My love for the art of photography began many years ago, as it did for many, at exhibitions in Leningrad and Moscow. That time will always be special for me, very personal, forever imprinted on my soul and in my thoughts. I sought to return to the works of my favourite artists in order to preserve those warm and happy emotions that I have for them. Back then, I had not begun to think seriously about collecting, but at home I already had works of Vladimir Lagrange, who influenced my attitude toward Soviet photography. Later on, my selectivity and desire to constantly study this area began to develop. My husband and my family have always lived hand in hand with art; it was never just a hobby for us. Visiting museums and galleries, participating in meetings with new artists, getting to know their work, and maintaining my family’s personal collection for many years — all of this helped me to find a field of work that I truly feel is mine.
Photography as an independent art form only emerged in Russia towards the end of the 1990s. As I studied it, I gradually found my favourite photographers, genres, and themes. This is how one of the most interesting periods began for me, as a novice collector. In the space of 15 years, there were many exhibitions, several books were published, and the Still Art Foundation was created. The collection that we had acquired became the Foundation’s calling card: people want to see it not only in Russia, but also abroad. I am proud of the hard work that has been done, but I feel that we are only just beginning to accomplish the Foundation’s mission in Russia. We began working actively on material from the Soviet period in 2019. In collaboration with the famous curator Natalia Grigorieva-Litvinskaya, together with the family of Alexander Rodchenko, we created a project consisting of photographs of two of his portfolios from our family collection, with additional lectures and exhibition tours. The interest of our visitors in the project exceeded all my expectations. It was clear that it needed to be continued, to tour around the country, giving other museums and their visitors the opportunity to learn about the foundations of our school of photography. Soviet photography is often displayed on the Moscow museum scene, it is known and loved. This is why bringing the main names in the field to other Russian cities and publishing unique, original books has become the priority of my Foundation for the coming years. The book on Naum Granovsky that we are presenting today will be the first monograph of the classic Soviet photographer published by the Still Art Foundation. Granovsky’s work has always been of particular interest to people who have studied 20th century photography. The book shows how Moscow has changed over the course of sixty years, it helps to remember the forgotten chapters of the city’s history, and it is a fascinating story that can be shared with friends and family. The Foundation’s publishing and educational mission continues with a book on Vladimir Lagrange, to whom I owe my love for photography. I will do everything I can to make sure that these books are available not only to collectors, but also to libraries, universities and schools throughout the country.
Still Art Foundation