envisioning Empire: Veils and Visual Revolution in Soviet Central Asia Douglas Northrop 162

34 The Visual Economy of Forced Labor: Alexander Rodchenko and the White Sea-Baltic Canal Erika Wolf 168

35 The Cinematic Pastoral of the 1930s Emma Widdis 175

36 Portrait of Lenin: Carpets and National Culture in Soviet Turkmenistan Adrienne Edgar 181

37 The Moscow Metro Mike O'Mahony 185

38 The Soviet Spectacle: The All-Union Agricultural Exhibitions Evgeny Dobrenko 189

39 Motherland Calling? National Symbols and the Mobilization for War Karen Petrone 196

40 Visual Dialectics: Murderous Laughter in Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible Joan Neuberger 201

41 Soviet Jewish Photographers Confront World War II and the Holocaust David Shneer 207

42 The Morning of Our Motherland: Fyodor Shurpin's Portrait of Stalin Mark Bassin 214

43 The Pioneer Palace in the Lenin Hills Susan E. Reid 218

44 Mikhail Romm's Ordinary Fascism Josephine Woll 224

45 Solaris and the White, White Screen Lilya Kaganovsky 230

46 After Malevich—Variations on the Return to the Black Square Jane A. Sharp 233

47 Imagining Soviet Rock: Akvarium's Triangle Polly McMichael 239

48 Keeping the Ancient Piety: Old Believers and Contemporary Society Roy R. Robson Elena B. Smilianskaia 243

49 Viktor Vasnetsov's Bogatyrs: Mythic Heroes and Sacrosanct Borders Go to Market Helena Goscilo 248

50 Landscape and Vision at the White Sea-Baltic Canal Michael Kunichika 254

Chronology of Russian History 259

Selected Bibliography 263

List of Contributors 271

Illustration Credits 273

Index 277

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