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28 January 2013, 15:01

Museum of People’s Art School to open in Vitebsk


VITEBSK, 28 January (BelTA) – A museum of the history of the Vitebsk People’s Art School will be established in Vitebsk, BelTA learnt from director of the Museum of the Vitebsk Modern Art Center Andrei Dukhovnikov.

The Vitebsk People’s Art School was founded 94 years ago, on 28 January 1919. The idea to set up the art school for the working class was put forward by Marc Chagall who was then the art commissioner in Vitebsk. It was Marc Chagall who invited Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky to teach at the art school. Some time later an artistic association of Suprematism followers was founded at the school.

The Vitebsk People’s Art School was located at the mansion of the Vitebsk banker Israel Vishnyak that was nationalized after the October Revolution. This building on Pravda Street has survived and was given to the modern art center to establish a museum. The restoration of the building was included into the municipal investment program of 2013.

According to Andrei Dukhovnikov, the concept of the new museum has already been developed. There will be stands dedicated to the life of the artists who worked at the art school, including Kazimir Malevich, Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky and other famous painters and their renowned students. “The art school was the workplace and home for the great artists who changed the global artistic culture. The art school can be compared to the famous Bauhaus school established in Berlin in 1919. The historical and cultural legacy of the Vitebsk People’s Art School makes a considerable part of the global artistic heritage. The art movement that was developed in Vitebsk in 1918-1923 had a considerable impact on the entire modern art, both domestic and international,” Andrei Dukhovnikov underlined.

The Vitebsk Modern Art Center was established in 1998 to preserve the traditions of the Vitebsk People’s Art School and to promote modern art. In 2007 the center was reorganized to become the Museum of the Vitebsk Modern Art Center.
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