Exhibition project ‘Art Born in Fire. XVIII-XXI century Uralian ornamental casting’

Sitny Yard Exhibition Halls
30.09.2016 – 22.01.2017

2016-09-05_120315On September 30th, 2016 an exhibition project dedicated to famous ornamental iron casting that undoubtedly has become a hallmark of Ural region and Russia in general will be opened in the halls of the Sitny Yard at the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve. Iron casting traditions were established as far back as the reign of Peter I and nowadays this field of Russian decorative and applied art is considered the most important branch of the national art industry.

The uniqueness of this project is in the fact that it represents items from the stocks of twenty Russian museums including those of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Zlatoust, Chelyabinsk, and Yaroslavl. The Kasli iron casting center (Chelyabinsk region) famous all over the world has also sent its works to the exhibition. Thirteen collectors from various cities and two Moscow antiquarian shops take part in the exhibition project. In total, there are over 1500 works of decorative and applied art on display.
The exhibition embraces a great historical period of iron cast production – from XVIII to XXI century. Artistic works of various epochs together with accompanying annotations illustrate the development of production technologies, represent a widest range of items and various fields of Uralian ornamental casting and reveal the entire beauty of iron casting.
The exhibits, different in size and purpose, include busts, medals, vases, chandeliers, ash trays, writing implements, picture frames, items of furniture and household utensils. Besides mass-produced items there are unique works of iron casting art with interesting origin and existence history that have pride of place at the exhibition.

Guests may see genuine items that were displayed at the first International Exposition in Paris (1900): the ‘Russia’ sculpture (1876) by Nikolay Laveretsky; chandeliers that used to decorate the entrance to Kasli production pavillion (it is an interesting fact that the chandeliers met and completed each other in the halls of our exhibition after a whole century of separation as one of them is kept in the museum stock in Yekaterinburg and the other makes part of a private collection); and fobs that were distributed among the visitors of the International Exposition. In the halls you can see pattern models that were used to produce castings at plants during the reign of Peter I as well as early iron cast items produced at the Upper Iset River plant (for example, the ‘Apotheosis of Alexander’ plate, allegory of the victory of Russia over Napoleon Bonaparte). There are also sculptures dedicated to the Peace and produced for the visit of USA President Ronald Reagan.

The exhibition consists of three main sections: items produced at Kasli and Kusa factories, Chelyabinsk region, as well as other Uralian steel plants.
At the exhibition the history starts from the modern times: visitors learn about the productions that nowadays represent the cast-iron industry of Russia at world and domestic markets. Then the spiral of time widens and visitors submerge into the history of Uralian ornamental casting. In the XX century section you can see works showing the peaceful labour of Soviet people, images of political figures of the USSR and other countries as well as objects with Soviet-era symbols, themes of war, Soviet sports, ballet, circus, literature series, fairytales and animation themes, animalism and many others.
The last section of the exhibition comprises works cast at the Upper Iset River plant in Yekaterinburg, plants of Zlatoust and Verhny Ufaley (Chelyabinsk region), , Kamensk-Uralsk and Nizhny Tagil (Sverdlovsky region), Votkinsk (Udmurtia), Perm’ and others. The displayed works produced at various years make it clear that Uralian ornamental casting is represented not only with one or two separate plants but is a entire industrial branch that developed over a century.

There are two printed issues published specially for the exhibition. The first one is a large catalogue comprising descriptions of more than 1400 cast-iron artistic works as well as articles on items that have been exhibited for the first time. The second issue is an index of stamps of Kasli and Kusa productions as well as Kamensk-Uralsk factory. The list and the index are a helpful reference source and a unique guide around the exhibition for those interested in ornamental casting and, particularly, for experts and collectors.
The halls of the Sitny Yard are open to all interested in decorative and applied art and our country’s history.

Target group: visitors over 6 years old
Address: building 6, 39, Prospekt Andropova, ‘Kolomenskaya’ underground station
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday – 10 a.m. till 6 p.m., closed on Mondays.
Tickets are available at ticket offices (opening hours: 10 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.) on the territory of the museum and on http://www.mgomz.ru

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