Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Hidden Gem




Earlier today I visited the Museum of Russian Art in South Minneapolis. Located in a Spanish-revivalist church built to mimic the Alamo, the three floors of this beautifully converted church create a blend of art and culture greater than its parts.

The singular focus is on Russian Art. The permanent collection portrays the former Soviet Union’s tragic and unique history but there is also modern art as well as a photographic exhibition titled “Jewish Life in the Russian Empire”.

Having studied Russian, I have a place in my heart for Russia and Russian culture and I particularly enjoyed the paintings portraying the former Soviet Union from different periods, art which ranges through both time and style. What works about this museum is its enchanting use of space. I don’t tend to linger in museums but this one is small enough to read about each piece and be done in an hour; there may be bigger collections in the Twin Cities but the quality of art is amazing.

The architecture adds space for contemplation. If you are not familiar with Russian art or Russian culture do make a visit. It will educate and enlighten; engage and enthrall.

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