Russian Art Experts Maria Zavialova and Alla Rosenfeld Offer Gallery Talk and Lecture in Memory of Russian Artist Oleg Vassiliev




March 26, 2013
Rachel Rogol, 413-542-2295
Hi-res images available upon request 


Amherst, MA -- On Saturday, April 6, at 1:30 p.m., the Mead will host a gallery talk and slide lecture in conjunction with the exhibition Art for All: Additions to the Collection from Antiquity to Today, which features the print series The House with the Mezzanine by Russian émigré artist Oleg Vassiliev (1931-2013). The event has been made possible with generous support from The Center for Russian Culture at Amherst College, the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund, and the Julia Whitney Russian Art Fund.


Dr. Maria Zavialova, a curator at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, will give a gallery talk about Vassiliev's print series, the first half of which is currently on view in the Art for All exhibition. Attendees of the talk will have the chance to see the complete series of 30 prints. Based on her long and close friendship with the late artist, Zavialova will offer an in-depth interpretation of the work and a glimpse into the artist's creative world. The talk will be followed by a short tea break. 


Dr. Alla Rosenfeld, an internationally renowned scholar in the field of Russian art, will deliver a slide lecture elaborating on the complex relationship between Vassiliev's oeuvre and his artistic and sociopolitical environment in the Soviet Union. Rosenfeld will offer her views of the big picture of Soviet culture as well as insights into the micro-world of its artistic production. Attendees will be given opportunities to ask questions following each presentation. 


The event will conclude with remarks from Joan Afferica, the L. Clark Seelye Professor Emerita of History at Smith College. Afferica, an acquaintance of Vassiliev, generously donated The House with the Mezzanine print series to the Mead in 2010. 


"We are delighted to welcome Masha Zavialova and Alla Rosenfeld to Amherst. These two distinguished experts in Russian culture and art will introduce us to Oleg Vassiliev's creative process and the conditions of his work in the Soviet Union and in emigration," noted Bettina Jungen, the Thomas P. Whitney '37 Curator of Russian Art at the Mead. "Since the event will take place in memory of Vassiliev, it will be an occasion to pay our respects to this great artist and to enhance our appreciation of his work."


Vassiliev was a major figure in the nonconformist art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Born in Moscow, he graduated from The Surikov Art Institute in 1958. While he earned his living in Moscow as a book illustrator, he experimented with color, space and time in his independent, and officially unappreciated, art. His longtime theme was the discourse between different mental and temporal spaces. In his print series The House with the Mezzanine, from 1991, he engages in a dialogue with Russian writer Anton Chekhov and Chekhov's story with the same title. Vassiliev was highly critical of the political, social and cultural situation in his native country, an attitude that he expressed in his art. In 1990, he immigrated to the United States, where he lived in Minnesota until his death on Jan. 25, 2013.


Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Zavialova received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, where her interdisciplinary research focused on issues of translation and translatability across cultures. At The Museum of Russian Art, she has curated some 20 exhibitions, including Russian folk art, Soviet paintings and Soviet photography.


Rosenfeld received her M.A. from the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg and her Ph.D. in modern and contemporary art from The City University of New York. She served as curator and director of the Russian Art Department at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum and as vice president and senior specialist for Russian paintings at Sotheby's, New York. She has curated numerous exhibitions, given lectures and published widely on Russian art.

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, spanning 5,000 years and encompassing the creative achievements of many world cultures. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. The museum and its gift shop-café are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round, and until midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday during the academic term.


For more information, including a complete schedule of all museum events, please visit or call 413/542-2335.