Traditional Russian Folk Art: Matryoshka Dolls and More with Vladimir Ivanov

Traditional Russian Folk Art: Matryoshka Dolls and More with Vladimir Ivanov


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Special Statement from Context: Our staff is closely monitoring the evolving Russia – Ukraine conflict. Please visit our statement for additional details about how we are working to support our experts impacted by this crisis. 
Event Description
Throughout the turbulent history of Russia, its talented artisans have preserved many unique traditions and skills, most popular among them are nesting dolls known locally as Matryoshka. We will focus on several beautiful folk crafts that travelers and locals enjoy collecting from shops and fairs during our time together.

More than 50 promysly (hand-crafts and skilled trades) are formally recognized across Russia, each unique to its home region. We will begin by examining the iconic Russian nesting dolls, exploring different theories about their origins and purpose. From here, we venture to several ancient villages near Moscow, Palekh being most significant, where the art of making miniature lacquer boxes has been flourishing.

Nesting dolls and lacquer boxes are among the most sought-after handicrafts. Still, there are many more for us to learn about, including mammoth tusk carvings (Tula samovars) –one of which was presented to Queen Elizabeth II on her only official visit to Russia. We will journey from Orenburg shawls of the Urals to Kargapol clay toys of the far north. These beautiful items, frequently produced by unnamed artists, are intrinsic to the local culture and national heritage.

Led by a St. Petersburg-based art historian and journalist, Vladimir Ivanov, our conversation will reveal the essence of Russian folk art traditions. Participants will come away with an increased understanding of why these delicate handicrafts are much more than “souvenirs à la russe” to be enjoyed.

Eager to learn more about Russian culture with Context? Explore our upcoming seminars here. Or join us in person on a Context Tour

Holding an MA in Classics, Vladimir is a published author, exhibition curator, and acclaimed Context Tour Guide. He has made several guest appearances on podcasts with topics connected to the History of the Russian Revolution – as well as Photography.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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A. (Bellmore, US)

This is an excellent introduction to Russian folk art, beyond the familiar matryoshka nesting dolls. Broken down by geographic areas, it covers some beautiful and surprising forms of fold art that are not typically known with excellent scholarship and numerous illustrations.

L
L.H. (Hatfield, GB)
Interesting overview

I enjoyed this and learned some interesting facts, however I found it a bit slow (Mr Ivanov's delivery is often hesitant) and would have like to cover more types of folk art at a greater pace. The Siberian mammoth ivory carvings he showed us were spectacular!

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
50%
(1)
50%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A. (Bellmore, US)

This is an excellent introduction to Russian folk art, beyond the familiar matryoshka nesting dolls. Broken down by geographic areas, it covers some beautiful and surprising forms of fold art that are not typically known with excellent scholarship and numerous illustrations.

L
L.H. (Hatfield, GB)
Interesting overview

I enjoyed this and learned some interesting facts, however I found it a bit slow (Mr Ivanov's delivery is often hesitant) and would have like to cover more types of folk art at a greater pace. The Siberian mammoth ivory carvings he showed us were spectacular!