Article

An unusual gift of Russian prints to the British Museum in 1926

By Galina Mardilovich

IN MARCH 1926, at a time of cautious diplomacy between the Soviet Union and Britain, the British Museum, London, received a gift of 218 Russian prints presented by a group of twenty Russian artists. The impetus for the donation was a gift of prints by the British artist Frank Brangwyn to the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts in the late summer of 1925.1 In his note in The Studio on this ‘unusual artistic exchange’, Pavel Ettinger wrote that it was an example of ‘a rare proof of international brotherhood in the domain of art’.2 Upon accepting the Russian gift, Campbell Dodgson, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, petitioned British printmakers to contribute prints to be presented to the Russian institution as a reciprocal gesture of thanks. The ensuing British donation of more than two hundred works was received and exhibited in Moscow in September 1926. These prints, along with Brangwyn’s, are still kept in the Museum, which was renamed the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in 1937.

Were these donations intended simply to augment institutional holdings, either those of the British Museum or of the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts, or was the exchange arranged to bridge political and cultural divides? What made it so ‘unusual’, to use Ettinger’s term? In the collection of the British Museum, this group comprises more than one-tenth of the institution’s total number of Russian prints. But it is within the context of official Soviet programmes in the 1920s, which often used art as a form of cultural diplomacy, that this episode broke dramatically from typical state-sanctioned practices. This gift of Russian prints was unusual because it was privately initiated, included the work of émigré artists, and managed to avoid political subtexts. This gift, and the surrounding events, serve as a testament to the resilience of art in the politically charged environment of the 1920s.

Brangwyn’s presentation of his complete printed oeuvre of 352 works to the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts included etchings, lithographs and woodcuts. While little-studied now, at the time Brangwyn was considered one of the most eminent British printmakers. In the series Modern Masters of Etching, Malcolm C. Salaman devoted two volumes to Brangwyn: one in 1924, which marked the beginning of the series, and the second in 1932. In Russia, Brangwyn had been recognised for some time, and a number of his works featured in World of Art (Mir iskusstva) exhibitions. In turn, the artist was concerned with the political situation in Russia, contributing an illustration for the cover of Leonid Andreev’s Russia’s Call to Humanity: An Appeal to the Allies, published in London in 1919, and even possibly visiting Moscow in the winter of 1924–25.3 Brangwyn had a history of presenting works to support charitable causes, such as the Red Cross and the National Institute for the Blind, so his donation to the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts was not entirely surprising.4 

Brangwyn offered his ‘modest gift’5 as a gesture of ‘a sincere respect and admiration for the Art of Russia’.6 Asserting his belief in the universality of art, he observed that the ‘Republic of Art is a true brotherhood of men knowing not the frontiers of States or the barrier of politics’.7 In the catalogue accompanying the exhibition of Brangwyn’s donation, Nikolai Romanov, the Director and Keeper of Prints at the Moscow Museum, explained that the prints ‘have something in common with the art of our days, similarly seeking to find the monumental, [. . .] eloquent and clear style of a new art’.8 Romanov also acknowledged in his essay that in response to Brangwyn’s donation, Russia’s ‘best painter-printmakers’ were giving a collection of their prints to Brangwyn with the intention of presenting it to the British Museum – an element of the story that Ettinger also emphasised in his note in The Studio.9

The gift presented to the British Museum comprised a variety of techniques and subject-matter (Fig.8). The Print Room Register recorded on 10th April 1926 that the prints were ‘Presented by the artists through M. N. Romanoff ’.10 Dodgson had written earlier to the Museum’s trustees to say that this gift was a ‘unique opportunity of securing a collection of Russian prints which are entirely unknown in this country’, and which ‘form a very desirable acquisition as a collection’.11 In his published commentary on the gift in the September 1926 issue of The British Museum Quarterly, Dodgson specified that ‘among the most interesting of these prints’ were the etchings by Vasilii Masiutin, Ignatii Nivinskii (Fig.12) and Pavel Shillingovskii, the woodcuts by Aleksei Kravchenko (Fig.7), Il’ia Sokolov and Nikolai Kupreianov, and the colour prints by Anna Ostroumova- Lebedeva and Vadim Falileev.12 Dodgson noted that many of the prints, such as Florence by Konstantin Kostenko (Fig.11), were produced in the colour linocut technique, ‘a process now becoming popular in England’.

Shortly after accepting the Russian gift, Dodgson drafted a letter to British printmakers requesting donations of prints: ‘I feel that it is very desirable that some similar collection of British prints should be offered to Russia, not merely as a quid pro quo, but for the sake of making British art more known than it is in that country’.13 He elaborated that in Russia ‘modern British art means just – Beardsley and Brangwyn’. Many artists responded to the appeal, and in August 1926 the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts received a gift of more than two hundred prints by over fifty British printmakers. Included were works by Robert Gibbings, George Underwood, Francis Sydney Unwin, John and Paul Nash (Fig.9), Sylvia Gosse, Malcolm Osborne, Job Nixon, John Edgar Platt (Fig.10), Robert Bevan and Marion Cowland. As with the Russian donation, these prints were by established British artists. Several of the contributors held prominent teaching positions at London’s Royal College of Art, for example, and many were featured in Dodgson’s 1922 publication Contemporary English Woodcuts. The British prints were exhibited in Moscow in September, accompanied by a catalogue that reiterated the chain of events leading up to the gift: Brangwyn’s donation and the response of the Russian printmakers, whose works, as the curator Vera Nevezhina wrote, were to be exhibited at the British Museum later that year.14 In her subsequent review of the British gift, Nevezhina shrewdly reflected that these prints were significant ‘on the one hand, as milestones that marked the course of art, and on the other – as those examples of technical achievement, artistic finesse and consistency of style, which can never lose their value’.15 Nevezhina continued: ‘All these artists, great and small, are important to the history of printmaking for they are both the necessary links between the present moment and the brilliant past of English prints, and the inspirational figures preparing the path of graphic art of tomorrow’.16

What on the surface seemed to be a mere exchange of prints between British and Russian artists, or an attempt by a Soviet institution to augment its holdings, was in fact a delicate strategic move. By the mid-1920s there was an established practice of officially sanctioned exchanges in the USSR. Soviet organisations such as the All-Union Society for Cultural Ties Abroad (VOKS), which was formed in 1925, explicitly encouraged cultural reciprocity in the form of exhibitions, exchanges and donations of books in order to foster diplomacy between the newly formed Soviet Union and other countries. In its initial dealings VOKS exploited existing personal connections as a way to cultivate broader public support in Western countries for the nascent Soviet regime.17 Similarly, the British Society for Cultural Relations between the Peoples of the British Commonwealth and the USSR, founded in 1924, could have facilitated and promoted such an artistic exchange. But, as gleaned from new archival evidence, that was not the case. While the exchange in part mimicked the typical structure of VOKS’s early activities, the Russian gift was exceptional in side-stepping government control and thus avoiding political implications. In fact, the gift of Russian prints was a rare episode at this time of volatile relationships between states: instigated by a British artist and developed by a Russian émigré, the exchange was carefully orchestrated, and seized on by Romanov and a group of Russian artists as a unique chance to assert themselves in a period of great social and political instability in the Soviet Union.

In Romanov’s personal archive, held by the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts’ manuscript department, there is a revealing set of letters between the curator and Aleksandr Bakshy, a Russian art critic living in London, who acted as a go-between with Brangwyn.18 It becomes apparent that Brangwyn had first offered his gift not in 1925, but before the October Revolution in 1917. In the earliest letter, dated 6th October 1917, Bakshy responded to Romanov’s proposal to accept Brangwyn’s donation for the Rumiantsev Museum, Moscow, agreeing that the institution would be the most appropriate Russian museum for the British artist’s gift, ‘the aim of which is to assist in the spiritual rapprochement of the two peoples’.19 Bakshy went on to say that barring unforeseeable problems, upon Brangwyn’s return to London, the critic would send the gift to Romanov via a courier. This letter confirms that Brangwyn initiated the donation of his prints to Russia, but that it was intended as a gesture not towards the new Soviet state, but rather for the broadly defined Russian art world, and that there was no plan for a Russian gift in return. Brangwyn’s intention, however, was not realised; and a subsequent letter from Bakshy to Romanov, dated 16th January 1925, alludes to Brangwyn’s abrupt postponement of his gift until ‘a more auspicious moment’ – presumably alluding to the Revolution.20 The critic had decided to approach Brangwyn again and persuaded him to reconsider his donation, to which the artist responded ‘with the same enthusiasm as before’.21 Bakshy was thus writing to Romanov to see if this gift would still be accepted, this time by the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts, of which the Rumiantsev Museum became part in 1924, and of which Romanov was director. If so, Bakshy recommended an immediate course of action to ‘prevent the chance of seeing his [Brangwyn’s] action as a political act’, possibly because Brangwyn was hesitant of being stigmatised as a supporter of the Soviet Union.22 First, Bakshy advised, the Museum should formally request such a donation from Brangwyn; second, it should propose that a collection of prints by Russian artists be presented to ‘say, the British Museum’, an idea Brangwyn himself had suggested when reconsidering his gift.23 It appears that the establishment of diplomatic relations between Britain and the Soviet Union, albeit still strained in 1924, revived the idea of an artistic exchange that had been conceived much earlier.

Romanov was still eager for the donation to be made, even though the political situation in Russia had shifted, and was only too willing to follow the recommended steps. Although his correspondence has not been found, his archive contains a letter from Brangwyn, who wrote: ‘In your letter so generous in appreciation of my work, you remind me of the offer which I made several years ago to present to the Artists of Russia a collection of my prints. I respond to your reminder all the more readily’.24 Such a prestigious exchange offered the opportunity for Romanov both to affirm his position and to support Russian artists whom he had known for years. The destabilisation and reorganisation of artistic and educational institutions had become a common occurrence since the Revolution, which, in addition to the growing scarcity of art materials, contributed to a decline in public interest in certain media, especially fine-art prints. As the first Russian public museum to collect Russian prints systematically, the Rumiantsev Museum was known for advancing contemporary printmaking by holding exhibitions of artists such as Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Falileev, Nivinskii and Masiutin, all of which were organised by Romanov. Yet in 1924, following extensive discussion and debate, the Rumiantsev Museum was closed, and its collections subsumed into the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts.25 Although the curators of the Rumiantsev’s print department, including Romanov, Vladimir Adariukov and Erikh Gollerbakh, were transferred to the new museum, the future of contemporary Russian printmaking was unclear. Already in 1922 Gollerbakh had written, ‘In the most recent times, the art of printmaking here [in Russia] has suffered a perceptible decline. It is true that there are individual artists [. . .] who continue to work, but their productivity has waned noticeably’.26

As attested by the example of the Rumiantsev Museum, Russian prints, both old and contemporary, were receiving some critical attention under the new Soviet regime. In 1922, for instance, besides Romanov’s monographs on Masiutin and Falileev, and Adariukov’s volume on Ivan Pavlov, Gollerbakh published his book Contemporary Russian Printmakers, which was followed in the next year by his History of Engraving and Lithography in Russia.27 That same year, the Russian Museum in Petrograd held an exhibition with an accompanying catalogue on Russian lithography of the previous twenty-five years.28 Russian printmaking was promoted again when Ksenia Zelenina published Past Russian Printmakers and Lithographers in 1925.29 Yet, in 1926, the year the Russian donation arrived at the British Museum, Aleksandr Chaianov implied that all this attention to Russian prints and printmakers had not been enough: ‘Based on the interest in classical printmaking, there should inevitably arise an interest in contemporary graphic art, which can then further enable the development of new Russian graphic art, so brilliantly begun by the works of Masiutin, Falileev, Kravchenko, Favorskii, Kupreianov and others’.30 This notion underscores the urgency with which the artistic intelligentsia sought to assert the importance of printmaking in the changing hierarchy and value of art in the Soviet Union.

Due to the volatility of the political climate, the exchange of prints had to be made carefully. Additional letters in Romanov’s archive unravel the layers of precise co-ordination in the exchange that ensued. Bakshy relayed to Romanov, for example, that before Brangwyn could fully commit to his donation, the artist needed to ensure that the British Museum would accept the Russian gift.31 Although Dodgson would not guarantee it immediately, he assured Brangwyn that ‘[i]t is quite certain that the proposed offer of Russian prints would be accepted, and welcomed’ (this letter was then forwarded by Brangwyn to Romanov).32 In early February 1925, two weeks after Bakshy’s renewed proposal, Romanov began to approach Russian printmakers for contributions to the planned gift to Brangwyn and the British Museum. In a letter to Ostroumova- Lebedeva, Romanov explained that Brangwyn wanted to avoid any political connotations and so, to make it appear very clearly a private gift of an artist appreciative of Russian art, Brangwyn suggested that Russian artists send a collection of their works to the British Museum as if instigated by them.33 Romanov noted that he had already approached Shillingovskii, and asked Ostroumova-Lebedeva to invite others, such as Kruglikova (Fig.14) and Kostenko, to participate. He also wrote to printmakers living abroad, including Falileev and Masiutin. 34 In August 1925 Bakshy wrote to Romanov to say that Brangwyn’s gift had been put together and sent to the Soviet embassy.35 By December of that year Bakshy had received the Russian gift in return.36

The Russian offering was wide-ranging and involved several émigré printmakers who had fled from the Soviet Union. Most of the contributing artists were established names before the Revolution of 1917, and while some printmakers struggled to continue making work, others became celebrated Soviet artists. Pavel Shillingovskii, for example, first made his name in the 1910s with an individual style of etching that combined modernist aesthetics with neo-classicism. Although etching had fallen partially out of favour, Shillingovskii was able to apply his style to woodcuts and wood engravings, producing numerous book illustrations from the 1920s, and taught printmaking in the graphic art department at the Academy of Arts, Leningrad (Fig.13). Ostroumova-Lebedeva, too, was recognised as one of the most innovative Russian printmakers in the early 1900s, and was lauded as the instigator of a novel approach to colour woodcut and relief printmaking in Russia.37 After the Revolution, she briefly turned to watercolour and lithography due to shortages of art materials, and from the 1930s sporadically taught graphic art at official institutions. Her student Nikolai Kupreianov, on the other hand, was heralded as a master of Soviet graphic art, creating prints with ‘revolutionary’ subject-matter such as tanks and the cruiser Aurora and appropriating modernist stylistic trends. Likewise, Vladimir Favorskii, who donated his wood engravings for The Book of Ruth (1924), established his reputation as the foremost Soviet illustrator of printed books.

Several printmakers who participated in the donation had struggled to adjust to the demands of the Soviet regime and emigrated. Vasilii Masiutin, for example, had trained as a printmaker at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and taught etching at the Free State Art Studios (SVOMAS) in Moscow from 1918, alongside Falileev and Ivan Pavlov. But in 1920, Masiutin moved to Riga with his family, and from there to Berlin the following year. At first he maintained an active connection with the Russian art world, publishing the manual Engraving and Lithography and contributing illustrations to numerous Russian publications in Germany.38 But jobs soon became scarce, and in 1926 Falileev, who was also living in Berlin, wrote to Romanov that Masiutin could not find stable work, and was constantly sick and hungry.39

Falileev (Fig.15) had also been a prolific and reputable printmaker well before the Revolution and was responsible for introducing the colour linocut to Russian printmaking. Between 1920 and 1924, he worked as a professor of the lithographic studio at the Higher Art and Technical Studios (VKhUTEMAS) and contributed to several publications on printmaking. Yet, like Masiutin, Falileev fled from Russia. With his wife and fellow artist Ekaterina Kachura-Falileeva, he attempted to accompany an exhibition of Soviet art to America in 1924 but was denied a visa. Instead, he and his family moved to Stockholm and, less than two years later, to Berlin. Numerous letters between Falileev and Romanov reveal how difficult it was for the artist and his wife to find work abroad: few galleries or museums were interested in acquiring their prints, and they had to rely on making advertisement posters to pay the rent.40 This correspondence, as well as that between Romanov and Masiutin and others, sheds more light on why so many Russian artists were willing to be included in the Russian gift. That an institution like the British Museum held their work in its collection could only help advertise their art elsewhere in Europe. In fact, following the display of the Russian gift at the British Museum in November 1926,41 one of the earliest exhibitions of Soviet art in the United Kingdom, British collectors approached several Russian artists, including Falileev and Ostroumova-Lebedeva, seeking to buy their prints.42

As Romanov was co-ordinating the Russian gift in October 1925, Bakshy wrote to the director to enquire whether a further donation by other British printmakers would be accepted by the Russian museum.43 Romanov ostensibly approved the idea, since by late December Bakshy was informing him that several British printmakers were keen to participate.44 By May 1926, Bakshy had again written to Romanov that Dodgson had now assumed the responsibility of assembling the British donation – which, Bakshy later snidely commented, would explain the rather conservative composition of the collection.45 Although the reasons behind the change of organiser are unclear, it is possible that Dodgson wanted to assert some control and affirm the apolitical nature of the exchange. In his letters Bakshy recognised the effect on the exchange of the recent disruption of diplomatic relations between Britain and the Soviet Union (as a result of British suspicions of Soviet provocation in the General Strike of May 1926). He lamented to Romanov that certain left-leaning artists could not be included, noting that ‘[i]t would have been especially nice to get for you works by Augustus John and Walter Sickert’.46

Although more than fifty British artists contributed to the donation, the exchange was of far greater importance for Russian printmakers and the Russian director. In a file compiled between 1928 and 1929 and held in Romanov’s archive are numerous documents testifying to the value of the curator’s work, written in response to his dismissal as Director and Keeper of the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts.47 Among these are two letters from groups of printmakers, one from Leningrad, and the other from Moscow, signed by many of the artists who contributed to the gift, including Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Kruglikova, Pavlinov, Nivinskii, Favorskii, Dobrov, Ivan Pavlov and Kravchenko.48 Both groups stress Romanov’s significance in the development of their careers and in the popularisation of contemporary Russian printmaking in Russia and abroad – giving as an example the exchanges with Brangwyn and the British Museum. These letters ultimately helped save Romanov from an unthinkable fate, and although he was still forced to leave the museum world – under the official pretence of a mysterious theft of paintings from the institution – he was able to return to scholarship in the mid-1930s and resume his work at the Moscow State University.

With Romanov’s removal from the Moscow Museum in 1928, the unusual gift was never again mentioned publicly, and so this exceptional example of artistic exchange between Russian and British printmakers has been largely forgotten. In Ostroumova-Lebedeva’s Autobiographical Notes the artist made no reference to donating over thirty of her prints to the British Museum. This omission is particularly glaring given both her excitement in the memoir when one of her prints, Perseus and Andromeda (1899), was given to the museum by a friend in 1921, and her positive reference to the exchange in the 1928 letter of support for Romanov.49 Ivan Pavlov, too, failed to mention the episode in his memoir Life of a Russian Printmaker, although he extolled the importance of Romanov ‘in the history and development of Russian graphic art’.50 By the 1930s a centralised system of cultural diplomacy had been established, and the sort of private artistic exchange conducted by Romanov with the West and with émigrés would have been seen as suspect and counter-revolutionary.

With the acceptance of this gift by the British Museum, however, Russian prints claimed for themselves a place within the broader history of the development of printmaking that no political machinations or ideological shifts could undermine. 

 

Research for this article was made possible by the Franklin Research Grant awarded by the American Philosophical Society. Part of this work was presented at the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre’s conference ‘Exhibit “A”: Russian Art: Exhibitions, Collections, Archives’, held at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 21st–22nd March 2014; I am grateful to the organisers and other participants for their invaluable feedback. I would also like to thank Claire Knight for her insightful comments on drafts of this article.

1 There are two published accounts of the exchange: L. Aleshina and N. Iavorskaia: Iz istorii khudozhestvennoi zhizni SSSR: Internatsional’nye sviazi voblasti izobrazitel’nogo iskusstva, 1917–1940, materialy i dokumenty, Moscow 1987, pp.36–38 and 115–25; and W. Werner: ‘Khronika razrushennykh nadezhd: Obmen graviur mezhdu Moskvoi i Londonom v 1925–1926 gg.’, Pamiatniki kul’tury. Novye otkrytiia. Pis’mennost’. Iskusstvo. Arkheologiia. Ezhegodnik 1992 (1993), pp.292– 311. Werner believes Brangwyn donated his works sometime in the summer of 1925, whereas Aleshina and Iavorskaia claim it was in September of that year.

2 P. Ettinger: ‘Moscow-Reviews’, The Studio 91 (1926), pp.142–43.

3 Werner, op. cit. (note 1), p.292.

4 L. Horner: Frank Brangwyn: A Mission to Decorate Life, London 2006, p.139. 

5 ‘скромный дар’, Aleshina and Iavorskaia, op.cit. (note 1), p.115. (Translations are author’s own unless otherwise noted).

6 ‘сочуствием и восхищением перед их творчеством’, anon: ‘Khronika’, Zhizn’ muzeia. Biulletin Gosudarstvennogo Muzeia iziashchnykh isskustv 2 (1926), p.37.

7 ‘Республика искусства есть истенное братство людей, не знающих границ государств или барьеров политики’, ibid.

8 ‘есть что-то общее с исканиями искусства наших дней, стремящегося также найти монументальный, [. . .] для всех красноречивый и понятный стиль нового творчества’, in N. Romanov: Katalog vystavki graviury Franka Brengvina, Moscow 1926, p.11.

9 ‘лучших художников-граверов’, ibid., p.3; Ettinger, op. cit. (note 2), p.143.

10 The artists included were Konstantin Bogaevskii, Matvei Dobrov, Vladimir Favorskii, Vadim Falileev, Ekaterina Kachura-Falileeva, Adrian Kaplun, Sergei Kolesnikov, Konstantin Kostenko, Aleksei Kravchenko, Elizaveta Kruglikova, Nikolai Kupreianov, Vasilii Masiutin, Ignatii Nivinskii, Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Pavel Pavlinov, Aleksandr Pavlov, Ivan Pavlov, Pavel Shillingovskii, Il’ia Sokolov, and Vasilii Vatagin. For a complete list of works see Werner, op. cit. (note 1), pp.304–08; British Museum, London, Registry, 10th April 1926, ‘Modern Russian Prints’, nos.5–222.

11 British Museum, London, Trustee Reports, report dated 27th March 1926, Campbell Dodgson to the Trustees. Translation of the letter into Russian is published in Werner, op. cit. (note 1), pp.303–04.

12 C. Dodgson: ‘Contemporary Russian Art’, The British Museum Quarterly 1 (September 1926), p.53. 13 British Museum, London, Trustee Reports, copy of letter dated 10th April 1926 from Campbell Dodgson to ‘Dear Sir’. Translation of letter into Russian is published in Werner, op. cit. (note 1), p.304.

14 V. Nevezhina: Katalog vystavki. Sovremennaia angliiskaia graviura i litografiia, Moscow 1926, pp.3–4. 

15 ‘с одной стороны, как вехи, знаменующие этапы пройденных искусством путей, с другой – как такие примеры высокого технического совершенства, артистической тонкости и выдержанности стиля, которые никогда не могут утратить своего значения’, V. Nevezhina: ‘Angliiskaia graviura XX v. Muzeia iziashchnykh iskusstva’, Zhizn’ muzeia. Biulletin Gosudarstvennogo Muzeia iziashchnykh iskusstv 3 (1927), pp.12–16, as quoted in Aleshina and Iavorskaia, op. cit. (note 1), p.124.

16 ‘Все эти авторы, великие и малые, ценны для истории гравюры, ибо они – необходимые звенья, связывающие современный момент с блестящим прошлым английской гравюры, и вдохновенные деятели, уготовляющие пути графическому искусствy завтрашнего дня’, Nevezhina, op. cit. (note 15), p.124. 

17 M. David-Fox: Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921–1941, Oxford 2012, pp.28–97.

18 Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow (Gosudarstvennyi muzei izobrazitel’nykh iskusstv imeni A. S. Pushkina), Department of Manuscripts (cited hereafter as GMII), f. 14 (Nikolai Romanov), op. III, ed. khr. 5–16.

19 ‘цель которого содействовать духовному сближением двух народов’, GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 5.

20 ‘более благополучного момента’, GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 6.

21 ‘с таким же энтузиазмом, как и раньше’, GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 6. 

22 ‘предотвратил бы возможность толкования его поступка, как выступления политического’, GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 6.

23 ‘скажем, Британскому Музею’, GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 6.

24 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 17.

25 For more on the reorganisation of the Department of Prints and the Rumiantsev Museum, see K. Bogemskaia, ed.: Era Rumiantsevskogo muzeia: Graviurnyi kabinet; Iz istorii formirovaniia sobraniia GMII im. A. S. Pushkina, Moscow 2010, II, esp. pp.38–63.

26 ‘В самое последнее время граверное искусство пришло у нас в заметный  упадок. Правда, отдельные художники [. . .] продолжают работать, но продуктивность их значительно понизилась’, E. Gollerbakh: Sovremennye russkie gravery, Petrograd 1922, p.8.

27 N. Romanov: Oforty V. N. Masiutina (1908–1918), Moscow 1920; N. Romanov: V. Falileev, Moscow and Petrograd 1923; V. Adariukov: Graviury I. N. Pavlova (1886–1921), Moscow 1922; Gollerbakh, op. cit. (note 26); idem: Istoriia graviury i litografii v Rossii, Moscow 1923.

28 V. Voinov: Russkaia litografiia za poslednie 25 let, Petrograd 1923.

29 K. Zelenina: Starye russkie gravery i litografy, Moscow 1925. 

30 ‘На почве интереса к старой графике неизбежно должен возникнуть интерес и к графике современной, что может дать достаточную почву для дальнейшего развития новой русской гравюры, так блестяще начатой работами Масютина, Фалилеева, Кравченко, Фаворского, Купреянова и друг’, A. Chaianov: Staraia zapadnaia graviura. Kratkoe rukovodstvo dlia muzeinoi raboty, Moscow 1926, p.13.

31 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 8.

32 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 19. 

33 National Library of Russia, St Petersburg, Department of Manuscripts (cited hereafter as RNB), f. 1015 (Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva), ed. khr. 836, letter dated 2nd February 1925.

34 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 178, 187; Werner, op. cit. (note 1), pp.301–02.

35 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 10.

36 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 13.

37 N. Romanov: Katalog vystavki. Graviury na dereve A. P. Ostroumovoi-Lebedevoi, Moscow 1916, pp.8–9; S. Ernst: ‘Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo Ostroumovoi-Lebedevoi’, in S. Ernst and A. Benua, eds.: Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Moscow and Petrograd 1923, p.46.

38 V. Masiutin: Graviura i litografiia, Moscow and Berlin 1922.

39 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 187.

40 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 178 and 180.

41 The British Museum, London, Recent Acquisitions, notes dated 4th October 1926, and 3rd November 1926.

42 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 40, 192; RNB, f. 1015, ed. khr. 836, letter dated 27th January 1927; RNB, f. 1015, ed. khr. 1020.

43 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 12.

44 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 14.

45 GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 15 and 16.

46 ‘Особенно хотелось бы достать для Вас работы Augustus John’а и Walter Sickert’а’, GMII, f. 14, op. III, ed. khr. 16.

47 GMII, f. 14, op. II, ed. khr. 26.

48 GMII, f. 14, op. II, ed. khr. 26, the letter from Leningrad is dated 24th November 1928, and the letter from Moscow is undated.

49 A. Ostroumova-Lebedeva: Avtobiograficheskie zapiski, Moscow 2003, III, p.35. Archival information further indicates that Ostroumova-Lebedeva was responsible for drafting the letter of support for Romanov, see RNB, f. 1015, ed. khr. 307, letter dated 23rd November 1928.

50 ‘в истории и развитии русского графического искусства’, I. Pavlov: Zhizn’ russkogo gravera, Moscow 1963, p.253.