Aspects of Study of the 20th Century Naive Art in Russia: Researchers, Collections and Names


This article explores the main stages of the study of naive art in Russia, starting from the first decades of the 20th century and till the 1980s, when naive art was called an “amateur art”. This is the period of IZORAM (Saint Petersburg Art Workshops of Working Youth) activity and the long work of the National University of Extramural Studies. The first amateur art exhibitions took place in the 1970s, later leading to the establishment of specialized collections. In the 1980s, academic research into naive art began to filter through the image of a primitive, or so-called “third”, culture supposed to exist between “high” and “grassroots” art. Only since the 1990s has naive art begun to be perceived as a separate artistic movement. In Russian art criticism, naive art was defined as one of the primitive art areas of the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. During this period, separate museum collections began to take shape in Moscow including a private museum of outsider art, where some works by naive artists were presented, and the Municipal Museum of Naive Art. In Ekaterinburg, Gamayun Municipal Center for Folk Art and Crafts began to study naive art in 1994. In the 2000s, interest in the naive art of the 20th century began to grow. At this time, public and private collections of naive art were being formed in the following museums: B.U.Kashkin Museum at the Ural State University; Soviet Naive Art Museum; and Museum of Naive Art, which in 2015 became the part of the Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts.

Keywords: primitive art, amateur art, naive art, folk art, outsider art.

[1] Prokofyev, V. N. (1983). O Trekh Urovnyakh Khudozhestvennoy Kul’tury Novogo I Noveyshego Vremeni (K Probleme Primitiva V Izobrazitel’nykh Iskusstvakh). In Prokofyev, V. N. (Ed.) Primitiv I Yego Mesto V Khudozhestvennoy Kul’ture Novogo I Noveyshego Vremeni. Moscow: Nauka.

[2] Tretyakovgallery. Retrieved August 23, 2019 from 526876092245500178/larionov--kollektsioner.

[3] Bogemskaya, K. G. (2000). Izobrazitel’noye i Dekorativno–Prikladnoye Iskusstvo. In Solntseva, L. P. et al (Eds). Samodeyatel’noye Khudozhestvennoye Tvorchestvo v SSSR: Ocherki Istorii 1917–1932. Saint-Petersburg: Dmitriy Bulanin.

[4] Bogemskaya, K. G. (2000). Samodeyatel’noye Khudozhestvennoye Tvorchestvo v SSSR: Ocherki Istorii Konets 1950-kh – nachalo 1990kh gg. Saint-Petersburg: Dmitriy Bulanin.

[5] Bogemskaya, K. G. (2000). Samodeyatel’noye Izobrazitel’noye Iskusstvo. In Solntseva, L. P., et al (Eds). Samodeyatel’noye Khudozhestvennoye Tvorchestvo v SSSR: Ocherki Istorii 1930 –1950. Saint- Petersburg: Dmitriy Bulanin.

[6] Safonov, S. and Smolev, D. (1999). Nerasskazannyy Mir. Neprikosnovennyy Zapas: Ocherki Nravov Kul’turnogo Soobshchestva. Moscow: Novosti.

[7] Grozin, V. I. and Dyakonitsyna, O. V. (Ed.). (2005). Pavel Leonov. Moscow: Muzey Naivnogo Iskusstva.

[8] Prokofyev, V. N. (Ed.). (1983). Primitiv i Yego Mesto v Khudozhestvennoy Kul’ture Novogo i Noveyshego Vremeni. Moscow: Nauka.

[9] Lebedev, A.V. (1998). Tshchaniyem i Userdiyem: Primitiv v Rossii XVIII − Serediny XIX Veka. Moscow: Traditsiya.

[10] Lebedev A. V. (Ed). (1995). Primitiv v Rossii XVIII−XIX Vekov. Moscow: GTG, GIM.