“Proletarian Art: Myth or Reality?” – Talk by Dr Natalia Murray, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

In her presentation, Dr Natalia Murray explored the first State commission after the revolution – monuments for Lenin’s Plan of the Monumental Propaganda – which were at the centre of the debate about what the new proletarian art should be.

The Bolshevik leaders did realise that culture, in all its forms, is crucial for the unity and progress of the new society they were trying to build. They needed to create ‘new art’, to become the beacon of their ideology.

The presentation showcased the first expressions of the new proletarian art and examined the very phenomenon of the ‘Proletarian Culture’.

About the Speaker: Natalia Murray is an art historian, specialising in the art of the Soviet era, an author of the first biography of the Russian art-critic, Nikolay Punin “The Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-Garde. The Life and Times of Nikolay Punin” and a visiting lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art and The University of Sussex.

She graduated from the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, and completed a PhD at the Hermitage Museum in 1998. For the last 13 years she has been organising exhibitions of contemporary Russian artists and giving lectures on 20th century Russian art. Natalia is  currently doing a research into development of proletarian art, and its expressions in festive street decorations of Petrograd between 1918 and 1924 as part of her PhD course at the Courtauld.

Date and Time: 13th May 2011, 7pm
Venue: Gordon Cameron Lecture Theatre, Fitzwilliam College, Storey’s Way, Cambridge CB3 0DG

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