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Passport Picks

Museums and Galleries

Silver Cameras and Gold Medals

Manezh
December 18 – January 18
Open daily (except Monday),
10:00 – 19:00
www.mdf.ru
A silver camera is the graphic symbol of the Moscow House of Photography, and its physical personification is its director, Olga Sviblova. Taken together, they are symbols of the revival of photographic culture in today’s Russia. Young in comparison with its counterparts in Paris and Prague, the museum energetically encourages a diverse set of artistic projects. Thanks to the House of Photography, it is impossible to imagine a season without an exciting photography event such as the annual Silver Camera contest taking place at Manezh this December. The competition invites both amateurs and professionals to submit their work in a variety of categories, from architecture to street scenes to the human face. The nominated photographs are displayed anonymously at Manezh for a month, during which time visitors have an opportunity to view the works and vote for their favorites.

The Kremlin Museums
December 19 – March 15
Open daily (except Thursday) 10:00-16:00
www.kreml.ru

The Art of the Sublime Porte

The Sublime Porte is the term used by Western diplomats in Ottoman times to refer to Sultan’s government. It is derived from the entrance gate to apartments of the Grand Vizier in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace, where foreign ambassadors were greeted upon arrival. As the 16th and 17th centuries were a period of active commercial and diplomatic relations between the Russian and Ottoman empires, Russian tsars accumulated a unique collection of luxurious samples of Turkish decorative arts that is today part of the holdings of the Kremlin Museums. Although the days of the Ottoman Sultans (not to mention the tsars) are gone, this month an exhibit of artifacts from the collections of the Kremlin Museums will bring you back to the time of the Grand Viziers through examples of armaments, equestrian decorations, textiles, and jewelry that represent some of the finest Ottoman achievements in the decorative arts.

The 250th Anniversary of Vladimir Borovikovsky

This month the State Tretyakov Gallery is presenting an exhibition of 200 works by Ukrainianborn Vldymyr Borovyk (known in Russian as Vladimir Borovikovsky), the great portrait artist of the late 18th century. Borovikovsky began painting icons for local churches and would have remained in his provincial town but for an unexpected event: On her way to tour the newly conquered Crimea, Catherine II spent the night in a small Ukrainian town, and as part of the preparations for her arrival, Borovikovsky was asked to decorate her rooms. The Empress was so delighted with his work (two allegorical paintings of the Russian monarch), that she requested Borovikovsky come to St. Petersburg, where his career immediately took off. Among those who posed for him were members of the imperial family, courtiers and aristocrats, generals, and figures from the Russian artistic and literary worlds.

State Tretyakov Gallery at Krymsky Val
October 31 – January 18
Open daily (except Monday), 10:00-18:00
www.tretyakovgallery.ru

Bonsai Center Gallery
Through December 31
Open Mon.– Fri., 10:00-20:00;
Sat. – Sun., 12:00-18:00
www.bonsai.su
Evergreen, Ever Japanese

In December, people all over the world buy evergreen trees to decorate their homes for Christmas and New Year. This December, the First Bonsai Exhibition at the Moscow Bonsai Center gives you the chance to admire miniature evergreen trees and the art of sculpting them. Meaning “potted plant,” bonsai refers to the art of miniaturizing trees by growing them in containers. The practice originally emerged in China more than 1000 years ago and was imported to Japan, where it took root — both literally and figuratively. Specifi c techniques for cultivating the trees as well as aesthetic principles to guide the pruning process were developed, and keeping bonsai became a popular leisure activity among Japanese aristocrats, Buddhist monks, and samurai. Today the popularity of the hobby has spread beyond the borders of Japan — apparently, all the way to Moscow.







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