Buyko, Fedoskino Studio
Evening Ringing, 1999
Papier mâché, egg tempera, and lacquer
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Wendy Lee McCalvy
Photography: Jon Bolton

New Gifts to the Collection: Russian Lacquer Boxes

November 20, 2011 – January 15, 2012

New Gifts to the Collection: Russian Lacquer Boxes premieres a gift to the permanent collection of over forty 20th-century colorful Russian lacquer boxes from donor Wendy Lee McCalvy. This exhibition features intricately decorated, narrative works that combine painting with the creation of three-dimensional objects, epitomizing RAM’s objective to blur the line between fine art and craft. These lacquer objects are comparable to other vessels in the collection, functional or not, that have been decorated with glaze, paint, or other media.

Russian lacquer boxes are made of papier-mâché. Each object represents an intense period of labor—from the making of the box itself to the surface treatment. The surfaces are lacquered and hand painted in a variety of styles that reflect regional interests and traditions. Russian fairy tales and legendary figures show up often, sharing space with popular culture and political subjects. Rooted in icon painting as well as social and cultural changes, the Russian lacquer ware tradition that has blossomed since the late eighteenth century is connected to the nation’s identity and commerce. The four historically important centers for this craft—the villages of Kholui, Palekh, Fedoskino, and Mstiora—are all represented with this exhibition at RAM.

More About the Exhibition

Press Room

New Gifts to the Collection: Russian Lacquer Boxes

November 20, 2011 – January 15, 2012
Buyko, Fedoskino Studio
Evening Ringing, 1999
Papier mâché, egg tempera, and lacquer
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Wendy Lee McCalvy
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

New Gifts to the Collection: Russian Lacquer Boxes premieres a gift to the permanent collection of over forty 20th-century colorful Russian lacquer boxes from donor Wendy Lee McCalvy. This exhibition features intricately decorated, narrative works that combine painting with the creation of three-dimensional objects, epitomizing RAM’s objective to blur the line between fine art and craft. These lacquer objects are comparable to other vessels in the collection, functional or not, that have been decorated with glaze, paint, or other media.

Russian lacquer boxes are made of papier-mâché. Each object represents an intense period of labor—from the making of the box itself to the surface treatment. The surfaces are lacquered and hand painted in a variety of styles that reflect regional interests and traditions. Russian fairy tales and legendary figures show up often, sharing space with popular culture and political subjects. Rooted in icon painting as well as social and cultural changes, the Russian lacquer ware tradition that has blossomed since the late eighteenth century is connected to the nation’s identity and commerce. The four historically important centers for this craft—the villages of Kholui, Palekh, Fedoskino, and Mstiora—are all represented with this exhibition at RAM.

More About the Exhibition

Press Room

Gallery of Work

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

Judith and David Flegel Fund
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation

Gold Sponsors
Anonymous
David Charak
Silver Sponsors
Art Bridges
A.C. Buhler Family
Andis Foundation
Baird
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Annette Hirsh Family
J. Jeffers & Co.
Dorothy MacVicar
RDK Foundation

Jan Serr and John Shannon
Bronze Sponsors

Anonymous
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Butcher & Barrel/Amos Los Tacos
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Get Behind the Arts Studio Tour
William A. Guenther
Tom and Sharon Harty
Tony and Andrea Hauser
David and Judy Hecker
Bradley Lynch
Carlotta Miller
Larry and Barbara Newman
The Norbell Foundation
The Prairie School
Georgiana Treivush
Twin Disc, Inc.
Deb and Will Walker

Love Art?  You’ll Love RAM!

The mission of the Racine Art Museum is to exhibit, collect, preserve, and educate in the contemporary visual arts. Stay up-to-date about special events as well as support the mission of the largest contemporary craft collection in America:

RECEIVE RAM NEWSLETTERS
BECOME A MEMBER
DONATE NOW