On September 4, 2018, the State Museum of Oriental Art and the Museum of the Roerichs (branch of the State Museum of Oriental Art) are opening a large-scale art exhibition in the VDNH Health Pavilion No. 13 called The Roerichs. Preserving Culture, which is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Museum of Oriental Art.
The exhibition, The Roerichs. Preserving Culture, is unique in terms of the quantity of works on display. It will be held in the revamped Health Pavilion No.13 (of the former Armenian SSR), which will open its doors to VDNH visitors for the first time after restoration of the building. The first stage of the pavilion's restoration started back in April 2014. It was then that the late extension to the entrance buildings and the profiled sheeting of the outer facade, where the famous archways of 1939 were hidden, were dismantled. In 2017–2018, complex restoration was carried out of the facades of the building, including three historical arches with their grape and pomegranate decor. The interiors were also revamped. Later, this very pavilion held the permanent exposition of the State Museum of Oriental Art, which has become part of the Museum City of VDNH — the largest museum exhibition cluster in Russia.
Preserving culture is the main legacy the family of Roerichs left for humanity. Nicholas Roerich turned to the East in his early works as did his son, Svetoslav Roerich. Eventually, this path led him to Northern India, to the Himalayan valley of Kullu, which went on to be closely connected to a great deal of his creative life.
The exposition has over 300 paintings by the Roerichs on display: works of oriental sculpture, Tibetan icons (thangka), documents from the archive of the State Museum of Oriental Art and the Soviet Roerichs' Foundation.
The exhibition will collect the best samples of the artistic legacy of Nicholas Roerich — the themed works and landscapes of Slavic Land, Fire Reavers, the Sword of Ghessar Khan, Pink Mountains, and others, as well as hundreds of sketches from his famous Himalayan series. Works by Svetoslav Roerich will represent the period of his life and art connected to India. These are primarily his sketches of Indian daily life — the paintings Sacred Flute, Red Land, My Neighbours, I Am Walking in Loneliness. Moreover, visitors will see the famous, seldom-displayed painting, Christ with Disciples. Portrait art, which was one of Svetoslav Roerich's most vivid talents, will be represented in portraits of his wife, the famous film actress Devika Rani Roerich, as well as of Indian celebrities and men of faith.
There are some exhibits of great value: documents from the archive of the Roerich family that was given to the Russian people. A large part of the materials refer to the scientific and artistic expedition to Central Asia, which was undertaken by Nicholas Roerich in the mid-1920s when he was heading for Lhasa, the capital of the mysterious Tibet. Visitors to the exhibition will see original letters from Roerich addressed to the Tibetan ruler, the 13th Dalai Lama, some rare Buddhist icons on textile, and unique photos. Moreover, the exposition includes the diaries of Elena Roerich, the wife of the artist, who enriched world philosophy with her doctrine of Living Ethics.
VENUE: Health Pavilion No. 13 at VDNH, Moscow.
ORGANISER: The State Museum of Oriental Art and the Museum of the Roerichs (branch of the State Museum of Oriental Art).
DURATION: September 4 – October 15, 2018. Daily, except Mondays. Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun: 11:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., ticket office is open until 7:30 p.m.; Wed, Thur: 12:00 noon – 9:00 p.m., ticket office will be open until 8:30 p.m.
Photo: The State Museum of Oriental Art.