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Сeramics and Glass of the 20th – 21st centuries.

The Sergiev Posad Museum-Reserve contains about 7 000 items of the 20th  - 21st century   porcelain and glass.  Collecting started in the 1950s, when specimens of  contemporary folk art and crafts were actively acquired. In 1967, the new section “Soviet applied and decorative art” was  opened. During the 1960s-1980s. samples of porcelain and glass came from the Directorate of Art  Funds and Monument Design, from the All-Union Industry and Art  Enterprise. They were selected at the exhibitions, acquired by the Museum, donated by the authors themselves.

Thus, the Museum formed a comprehensive collection of ceramics and glass, including works created by the leading artists. The exhibits mainly date back to the 1960s. Most valuable are  unique exhibition specimens.  The leading positions  in  Russian porcelain history are occupied by  the Lomonosov (Imperial) Porcelain Plant in Leningrad and two  Moscow region enterprises: the Dmitrov Porcelain Plant (former Gardner’s Factory) and the Dulevo Porcelain Plant named after  “Pravda” newspaper (former Kuznetsov’s Factory). They  represent two bright  schools with their  styles, traditions and  high culture of the material treatment.

The Moscow plants  stuck to  the folk  tradition. They were engaged in mass production.   Leningrad porcelain developed within European trends of highly professional art of  the 18th – 19th centuries. In Soviet time the Leningrad plant was an artistic creative laboratory.  The works of  the Leningrad Porcelain Plant  are characterized by exquisite artistic taste  and classical sense of  proportion. They are distinguished by purity and softness of forms, pure colors and superb technique  of painting.

    The tea set "Cobalt Net" with elegant blue and gold ornament on the snow-white background ( form "Tulip" by S. Yakovleva, painting by A. Yatskevich ) was very popular and universally recognized. Its original decoration was new for that time. The ornament was painted with a special “ cobalt pencil” instead of a brush. N. Slavina’s drawings covered porcelain like thin lace. In the set “Blue Evening” cobalt was combined with silver. The delicate graphic ornaments and additional articles: candlesticks and small items of cut glass – are very refined.

The Dulevo  new style was closely connected with the name of  P. V. Leonov.  His set “Golden Deer” was a  pride of the Soviet decorative art. The shiny color-range, dynamic composition, schematic “tree of life” and running deer conveyed the author’s deep perception of the national cultural traditions.

In the 1960s, V. K. Yasnetsov became one of the leading Dulevo artists. A significant place in the collection is occupied by the works of artists who came to the factory in the 1970s-1980s. The works of N. N. Popova, G. I. Sorkina, M.M. Abrubov, G. N. Abrubova  preserved and developed the inherited traditions in terms of  the contemporary trends.  

The  Dmitrov ("Verbilki")  Porcelain Plant  prefers graphic style in ornaments.   Thematic monochrome drawings present a  separate group.   Sometimes  graphic drawings are combined with  bright painting.  Fantastic birds, flowers, genre scenes,  town emblems are frequent ornamental elements of the sets, gift collections and souvenirs.  A lot of shapes were designed   by  sculptors  Yu. B. Ganrio and V. N. Olshevsky for artistic and mass products in the 1960s. They  were used for the numerous variants of  painting represented  in the Museum collection. 

Y. B. Ganrio is justly regarded a founder of the shape design in  Soviet everyday  porcelain. The tea sets "Quantum" and "Sailor" are considered his best works remarkable for  laconic forms, harmonious details, fine  silhouettes. Both sets  were awarded the second and  the third prizes correspondingly  for the best industrial  product at the competition announced by the magazine "Decorative Art in the USSR" in 1971.


   Gzhel occupies a special place in Russian ceramics.  The works of  Gzhel craftsmen  reveal traces of the ancient pottery traditions. But in the 20th century,  all Gzhel products acquired a new artistic image. They are distinguished by beautiful underglaze cobalt painting.

 The Sergiev Posad Museum-Reserve numbers over 500 Gzhel items of the 20th century. They are original works, performed by the leading artists – L. P. Azarova, Z.V. Okulova, N. B. Klinitskaya, A. N. Fedotov, V.I. Avdonin, P. N. Gordeyev, G. V. Denisov, and others, as well as, samples of mass production of the famous ceramic handicraft center.

 The Museum also presents porcelain from Kuzyayevo (Moscow region), Khaitinsk (Irkutsk region), Pervomaisky (Novgorod region) and   "Krasny Farforist" and "Proletarian" Plants.

The variety of  famous Konakovo Faience works, decorated with bright colored glazes, complete the collection. 

The collection of ceramics includes a considerable number of original works created by the artists of Moscow, Moscow region and Leningrad.


   The works of glass and cut crystal in the Museum collection  reflect different trends  in  Russian glass-making. Table sets, decorative vases  and  plastic compositions were created with the help of different techniques and technologies.

One of the oldest cut glass plants  – Gus-Khrustalny (Vladimir region) is represented by the works of the leading artists of E. I. Rogov, S. P. Verin, V. V. Korneyev, S. K. Pivovarov, V. A. Filatov, V. S. Muratov, tenting  to use  techniques  of folk  glass-making. They are distinguished by an inexhaustible fantasy  and  superb skill.

The national traits in glass appear  vividly  in blown small-size sculptures  that became an independent field of glass- making  in the  second half of the 20th century. The sculptures “Horse” and “Bison”  designed by V. S. Muratov and blown by R.V. Chukanov are beautifully colored and expressive.

The “Krasny Mai” Glass Plant (Vyshnevolochek district, Tver region) became very famous for sulfide and sulfide and zinc glass. It was invented in 1958 by  a Leningrad technologist Evgeniya Ivanova and an  engineer Alexander Kirjenen – a  Krasny Mai dynasty glass-maker. Sulfide glass is called “ a  Russian miracle” for  the unlimited range of  color tints and transparency depending on temperature and treatment timing.  The Museum displays works of outstanding artists A.M. Silko, S.M. Beskinskaya, etc. 

Following the example of the “Krasny Mai”, where sulfide glass became a kind of  brand, the Dyatkovo Cut Glass Plant started  to  use it for souvenirs. V. Ya. Shevchenko worked in this field.  His large bottles and vases with plastic details, prints and some magic signs  remind of the original  properties of this wonderful material. 

The Museum also presents works of two glass plants  of the  Novgorod region: the Plant named after the First Communist Volunteer Corps  in the village of  B. Vishera, and the "Rebellion"  Plant in the town of Chudovo.

The  Museum  is proud of the  significant collection of the Leningrad  Plant of Artistic Glass. It  is  connected with  such outstanding  artists as L.O. Yurgen  A. A. Antvatsaturian,  A. M. Ostroumov, E. V. Yanovskaya,  Kh. M. Pyld, B. A. Eremin,

 Y. M. Byakov. The exhibits of cut glass  demonstrate  a " classical " line, based on  traditional techniques – the  wide facet,  diamond facet, engraving, "Venetian thread".  In the "Hunting"  set  E. Yanovskaya  turned  the diamond facet and engraving from decoration  technique to the  means  of artistic expressiveness,   evoking  associations   with  the states of  nature. 

Alongside with the products of the  traditional centers of  Russian glassmaking,  the Museum displays the unique  works,  created  by the artists of Moscow, St. Petersburg (Leningrad) and other towns.