The Search for Russia’s Hidden Treasure
For fifty years, between 1930 and 1980, much of the cultural life in the old Soviet Union effectively lay hidden from Western eyes. Only as Mikhail Gorbachev sensed how the Soviet system had failed his people, were outsiders able to glimpse the artistic treasures that were created during the Soviet period.
In the late 10980’s, collector Ray E. Johnson heard rumors of an impressive body of work by Russian and Soviet Impressionist painters, and sent his first representatives to Moscow and the surrounding areas. These specialists in European art returned with exciting stories of quality work they had discovered in the secluded studios and homes of Russian artists who had painted during those closed decades.
An intensive effort was then organized by Mr. Johnson to locate, purchase and bring to the United States the best examples of this long hidden body of impressionist art. The art contained in this book, curated from numerous private collections, is the result of that effort.
In this book seventy seven artists are represented with paintings created at the height of their careers. Today, these artistic creations stand as a powerful testimony to those who recorded, whith their souls, the strength of a great people seeking human dignity.
Published for an exhibition held January 15 – April 30, 1994, at the Fleishcher Museum, Scottsdale.