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Modernism and the Spiritual in Russian Art

Louise Hardiman
Nicola Kozicharow


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1Above all, we are grateful to our authors for enriching this book with their outstanding research and writing, and for sharing our interest in its theme. The project to publish this book evolved from discussions at a conference, ‘On the Spiritual in Russian Art’, which we organised at Pembroke College, Cambridge, on 7–8 September 2012, in honour of the centenary of the publication of Vasily Kandinsky’s On the Spiritual in Art (1910–12). The event was the first international symposium to be hosted at the University of Cambridge by the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC), an academic collaboration established by Rosalind P. Blakesley of the Department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge and Professor John Milner of The Courtauld Institute with the goal of promoting and supporting Russian and Soviet art scholarship in Britain.1 This volume reflects many of the values which the centre has sought to promulgate in the years since its founding in 2011, and stands as lasting testament to the stimulating dialogue that took place at the inaugural conference. We would like to thank the speakers and delegates, and especially Rosalind Blakesley, Richard Marks, Maria Mileeva, John Milner, Robin Milner-Gulland, and Elizabeth Valkenier for contributing to a memorable two days. Our keynote speakers, Wendy Salmond and Oleg Tarasov, not only gave outstanding presentations but have encouraged us throughout the process of the ensuing book project, and we are delighted to include chapters based on their papers here. We thank the funders of the conference for their support: the British Association for Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (BASEES); the George Macaulay Trevelyan Fund, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge; and the Department of History of Art, Cambridge. We also gratefully acknowledge the award of a Publication Grant from the Scouloudi Foundation in association with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, towards the costs of this book. At Open Book Publishers, we are indebted to Alessandra Tosi, Bianca Gualandi, Lucy Barnes, and our cover designer, Heidi Coburn. We thank Alessandra and all those others who gave invaluable feedback on the manuscript at various phases of its creation, and two independent peer reviewers for their constructive comments. Finally, we thank our families, friends, and colleagues for their patience, encouragement, and unstinting support (and, of course, those of our authors); they have all played their part in the making of this book.


1 For more information, visit: John Milner has since stepped down from his role as co-director, and this position is held by Dr Maria Mileeva of The Courtauld Institute.


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