University of Hertfordshire

Standard

Art or Illustration? The Status of Painting and Sculpture in the Soviet Natural History Museum. / Simpson, Patricia.

2014. Paper presented at Association of Art Historians Conference, London, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Harvard

Simpson, P 2014, 'Art or Illustration? The Status of Painting and Sculpture in the Soviet Natural History Museum', Paper presented at Association of Art Historians Conference, London, United Kingdom, 10/04/14 - 12/04/14.

APA

Simpson, P. (2014). Art or Illustration? The Status of Painting and Sculpture in the Soviet Natural History Museum. Paper presented at Association of Art Historians Conference, London, United Kingdom.

Vancouver

Simpson P. Art or Illustration? The Status of Painting and Sculpture in the Soviet Natural History Museum. 2014. Paper presented at Association of Art Historians Conference, London, United Kingdom.

Author

Simpson, Patricia. / Art or Illustration? The Status of Painting and Sculpture in the Soviet Natural History Museum. Paper presented at Association of Art Historians Conference, London, United Kingdom.

Bibtex

@conference{98d4c2ab3053483084c91d419acc7512,
title = "Art or Illustration?: The Status of Painting and Sculpture in the Soviet Natural History Museum",
abstract = "It might be said that a painting is a painting and a sculpture is a sculpture, and as such they putatively belong to the realm of {\textquoteleft}fine art{\textquoteright}. Such objects, particularly when offering recognisable figurative representations and created out of traditional materials, seem clearly to declare their status and/or definition. But, what if the painting or sculpture has a useful function within a natural history museum in illuminating or illustrating the history of evolutionary theory, or, through portraiture, represents a hagiography of evolutionary theorists? Is it, therefore, a piece of decorative art because of its illustrative connotations? This is the big overarching question I open out to the panel and audience, because I do not, as yet, have any clear answers.This paper focuses on the Moscow Darwin Museum. This natural history museum was founded in 1907 at the Higher Women{\textquoteright}s Courses institute attached to Moscow University. Nationalised in 1917 after the Bolshevik Revolution, it still exists. The initial directors, Nadezhda Ladygina-Kots and Professor Aleksandr Kots were thoroughly committed to using art [paintings, drawings and sculpture, including taxidermy] as means to enliven the delivery of Darwinian evolutionary theory. The paper scrutinises the use of Soviet institutional acceptance of the difference between {\textquoteleft}fine{\textquoteright} and {\textquoteleft}decorative{\textquoteright} arts [illustration] by the museum directorate as a means of defence against criticism of the works shown at the museum.",
keywords = "Art, illustration, Darwin Museum, Soviet, Museums of Natural History, Aleksandr Kots, Vasili Vatagin",
author = "Patricia Simpson",
year = "2014",
month = apr,
language = "English",
note = "Association of Art Historians Conference ; Conference date: 10-04-2014 Through 12-04-2014",

}

RIS

TY - CONF

T1 - Art or Illustration?

T2 - Association of Art Historians Conference

AU - Simpson, Patricia

PY - 2014/4

Y1 - 2014/4

N2 - It might be said that a painting is a painting and a sculpture is a sculpture, and as such they putatively belong to the realm of ‘fine art’. Such objects, particularly when offering recognisable figurative representations and created out of traditional materials, seem clearly to declare their status and/or definition. But, what if the painting or sculpture has a useful function within a natural history museum in illuminating or illustrating the history of evolutionary theory, or, through portraiture, represents a hagiography of evolutionary theorists? Is it, therefore, a piece of decorative art because of its illustrative connotations? This is the big overarching question I open out to the panel and audience, because I do not, as yet, have any clear answers.This paper focuses on the Moscow Darwin Museum. This natural history museum was founded in 1907 at the Higher Women’s Courses institute attached to Moscow University. Nationalised in 1917 after the Bolshevik Revolution, it still exists. The initial directors, Nadezhda Ladygina-Kots and Professor Aleksandr Kots were thoroughly committed to using art [paintings, drawings and sculpture, including taxidermy] as means to enliven the delivery of Darwinian evolutionary theory. The paper scrutinises the use of Soviet institutional acceptance of the difference between ‘fine’ and ‘decorative’ arts [illustration] by the museum directorate as a means of defence against criticism of the works shown at the museum.

AB - It might be said that a painting is a painting and a sculpture is a sculpture, and as such they putatively belong to the realm of ‘fine art’. Such objects, particularly when offering recognisable figurative representations and created out of traditional materials, seem clearly to declare their status and/or definition. But, what if the painting or sculpture has a useful function within a natural history museum in illuminating or illustrating the history of evolutionary theory, or, through portraiture, represents a hagiography of evolutionary theorists? Is it, therefore, a piece of decorative art because of its illustrative connotations? This is the big overarching question I open out to the panel and audience, because I do not, as yet, have any clear answers.This paper focuses on the Moscow Darwin Museum. This natural history museum was founded in 1907 at the Higher Women’s Courses institute attached to Moscow University. Nationalised in 1917 after the Bolshevik Revolution, it still exists. The initial directors, Nadezhda Ladygina-Kots and Professor Aleksandr Kots were thoroughly committed to using art [paintings, drawings and sculpture, including taxidermy] as means to enliven the delivery of Darwinian evolutionary theory. The paper scrutinises the use of Soviet institutional acceptance of the difference between ‘fine’ and ‘decorative’ arts [illustration] by the museum directorate as a means of defence against criticism of the works shown at the museum.

KW - Art

KW - illustration

KW - Darwin Museum

KW - Soviet

KW - Museums of Natural History

KW - Aleksandr Kots

KW - Vasili Vatagin

M3 - Paper

Y2 - 10 April 2014 through 12 April 2014

ER -