Opening of the exhibition "Celebrating the first anniversary of October in Petrograd"
The exhibition "Celebrating the first anniversary of October in Petrograd" from the series "The painting as a document of the epoch" presents sketches of the festive decoration of Petrograd in 1918, as well as a painting by Konstantin Gorbatov "Celebrating the first anniversary of October on the Neva".
In 1918, the government made efforts to make the holiday in Petrograd as spectacular as possible, said Lilia Kuraeva, deputy director of the Museum of Political History of Russia, at the opening of the exhibition. It was an important ideological event. 170 artists were involved to prepare for the celebrations; the best masters of the country prepared the decorations in the city. About 90 squares, streets, bridges and buildings were decorated. Nathan Altman designed the Uritsky Square (now Palace), Boris Kustodiev - the Guns' Square (now Austrian), Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin - the Theater Square, Vasily Shukhaev - the Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge (now Blagoveshchensky), David Shterenberg - the Winter Canavians embankment, the Basics of the Kavans. Joseph Langbard - Dictatorship Square, Semyon Ivanov - City Duma.
As Lilia Kuraeva told, after the celebrations, about 600 sketches were left, which are now in different museums. The Russian Museum has the largest collection, and 88 sketches are kept in the funds of the Museum of Political History of Russia. Ten of them until 12th December you can see at the exhibition in the oak reception of the Brant mansion.
The fate of the artists who participated in the decorating of the city for the first anniversary of the October Revolution were difficult. Ksenia Chekodanova, a methodologist of the Museum of Political History of Russia, told about their lives in Soviet times. So, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky emigrated from the USSR a few years after the revolution, Vasily Shukhaev was repressed in the 1930s and sent to Kolyma, Baranov-Rossin died in Auschwitz during World War II.