February 17, 2021
Art and Literature From Around the World 5-session course Jan. 28–March 4. Please select either the full 5-session course or individual sessions.
Dickinson Price: $50 each class or $200 for entire course. Friends & Family Price: $60 each class or $250 for entire course.
From Moscow, Russia
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 10-11 a.m. EST
The Palace of the Soviets: a Grandiose Utopian Project Along with the traditional wooden architecture of the Russian North, critics regard Russia’s early 20th-century avant-garde art and architecture as the republic’s most important contribution to the world’s visual art history. They see works of Kandinsky, Malevich, Tatlin, Rodchenko and Vesnin as truly revolutionary, breaking tradition and aiming to build a “brave new world.” But many of the avant-garde projects were so utopian that they could never be realized. The Palace of the Soviets, to be constructed on the site of the demolished (1931) Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior, minutes away from the Kremlin, is a case in point. Meant by Stalin to be the most ambitious artistic undertaking of the Soviet epoch, on one hand, and a place to house the country’s legislature, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, on the other, the “Cathedral of Communism” never saw the light of day. We shall explore the reasons for this and also for the eventual use of the intended site. (Spoiler: the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was rebuilt in early 1990s). At the end, you might rejoice at the triumph of historic justice (the Cathedral is back!) or you might feel disappointment that such an awesome avant-garde project did not bear fruit. You might even decide that in a modern, forward-looking city like Moscow there should not be a place for architectural replicas (a new Cathedral of Christ the Savior being a Disneyesque replica of the original Cathedral of Christ the Savior). Registration deadline: February 16.