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What can Russian images and objects—a tsar’s crown, a provincial watercolor album, the Soviet Pioneer Palace—tell us about the Russian people and their culture?
This wide-ranging book is the first to explore the visual culture of Russia over the entire span of Russian history, from ancient Kiev to contemporary, post-Soviet society. Illustrated with more than one hundred diverse and fascinating images, the book examines the ways that Russians have represented themselves visually, understood their visual environment, and used visual images in social and political contexts. Expert contributors discuss images and objects from all over the Russian/Soviet empire, including consumer goods, architectural monuments, religious icons, portraits, news and art photography, popular prints, films, folk art, and more.
Each of the concise and accessible essays in the volume offers a fresh interpretation of Russian cultural history. Putting visuality itself in focus as never before, Picturing Russia adds an entirely new dimension to the study of Russian literature, history, art, and culture. The book enriches our understanding of visual documents and shows the variety of ways they serve as far more than mere illustration.
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Valerie A. Kivelson is professor, Department of History, University of Michigan. She lives in Ann Arbor, MI. Joan Neuberger is professor, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Austin.Review:
"This book presents a tapestry of images of Russia covering the whole sweep of Russian history. No other volume is quite like this compendium."—Jeffrey Brooks, Johns Hopkins University
"I can't imagine a single Russian studies teacher in the English-speaking world who wouldn't want to have this volume."—John Randolph, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“It’s a rare mixed-media book that can imitate in words its own visual principle, but this stunning anthology succeeds at just that: speaking through montage and mosaic. In fifty fascinating, chronologically organized essay-vignettes, averaging no more than six pages each so accessible in a single viewing, the reader’s eye is trained to ‘see into being’ a wide array of Russian artifacts and images from the past one thousand years, raw and manipulated, private and public. These are Pictures from an Exhibition, but as social practice rather than museum art.”—Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
“This brilliantly assembled set of insightful essays come together as a theoretically sophisticated, yet very accessible, study of Russian visual culture. A whole greater than the sum of its parts.”—William Mills Todd III, Harvard University
(William Mills Todd III)
"This is a unique collection of visual resources accompanied by expert and penetrating commentary by a wide variety of scholars."—Nikos Chrissidis, Southern Connecticut State University
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Book Description Yale University Press, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0300119615
Book Description Yale University Press, 2008. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0300119615