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Slavic and Eastern European Studies

Russian Fine Art Book Collection at Stanford University Libraries

(Description was prepared by Valentina Fedorova, Hermitage, St. Petersburg and Wojciech Zalewski)

Stanford's RUSSIAN art collection is housed in several locations: in the Green Library stacks (temporarily at the Stanford Auxiliary Library), in the Art Library, in Special Collections and at the Hoover Institution Library. The Hoover component is not cataloged on line but it can be accessed through a card file in the Hoover Library Reference Room. The Hoover collection was acquired mainly by Professor Frank A. Golder during his travels to the Soviet Union in the 1920s and represents pre-revolutionary, often rare, materials. A significant portion of it is duplicated in the Green Library. The following comments take into consideration all print resources available at Stanford, regardless of their location. (See Films and CD ROM holdings elsewhere.) They intend to offer a general impression of the collection by exemplifying categories of materials rather than following an outline of the history of art.

Reference Materials

A solid collection of iconographic materials exists. Among older works are: F.I. Bulgakov, N.P. Sobko, SLOVAR' RUSSKIKH KHUDOZHNIKOV (1893- 3 vols)., S. N. Kondakov, IUBILEINYI SPRAVOCHNIK IMPERATORSKOI AKADEMII KHUDOZHESTV, 1764-1914 (1914-15,) A. I. Uspenskii, SLOVAR' KHUDOZHNIKOV, V XVIII VIEKIE PISAVSHIKH V IMPERATORSKIKH DVORTSAKH (1913), N.N. Vrangel', 100 RUSSKIKH DEIATELEI ISKUSSTVA (Parizh, 189 - (Hoover)), and the series RUSSKIE KHUDOZHNIKI. More focused works are those by D. Rovinskii, among which are his works on engraved portraits (several editions and a supplement by A. Obol'ianov (1913)) and folk cards (kartinki), V. Adariukov, SLOVAR' RUSSKIKH LITOGRAFIROVANNYKH PORTRETOV (1916), A.V. Morozov, KATALOG MOEGO SOBRANIA RUSSKIKH GRAVIROVANYKH I LITOGRAFIROVANNYKH PORTRETOV (1912-13), RUSSKIE PORTRETY XVIII I XIX VEKA published by Grand duke Nikolai Mikhailovich, (1905-1909, 5 vols.), V. Durasov, GERBOVNIK VSEROSIISKOGO DVORIANSTVA, (1906, (Hoover)), works by A.I. Somov, N.P. Kondakov and others, and monographic series SOBRANIE ILLIUSTRIROVANNYKH MONOGRAFII published by Knebel', contributed to by major art historians.

Among contemporary publications mention should be made of the unfinished KHUDOZHNIKI NARODOV SSSR. BIOBIBLIOGRAFICHESKII SLOVAR' (1970- Edited by T.N. Gorina, Planned in 6 vols., 4 vols. published) compiled on the basis of Modzalevskii's file.; J. Milner, A DICTIONARY OF RUSSIAN AND SOVIET ARTISTS, 1420-1970 (1993); D.IA. Severiukhin and O.L. Leikind, KHUDOZHNIKI RUSSKOI EMIGRATSII, 1917-1941, BIOBIBLIOGRAFICHESKII SLOVAR' (1994), and the more specialized G K. Burova, TOVARISHCHESTVO PEREDVIZHNYKH KHUDOZHESTVENNYKH VYSTAVOK, (1952, 2 vols), which contains not only catalogs and guides to museums but also biographic data of the artists. IUBILEINYI KATALOG SPRAVOCHNIK AKADEMII KHUDOZHESTV SSSR (1957) has short biographies of artists/academitians of the Soviet period. Biographies of artists were also published in the series ZHIVOPIS'. SKULPTURA. GRAFIKA. MONOGRAFII (1953-); RUSSKAIA GRAFIKA (1949-1952); MASTERA SOVETSKOGO ISKUSSTVA (1948-1954), and others.


The collection encompasses all the important pre-revolutionary Russian art journals in original format, namely MIR ISKUSSTVA (1899-1901); ZOLOTOE RUNO (1906-1909); ISKUSSTVO V IUZHNOI ROSSII (1913-1914); ISKUSSTVO I PECHATNOE DELO (1909-1910); KHUDOZHESTVENNYE SOKROVISHCHA ROSSII (1091-1907); ISKUSSTVO I KHUDOZHESTVENNAIA PROMYSHLENNOST (1898-1900); APOLLON (1909-1917) and STARYE GODY (1907-1916). The journals contain research by scholars from the beginning of the century, namely K. Somov, A. Benois, M. Dobuzhinskii, V. Serov, L. Bakst and others, and the emigre publication ZHAR PTITSA (1921-1926). Hoover also has STOLITSA I USADBA (1913-1917) and SOFIIA. ZHURNAL ISKUSSTVA I LITERATURY (1914). For the Soviet period there are RUSSKOE ISKUSSTVO (1923), ISKUSSTVO (1923-28), all the important journals published in the Soviet Union and Russia , including the majority of journals (on microfilm) listed in K.D. Muratova, PERIODIKA PO LITERATURE I ISKUSSTVU ZA GODY REVOLIUTSII, 1917-1932 (1933).


In addition to journals, collections of research papers (sborniki, trudy) by major research centers ought to be specified. These include: the Tretiakov Gallery, Ermitazh Museum, Russian Museum, and Scientific Institute History of Arts in Moscow, and Scientific Institute of the Academy of Arts. The series, contributed to by prominent Russian art historians, discuss the arts not only of Russia but also of other regions of the former Soviet Union such as Georgia, Ukraine, Mordovia, Tatar, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. There are also collections of articles by other publishers, namely MUZEI; VOPROSY ISKUSSTVOZNANIIA; SOVETSKAIA ZHIVOPIS' and PAMIATNIKI OTECHESTVA.

Monographic series for the Soviet period are quite rich. Here named could be BIBLIOTEKA ISKUSSTVOZNANIIA; MASTERA ISKUSSTVA OB ISKUSSTVE; MASTERA SOVETSKOGO ISKUSSTVA; MASTERA RUSSKOGO ISKUSSTVA and MASTERA SOVETSKOGO KNIZHNOGO ISKUSSTVA. The pre revolutionary series are KHUDOZHESTVENNYE SOKROVISHCHA ROSSII and KUL'TURNYE SOKROVISHCHA ROSSII (1912-1919), the latter holdings spread between the Green Library and Hoover.

Monographic Works

Key histories of Russian art are available at Stanford. Among them are works by I. E. Grabar (both the pre-revolutionary edition (6 vols., 1910-1914, and the Academy of Sciences edition, 134 vols., 1953-1969) and at Hoover, A. Benois, MATERIALY DLIA ISTORII ISKUSSTVA V ROSSII (1910) and A. Uspenskii, OCHERKI PO ISTORII RUSSKOGO ISKUSSTVA (1910). There are many surveys, in some cases in series, dealing with various periods such as medieval Russia, the time of Peter the Great, art of the 1905 revolution, avangard, modernism, the Soviet Revolution and various periods in Soviet history. Artistic schools are well represented. There are histories of institutions such as the Academy of Arts, SBORNIK MATERIALOV DLIA ISTORII IMPERATORSKOI S.-PETERBURGSKOI AKADEMII KHUDOZHESTV ZA STO LIET EIA SUSHCHESTVOVANIIA (1864-66, 3 vols).

Most works by prominent Russian and Soviet art historians and critics can be found in the SUL collections. Among the pre-revolutionary scholars cited should be of N.N. Vrangel, N.E. Makarenko (rare among his works is SHKOLA IMPERATORSKOGO OBSHCHESTVA POOSHCHRENIIA KHUDOZHESTV (1914) at Hoover), V.V. Stasov, A. Benois (Benua), E.F. Golerbakh, and A.A. Fedorov Davydov.

Major published memoirs (A. Benoit [Benua], V.A. Favorskii, V.S. Serova, A.A. Rylov, A.N. Samokvasov and others) and correspondence of artists (I. E. Grabar, I.N. Kramskoi, I.E. Repin, V. Serov, V.I. Surikov and many others) are at Stanford. The history of Russian art is also illustrated on a CD ROM: TREASURES OF RUSSIA, INTRODUCTION TO RUSSIAN ART/SOKROVISHCHA ROSSII, VVEDENIE V RUSSKOE ISKUSSTVO (1995).

Catalogs of Collections

There are catalogs of the major Russian museums of St. Petersburg, e.g., the Ermitazh, including a CD ROM on this museum, the State Russian Museum and the Shtiglits Museum (MUZEI BARONA STIGLITSA, 1994), as well as of Moscow, e.g., The Tretiakov Gallery, Academy of Arts, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, the Kremlin Armory (Oruzhennaia Palata), and catalogs of some regional museums. Some fine pre-revolutionary catalogs are, for example, several catalogs by N.N. Vrangel, A.V. Morozov, KATALOG MOEGO SOBRANIIA RUSSKIKH GRAVIROVANNYKH PROTRETOV (4 vols. and Supplement, 1912-1913) and KOLLEKTSIIA M. P. BOTKINA (1911, at Hoover). Interesting type of catalogs are (rare) works by the Komissia po okhrane pamiatnikov i stariny: OPIS IKON TROITSE-SERGIEVOI LAVRY DO XVIII VEKA I NAIBOLEE TIPICHNYKH XVIII I XIX VEKOV (1920) and OPIS' KRESTOV TROITSE-SERGIEVOI LAVRY DO XIX VEKA I NAIBOLEE TIPICHNYKH XIX (1921).

Exhibition Catalogs

There is no separate collection of exhibition catalogs. Suggested search for them in SOCRATES is under the subject "Russia exhibitions". This reveals several pre-revolutionary catalogs, Russian art exhibitions which took place in the West, catalogs of some exhibitions from the Soviet period and a significant number of catalogs of exhibits which took place in the 1990s. A search under subject "Soviet Union exhibitions" will reveal Soviet and Western exhibitions, of which only a small part applies to the arts. Following are examples of a few older catalogs: S.-Peterburgskoe Obshchestvo Khudozhnikov. ILLIUSTRIROVANNYI KATALOG 2-I NARODNOI VYSTAVKI KARTIN V S.-PETERBURGIE (1901); KATALOG VYSTAVKI KARTIN "MIR ISKUSSTVA" (1913); N. Makarenko, VYSTAVKA TSERKOVNOI STARINY V MUZEE BARONA SHTIGLITSA (1915); N.V. Solovev, PRIDVORNAIA ZHIZN 1613-1913: KORONATSII, FEIERVERKI, DVORTSY, VYSTAVKA GRAVIUR I RISUNKOV [KATALOG VYSTAVKI] (1913); N.P. Sobko, ILLIUSTRIROVANNYI KATALOG SKULPTURNOI VYSTAVKI... I KRATKIE BIOGRAFICHESKIE OCHERKI KHUDOZHNIKOV (1886); and ALBUM 25-LETIIA PEREDVIZHNYKH KHUDOZHESTVENNYKH VYSTAVOK, 1872-1897, (1897-1899, at Hoover). For the Soviet period only major exhibition catalogs were collected. Mentioned could be DESIATAIA VYSTAVKA AKHRR, PRI UCHASTII KHUDOZHNIKOV DRUGIKH OB'EDINENII, POSVIASHCHENNAIA DESIATILETIIU RABOCHE-KREST'IANSKOI ARMII. (Moskva, izd-vo AKHPP, 1928) and KHUDOZHNIKI RSFSR ZA XV LET (1917-1932). KATALOG VYSTAVKI. ZHIVOPIS' (Moskva, 1933).


Stanford is systematically acquiring albums of scholarly quality. All aspects of fine arts are covered soundly, especially in regard to albums published after World War II. Earlier albums were also acquired and a number of them, now held at Hoover, were brought to Stanford by Professor Frank A. Golder in the 1920s. While the Soviet publishing period is soundly represented, the pre-revolutionary fine art albums may be indicative of the scope and depth of Stanford's holdings. Some of the ones listed below are art albums, others are reproductions of artistic representations or drawings or engravings by themselves. The examples are: KORONATSIONNYI SBORNIK (2 vols., 1899 of Nicholas II, illustrated by prominent Russian artists of that time, and fine albums by I.N. Bozherianov, I.M. Snegirev); USPENSKII SOBOR V MOSKVE (1856); V.M. Vasnetsov, RUSSKIIA POSLOVITSY I POGOVORKI V RISUNKAKH V.M. VASNETSOVA I V LITERATURE NASHIKH PISATELEI (2nd ed., [1915?]); L. de Saint-Aubin, TRIDTSAT DEVIAT PORTRETOV, 1808-1815 G (1902); D.A. Rovinskii, OBOZRIENIE IKONOPISANIIA V ROSSII DO KONTSA XVII VIEKA. OPISANIE FEIERVERKOV ILLIIUMINATSII 1674-1891GG (1903); A. Meyerberg, ALBOM MEIERBERGA. VIDY I BYTOVYIA KARTINY ROSSII XVII VIEKA. OBIASNITELNYIA PRIMIECHANIIA K RISUNKAM (1903); RUSSKIE PORTRETY XVIII I XIX STOLIETII (5 vols., 1905-1909); and 100 KARTIN SOVREMENNYKH RUSSKIKH KHUDOZHNIKOV (1905). Hoover holds such albums as ROSSIIA V KARTINKAKH PO STOLETIIAM (155 plates), VOENNAIA GALEREIA 1812 G (19--), P. P. Petrov, ALBOM 200-LETNEGO IUBILEIA PETRA VELIKOGO (1872), DVOR IMPERATRITSY EKATERINY II. EE SOTRUDNIKI I PRIBLIZHENNYE. 189 SILUETOV (1899), G. Gagarin, RISUNKI I NABROSKI S NATURY (1902). Unique is the work KNIGA OB OLEGE (1915, with the only contemporary portret of Grand Prince Oleg Konstantinovich Romanov by V.V. Mate in etching).

Stanford extensively acquires facsimile editions, for example, OSTROMIROVO EVANGELIE, ARKHANGEL'SKOE EVANGELIE, and RADZIVILLOVSKAIA LETOPIS'.

Special Areas

The following description singles out a few areas of fine arts to provide a brief orientation to Stanford's holdings.


For histories of Russian painting see histories of art, above. A search under subject Painting-Russia-history and Painting-Soviet Union-history will reveal several important works on the history of Russian painting and specific aspects of it.

Monographic works on individual painters reflect all trends and schools, beginning with icon painters and ending with contemporary painters. For early art, mention should be made of several works by N.P. Kondakov, and G. Gagarin, SOBRANIE VIZANTIISKIKH ORNAMENTOV (1897); works on Feofan Grek and A. Rublev; artists academicians: K.P. Bruillov, Ivanov; artists itinerants (peredvizhniki): Repin, Surikov, Shishkin, Aivazovskii, Kramskoi, including catalogs of their expositions; artists related to the journal MIR ISKUSSTVA, many works on M. Vrubel' ( including a rare edition MIKHAIL ALEKSANDROVICH VRUBEL, Moscow, Otdel pechati Moskovskogo soveta,1919); avangard artists: Chagall, Kandinskii, Malevich, Gabo, Kravchenko, Rodchenko, Tatlin; and representatives of Soviet underground art of the 1960s and 1970s: Rabin, Kropivnitskii, Chemiakin, Krasnopevtsev.

Catalogs and albums on schools as well as individual painters are available.

Graphic Arts

As mentioned above, newer works are quite extensively represented in the collection. Among the older works consider works by the above mentioned D. Rovinskii with N. Obol'ianov; V. Adariukov, OCHERK PO ISTORII LITOGRAFII V ROSSII (1912) and V.A. Vereshchagin, RUSSKAIA KARIKATURA (1911-1913, 3 vols).

Book Art

A history of the book, including book art encompassing drawing, engraving and illustration, is represented adequately. Among more interesting works singled out could be V. A. Vereshchagin, RUSSKIE ILLIUSTRIROVANNYE IZDANIIA 18-19 VEKOV (1898). The Hoover collection has R. Simoni, OPYT SBORNIKOV SVEDENII PO ISTORII I TEKHNIKE KNIGOPEREPLETNOGO KHUDOZHESTVA NA RUSI S XI PO XVIII V. (1903), V. Timm, RUSSKII KHUDOZHESTVENNYI LISTOK (1851-1862, 12 vyp.) and A.A. Bobrinskii, KIEVSKAIA MINIATURA (1902) on early illustrated church books. For the Soviet period but still within the pre-Soviet tradition can be placed A. Sidorov, RUSSKAIA GRAFIKA NACHALA XX VEKA (1969). Monographs about artist-illustrators present in the collection are, for example, works on Serov, Bilibin, Kibrik, Pakhomov, Kukryniksy and Deni. There are also memoirs by D.V. Ul'ianinskii (SREDI KNIG I IKH DRUZEI, 1903), D.A. Shmarinov, A. Pistunova, M. Chegodaeva and others.

Stanford has an interest in hand made artist's books. Specifically mentioned should be a collection of works by St. Petersburg artist M. Karasik, covering his publications from 1988 to 1994. Karasik continues the tradition of Russian hand made books of the 1920s. There are also works by such fine publishers as A. Sevastianov and S.A. Nitochkin . A selection of Russian emigre books with illustrations of Belkin, Goncharova, Larionov and Burliuk can be found at Stanford.


The history of architecture can be traced to works by major Russian scholars such as I. Grabar; G.K. Lukomskii, RUSSKAIA STARINA (1923) and his many works on Russian cities; M. Krasovskii, A.V. Ikonnikov, TYSIACHA LET RUSSKOI ARCHITEKTURY (1990); and RUSSKOE ZODCHESTVO (7 vols., 1953-1957). Various periods are illustrated in such works as N.N. Voronin, ZODCHESTVO SEVERO-VOSTOCHNOI RUSI XII-XV VEKOV (2 vols., 1961-1962) and DREVNERUSSKOE GRADOSTROITELSTVO X-XV VEKOV (1993). Other periods of Russian architecture are well covered.

In the area of types of architectural forms there is ample literature on church architecture. The most recent imprints are S. Zvonarev, SOROK SOROKOV : ALBOM-UKAZATEL' VSEKH MOSKOVSKIKH TSERKVEI (Paris, 1988-1990, 4 vols.); KREML I MONASTYRI; (1992, 2 vols);works by V.K. Vagner, and others. There are significant monographs on the architecture of Russian cities, especially the major ones as well as historical cities such as those of the "Golden Circle" (zolotoe kol'tso). There is a solid collection of pre- and post revolutionary works on imperial palaces both in and around Moscow (S.P. Bartnev, MOSKOVSKII KREML V STARINU I TEPER, (1912-1916, 2 vols)) and in St. Petersburg. A collection of architecture of other former Soviet republics was not neglected, e.g., F. Gornostaev, DVORTSY I TSERKVI IUGA, (1914).

Finally, the CD ROM photographic collection of I.F. Barshchevskii, I.F. BARSHCHEVSKY ([Wilmington, DE : Russian Images, Inc.] ; [1995?]) of architecture and art objects of Imperial Russia can be noted.

It is reasonably safe to conclude that the Russian art collection at Stanford is capable of supporting advanced research in the Russian fine arts.



Last modified: June 27, 2005

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