The collection at the Russian Museum in the Tabacalera building is entering the final stretch of its most intense year to date, with two exhibitions featuring two fascinating characters: the poet Anna Ajmátova and the Symbolist painter Nikolái Roerich. The two projects will be opened on 27 September.
The year has been intense not only in quantitative terms (up to six exhibitions will have passed through the Tabacalera this year), but also in qualitative terms in the ambition of the proposals.
Affectionately named 'the great lady of Russian poetry', Anna Ajmátova will star in a montage consisting of portraits of the author and other intellectuals she met during her life, as well as poems, books and personal objects. Eugenia Petrova, deputy director of the Russian State Museum of Art in Saint Petersburg, will be the curator of the exhibition scheduled to run until 1 March 2020.
"Anna Ajmátova's life and poetry knew a before and after of Stalinist terror. Attracted by her irresistible magnetism, great poets such as Mandelshtam or Gumiliov, with whom she married very young, artists such as Modigliani and scholars such as her second husband, Vladimir Shileiko, entered and left her life," explained the curator.
More than an artist
The museum will also premiere a project based on Nikolai Roerich, "a master of Russian symbolism and an extraordinary figure in the cultural scene of his time", as he is described in the Tabacalera.
Roerich (1874-1947) "was much more than an excellent artist: he was a promoter of culture and peace, explorer, archaeological researcher, writer and public figure, he was in continuous contact with intellectuals, scientists and artists of the Russian cultural panorama of the time".
Roerich travelled throughout Russia and sailed to the US in 1920. Three years later he took his family to the Orient where they travelled extensively. During the trip he produced 500 paintings reflecting his interpretation and perception of the splendour of regions such as northern India. Roerich returned to the US to open a museum named after him and promote an international alliance, the 'Roerich Pact'.
The exhibitions represent exceptional biographies of both personalities with which to end the museum's most intense year. At least for now.