March 18, 2005
We have had this question on numerous occasions and thought we should comment.
collectors like to look at as much art as possible and collect “their
eye” (What they want to live with every day). Other collectors
feel they need specific direction in their collecting.
Vern Swanson wrote in his book “Soviet Impressionism” that there are a dozen or so great French Impressionists but there are several hundred top Soviet Impressionists. In the U.S. there are tens of thousands of painters, and depending on your point of view, perhaps a few hundred top painters.
As more research is published on Russian and Soviet artists, it will be easier for collectors to get their arms around a specific collecting direction. When we have held museum shows, even historians who visited Russia in the 70’s and 80’s were surprised by the work that is now surfacing from the artists’ studios. During the Soviet period, all works that were submitted to open exhibition had to meet political requirements.
The current Russian ambassador stated that he hopes the discovery of this art will provide a truer understanding of the Russian people.
However, when we are pressed to consider ways to segregate the art into smaller bites, we would do it as follows:
Sometimes trying to simplify something makes it even more complicated. We can make similar lists of options for American and British paintings both for impressionist and modern works. We’ve had 200 years to segregate the art vs 15 years for collectors of Russian art. Go with your heart: if you love two or three works and are only purchasing one, you can use the above criteria as a tie breaker.
© 2011 Jones Fine Art