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Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople

  • Name:
    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople
  • Alternative names:

    Society of Russian Artists in Constantinople, Союз Русских Художников Константинополя, Konstantinopolis Rus Ressamlar Birliği, Konstantinopolis Rus Sanatçılar Birliği

  • Kind of Organisation:
    Association
  • Introduction:

    The Union existed for less than two years but in that short space of time a tremendous amount of work was done by its members, refugees from the Russian Empire.

    Word Count: 30

  • Content:

    The Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople existed for less than two years, but in that short space of time did a tremendous amount of work. This was mainly thanks to the enthusiasm and unrestrained energy of the members of the Union, refugees from the Russian Empire.
    Despite the fact that by the end of 1921 at least six successful exhibitions had been organised by the Association of Russian Painters, on 1 January 1922 the association was officially turned into an independent organisation called the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople. The membership of the Union was constantly changing, but its permanent leaders were apparently Wladimir Ivanoff and Dimitri Ismailovitch (Kravchenko and Fridolin were mentioned as secretaries). Wladimir Stepanovich Ivanoff was a founder and chairman of the Union. He delegated his responsibilities only once, to Nikolai Kalmykoff, in the summer of 1922 when he was ill. Dimitri Ismailovitch was known as the “organizer of exhibitions”. According to a newspaper article that appeared on 3 January 1923, these leaders' powers were extended until the departure of Wladimir Ivanoff to America. The names of the following artists-members of the Union were listed in the Farewell almanac: Tatiana Alexinsky-Loukina, Astafiev (Astori), Vladimir Bobritsky, Roman Bilinski, Nikolai Saretzki, Wladimir Ivanoff, Dimitri Ismailovitch, Nikolai Kalmykoff, Kaissaroff, Nikolai Peroff, Sabaneeff, Fedoroff. There were, of course, more members (for instance, Nikolai Saraphanoff and Iraida Barry) and, as mentioned above, they were constantly changing. As an example, Eugenia S. Bumgardner mentioned a young refugee girl of twenty with the surname Shaumine who while in Istanbul "belonged to that ambitious Society – the 'Union of Painters'" (Baumgardner 1925, 206).
    It is known that the Union had a charter and that the artists were issued with membership cards (they featured an elegant seal with a scorpion). New members were elected by ballot. When newspaper reports suggested that some people not related to the Union were trying to pass themselves off as members for personal gain, the Union reminded the paper's readers that members have special membership cards with the seal and signature of Ivanoff. The Union held regular artists meetings at which current issues were discussed and reports from the exhibition commission were heard. Announcements concerning exhibitions, the return of exhibits and payment for sold works were regularly published in the Russian newspaper in Istanbul, Presse du Soir / Vecherniaia Gazeta. In addition, honorary members of the Union were periodically elected (the first was Mayak’s director and American public figure Mr. Areson, in June 1922, followed by Foster Waterman Stearns and Martha Stearns, in August 1922, Chief of Staff of Am. N.F. in Turkey Philip R. Hepburn, in December 1922, the director of the Société Immobilière Max Pompée and the secretary of the American Embassy Gardiner Howland Shaw, in 1923, the director of the Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi or School/Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, Cemil Cem). These meetings were held mainly in the evenings at Mayak (which closed in the fall of 1922) and, according to one source, also at the Dülber cafe. In 1922, thanks to the support of Foster Waterman Stearns and his wife, drawing classes were held in the Union’s studio, located near Galatasaray Square (Küçük Yazıcı 4), from seven to ten pm. In the same studio, during November and December of 1922, the registration of artists wishing to move to America was carried out. At the end of 1922, the studio relocated briefly to the Taksim military barracks, but the artists were once again painting portraits and nudes in Küçük Yazıcı Street by January 1923. Union members paid 50 kuruş per month to work in the studio; non-members paid 10 kuruş per visit.
    The chairman of the Union, Wladimir Stepanovich Ivanoff, organised “Drawing Thursdays” in his flat (among those who attended were the painter Nikolai Vasilieff, the architect Nikolai Vasiliev (Nicholas B. Vassilieve), Nikolai Saretzki, Nikolai Becker, Vladimir Bobritsky, Fridolin, Khudyakov, Pinegin, as well as many others). “At first they painted everything from life (models were usually invited to attend), then they drank tea and heatedly discussed the burning issues of the day” (Novitskiy, “Pamyati hudojnika V.S. Ivanova”, 1965). It must be said that the Union was the success it was largely thanks to Ivanoff. While he was chairman, “the Union helped its members find work, supported them in difficult times, and did not allow to be discouraged those who were tired and weakened" (Novitskiy, “Pamyati hudojnika V.S. Ivanova”, 1965).
    The Union put on (presumably) nine exhibitions at Mayak including First Russian émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition (two of them solo, by Dimitri Ismailovitch and Nikolai Saretzki), two solo exhibitions by Nikolai Becker at Pera Palace, two major exhibitions at Taksim military barracks (one of them - Exhibition of Russian émigré artists at Taksim Military Barracks) and one major exhibition at one of the YMCA halls in Pera/Beyoğlu. Union members were engaged in a variety of types of fine art, so the Union’s exhibitions were definitely not homogeneous. Here is what Eugenia S. Bumgardner wrote about the Union: "In the evenings, after long hours of work, the members of this Society painted in a room rented for them by a generous American. They gave monthly exhibitions in the Russian Myark [Mayak]. These were crowded with appreciative Russians – unable to do more than encourage the artists by their presence – and occasionally visited by an American, an Englishman, or a Frenchman, able to purchase a picture" (Baumgardner 1925, 206–207). In the summer of 1923 some of its members left the Union because of disagreements, others because of the departure of the Russian-speaking émigrés from Istanbul to the United States and other countries, and so, sadly, the Union folded.

    Word Count: 931

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    The Russian Lighthouse (Mayak), Bursa Street 40 (now Sadri Alışık 40), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (studio); Küçük Yazıcı 4 (now presumably Tarlabaşı Blv. 79), Hüseyinağa, Beyoğlu, Istanbul (studio).

  • Signature Image:
    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople logo from 1922 membership card of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople (Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti).
  • Media:
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    1922 membership card of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople (Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti).
    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople logo painted by T. Sabaneeff, 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 1 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    One of the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 10 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Exhibition of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 6 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Anonymous. “Odnodnevnaya Vystavka Kartin.” Presse du Soir, 10 October 1921, p. 4.

    Anonymous. “Vystavka Soyuza Russkih Hudojnikov.” Presse du Soir, 19 June 1922, n.p.

    Anonymous. “V Soyuze Hudojnikov.” Presse du Soir, 29 June 1922, n.p.

    Anonymous. “Témoignage de sa gratitude de l’Association des Peintres russes à M. Stearns.” Presse du Soir, 27 November 1922, n.p.

    Anonymous. “Soyuz Russkih Hudojnikov v Konstantinopole.” Presse du Soir, 28 November 1922, n.p.  

    Anonymous. “V Soyuze Hudojnikov.” Presse du Soir, 23 December 1922, p. 3.  

    Bournakine, Anatoliy, and Dominic Valery, editors. Al’manah Na Proschaniye. The Farewell Almanac. L’Almanach Nos Adieux (1920–1923). Imp. L. Babok & fils, 1923.

    Bumgardner, Eugenia S. Undaunted Exiles. The McClure Company, 1925.

    Novitskiy, G. “Pamyati hudojnika V.S. Ivanova.” Novoye Russkoye Slovo, 23 December 1965, n.p.

    Ted’. “K Vystavke Hudojnikov.” Presse du Soir, 29 June 1923, n.p.

    Word Count: 124

  • Archives and Sources:

    Slavonic Library (Slovanská knihovna) in Prague.

    Archives & Special Collections at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts).

    Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

    Word Count: 34

  • Acknowledgements:

    I wish to express my most sincere gratitude to the representatives of the Archives & Special Collections at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts) for their enormous assistance. I am also very grateful to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti for his valuable help. Finally I would like to thank the representatives of the Slavonic Library (Slovanská knihovna) in Prague for helping me tremendously during my work at the library.

    Word Count: 69

  • Author:
    Ekaterina Aygün
  • Date of Founding:
    01-1922
  • Date of Disbandment:
    1923
  • Metropolis:
    Istanbul
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Ekaterina Aygün. "Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2949/object/5145-10440425, last modified: 15-09-2021.
  • Boris Eguize
    Painter

    In Istanbul, Eguize actively advanced in the field of portraiture. After he had become a member of the Union of Russian Painters, he was described as "an absolutely valuable acquisition".

    Word Count: 30

    Boris Eguize (© The St. Petersburg Karaite Society. All Rights Reserved).
    Boris Eguize (© The St. Petersburg Karaite Society. All Rights Reserved).Portrait by Boris Eguize (Russkiye na Bosfore. Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).The Nude by Boris Eguize (© The St. Petersburg Karaite Society. All Rights Reserved).Lady Friends by Boris Eguize (© The St. Petersburg Karaite Society. All Rights Reserved).
    Istanbul
    Dimitri Ismailovitch
    PainterArt Historian

    In Istanbul, Ismailovitch became one of the leaders of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, organised three solo exhibitions, and made contribution to the study of Byzantine art.

    Word Count: 29

    Dimitri Ismailovitch with his bust created by Polish sculptor Roman Bilinski, Istanbul, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Dimitri Ismailovitch, 1907, Sumy Cadet Corps (with permission from https://www.ria1914.info/).Dimitri Ismailovitch with his bust created by Polish sculptor Roman Bilinski, Istanbul, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Reproduction of the Kariye Mosque’s mosaic. In the foreground is its author, Dimitri Ismailovitch (Russkiye na Bosfore. Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).Photographs of the artworks by Dimitri Ismailovitch, 1923. Source: Album “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from D. Ismailovitch”, XII–XI, p. 11 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Photographs of the artworks by Dimitri Ismailovitch, 1924. Source: Album “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from D. Ismailovitch”, 9–10, p. 24 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Photographs of the artworks by Dimitri Ismailovitch. Source: Album “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from D. Ismailovitch”, p. 36 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Front cover of the 1948 Dimitri İsmailovitch exhibition catalogue (© Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux).Ekaterina Aygün chanced upon Dimitri Ismailovitch's visiting card at the Avni Lifij exhibition in Istanbul. This is further evidence of contact between Ismailovitch and Turkish painters (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2019).The Piyale Pasha Mosque (was designed by Mimar Sinan and rebuilt in the mid. of the 19th century) was depicted by Dimitri İsmailovitch and Alexis Gritchenko in 1920 (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2021).
    Istanbul
    Georges Artemoff
    PainterSculptor

    It is difficult to say to what extent Istanbul was a fateful impact on Artemoff in terms of his artwork, but there he met his future wife, artist Lydia Nikanorova.

    Word Count: 30

    Georges Artemoff in Moscow, 1910 (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).
    Georges Artemoff in Moscow, 1910 (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Anatolian Hills by Georges Artemoff. Most likely created in the Ottoman Empire in 1921/1922 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Émigré artists at Caveau Caucasien in Paris, 1923. From left to right: Sandro Minervine, Serge Pimenoff, Georges Artemoff, Lydia Nikanorova (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Georges Artemoff, L'Espagnole (© Ville de Castres – Musée Goya, musée d’art hispanique)Georges Artemoff, Saint-Hubert, around 1945 (© Ville de Castres – Musée Goya, musée d’art hispanique)
    Istanbul
    Iraida Barry
    Sculptor

    After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Barry settled in Istanbul, where she lived until her death. She is remembered as one of the first female sculptors of the Turkish Republic.

    Word Count: 29

    Iraida Barry, photography, detail (© Cengiz Kahraman Koleksiyonu, Istanbul).
    Iraida Barry (© Cengiz Kahraman Koleksiyonu, Istanbul).Iraida Barry’s studio at the Mısır Apartments (© Cengiz Kahraman Koleksiyonu, Istanbul).Iraida Barry’s studio at the Mısır Apartments (© Cengiz Kahraman Koleksiyonu, Istanbul).
    Istanbul
    Nikolai Becker
    PainterGraphic Artist

    Nikolai Becker worked tirelessly in Turkey for three years. He created at least 168 portraits of men and women (among them admirals and their families, commanders-in-chief, diplomats, etc.).

    Word Count: 27

    Nikolai Becker (Teatr i Jizn’, no.10, 1929).
    Nikolai Becker (Teatr i Jizn’, no.10, 1929).Photograph of the portrait (Natalia Khomyakova Deleon) by Nikolai Becker, Istanbul, 1922. The same portrait, but in colour, was published on the cover of Jak Deleon's Beyoğlu'nda Beyaz Ruslar 1920-1990 (Istanbul Kütüphanesi Yayınları, 1990). Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 12 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Foster Waterman Stearns, by Nikolai Becker, 1923. Foster Waterman Stearns was the third secretary of the American Embassy in Istanbul from 1921 to 1923 (© Courtesy of the Holy Cross Archives, Worcester, MA. All Rights Reserved).
    Istanbul
    Nikolai Peroff
    PainterArt restorerIconographerChoir DirectorCharitable Society’s ChairmanScene Designer

    Nikolai Peroff lived in Istanbul until the end of his life. He was engaged in restorations, carried out scene decorations, and did a lot for the Russian churches in Karaköy.

    Word Count: 31

    Nikolai Peroff, 1941 (Hagop Ayvaz Collection, Hrant Dink Foundaiton Archive, Istanbul).
    Nikolai Peroff, 1941 (Hagop Ayvaz Collection, Hrant Dink Foundaiton Archive, Istanbul).Nikolai Peroff (Tarih ve Toplum, no. 150, June 1996).Photograph of Nikolai Peroff's work, Istanbul, 1921. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 7 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).One of the works by Nikolai Peroff as a scene designer (Tarih ve Toplum, no. 150, June 1996)."Dekor: N.Peroff", Şehir Theatre, Istanbul (Akşam, 16 December 1954, p.4)."Dekor: Peroff", Şehir Theatre, Istanbul (Akşam, 17 February 1955, p. 7).Father Viktor in front of the wall that was painted by Nikolai Peroff, Aya Andrea Russian Orthodox Church (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2019).Church (Aya Andrea) parishioners at the beginning of the 1960s, Nikolai Peroff is the fourth from the right (© Aya Andrea Russian Orthodox Church’s archive).
    Istanbul
    Nikolai Kalmykoff
    PainterScene DesignerMuralist

    Kalmykoff played an active part in the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople and at the same time worked as a stage designer. Later he acquired the Turkish citizenship.

    Word Count: 29

    Nikolai Kalmykoff (http://www.antikalar.com/naci-kalmukoglu).
    Nikolai Kalmykoff (http://www.antikalar.com/naci-kalmukoglu).Naci Kalmukoğlu, Liman (© Ankara Devlet Resim ve Heykel Müzesi).Naci Kalmukoğlu, Köyde tütün işleyenler (© Ankara Devlet Resim ve Heykel Müzesi).Works by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 12 February 1941, p. 2).Works by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 13 February 1941, p. 1).Nikolai Kalmykoff by Turkish caricaturist Ratip Tahir Burak (Ulus, 27 March 1943, p. 2).Exhibition in Ankara (Ulus, 28 March 1943, p. 2).Fortuneteller, by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 15 November 1947, p. 3).
    Istanbul
    Nikolai Vasilieff
    PainterScene DesignerMuralist

    Vasilieff was not only one of the Union of Russian Painters in Istanbul’s leaders, but he is also remembered for his stage settings and costumes for the ballet Scheherazade at the Theatre des Petits Champs.

    Word Count: 36

    Consuelo Kanaga (American, 1894-1978). [Untitled] (Nicholas Vasilief, Painter). Gelatin silver photograph, 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (24.4 x 19.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga, 82.65.414
    Consuelo Kanaga (American, 1894-1978). [Untitled] (Nicholas Vasilief, Painter). Gelatin silver photograph, 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (24.4 x 19.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga, 82.65.414Nicholas Vasilieff, Still Life With Mushrooms, 1960. Oil on linen, 30 × 40 1/8 in. (76.2 × 101.9 cm). (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mrs. Ansley W. Sawyer 61.59).
    Istanbul
    Tatiana Alexinsky-Loukina
    PainterArt Critic

    Tatiana Alexinsky-Loukina arrived in Istanbul with her husband in 1920. While living in Istanbul, she actively participated in exhibitions of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople.

    Word Count: 26

    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922 (photography, detail). Presumably the woman on the right is Tatiana Alexinsky-Loukina. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Presumably the woman on the right is Tatiana Alexinsky-Loukina. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Société des artistes indépendants. Catalogue de la 47e exposition 1936: au Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées du 7 février au 8 mars inclus, Paris, p. 16.
    Istanbul
    V.P.-Tch.
    PainterScene DesignerMuralist

    Painter V.P.-Tch. is perhaps the most mysterious figure of all Russian-speaking émigré painters who lived in Constantinople in the 1920s. Until now, almost all sources indicated only his initials.

    Word Count: 31

    V.P.-Tch. (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).
    V.P.-Tch. (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).Chagrin de printemps, by V.P.-Tch. (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).Marchand de tapis, by V.P.-Tch. (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).
    Istanbul
    Vladimir Bobritsky
    PainterScene DesignerGraphic ArtistMusician

    Bobritsky worked at the Theatre des Petits Champs, where he successfully dealt with stage designs and costumes, at the same time he participated in the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople.

    Word Count: 31

    Promotional photograph of Vladimir Bobri (1898–1986), illustrator, author and editor of Guitar Review magazine, 1950. Self-scan from Guitar Review magazine, Winter 1987, no. 8 (The entire contents of the GUITAR REVIEW unless otherwise noted are copyrighted © 1985 by ALBERT AUGUSTINE LTD).
    Promotional photograph of Vladimir Bobri (1898–1986), illustrator, author and editor of Guitar Review magazine, 1950. Self-scan from Guitar Review magazine, Winter 1987, no. 8 (The entire contents of the GUITAR REVIEW unless otherwise noted are copyrighted © 1985 by ALBERT AUGUSTINE LTD).Vladimir Bobritsky decorates the shawl of Vera Strelsky, a former member of the Russian Imperial Ballet (Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 13 January 1924, p. 86).Illustrations by Vladimir Bobritsky, Mentor, June 1930 (Chris Mullen, fulltable.com).
    Istanbul
    Wladimir Ivanoff
    PainterSculptor

    Not only did Ivanoff become one of the founders and chairman of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, but he also became famous for “Drawing Thursdays”, which took place at his apartment.

    Word Count: 33

    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Presumably one of the men in this picture is Wladimir Ivanoff. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Presumably one of the men in this picture is Wladimir Ivanoff. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Photograph of the artwork by Wladimir Ivanoff (most likely). Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 16 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Vladimir Kadulin
    PainterCaricaturist

    When it comes to Russian émigré caricaturists in Istanbul, Vladimir Kadulin who worked under the pseudonym Nayadin for the almanac Zarnitsy is the first to come to mind.

    Word Count: 28

    The group of initiators of the convocation of the All-Russian Congress of Artists, Kiev, 1910. Vladimir Kadulin is on the far right (Kievskaya Mysl’, no.16, 18 April 1910).
    The group of initiators of the convocation of the All-Russian Congress of Artists, Kiev, 1910. Vladimir Kadulin is on the far right (Kievskaya Mysl’, no.16, 18 April 1910).One of the caricatures by Nayadin (Vladimir Kadulin), Before The Storm: “The newspapers: ‘Many millions of peasants, sweeping away everything in their path, go to Moscow.’ Lenin: Oh! It seems to me that this time even foreign umbrellas won't help us…” (Zarnitsy, no. 21, 4 September 1921).One of the wall paintings by Vladimir Kadulin in Katinka Restaurant in Tampa, Florida (Tampa Bay Times, 8 November 1926, p. 18).Teaching The Doctrines of Marx by Vladimir Kadulin (Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa), 20 September 1931, p. 27).
    Istanbul
    Mehmet Cemil Cem
    DiplomatCaricaturist

    Cemil Cem is remembered as a cartoonist, although he also managed the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul for four years. While director of the academy, he supported Russian-speaking artists.

    Word Count: 30

    Cemil Cem (Turgut Çeviker Archive, Turkey).
    Cemil Cem (Turgut Çeviker Archive, Turkey).Mehmet Cemil Cem (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2021).Caricature by Cemil Cem from Cem, 18 November 1910 (Turgut Çeviker Archive, Turkey).Cem Street, Istanbul (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2021).One of the caricatures by Mehmet Cemil Cem (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2021).
    Istanbul
    Foster Waterman Stearns
    LibrarianDiplomatCollectorPolitician

    Foster W. Stearns not only actively supported Russian-speaking émigré artists in Istanbul but also assembled a collection of their works which has survived to this day.

    Word Count: 26

    Foster Waterman Stearns, by Nikolai Becker, 1923. Foster Waterman Stearns was the third secretary of the American Embassy in Istanbul from 1921 to 1923 (© Courtesy of the Holy Cross Archives, Worcester, MA. All Rights Reserved).
    Foster Waterman Stearns, by Nikolai Becker, 1923. Foster Waterman Stearns was the third secretary of the American Embassy in Istanbul from 1921 to 1923 (© Courtesy of the Holy Cross Archives, Worcester, MA. All Rights Reserved).Formal letter of thanks to Foster Waterman Stearns from the members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 2 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Formal letter of thanks to Martha Stearns from the members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 9 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Portrait by Mikhail Starikoff, Istanbul, most likely 1921/1922. Mikhail Starikoff was a Russian émigré artist who first settled in Istanbul where he was a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople and later moved to France (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Work by Alexandre Pankoff, Istanbul, 1922. Alexandre Pankoff was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople who is famous for his colour frontispiece for Memoirs of Halide Edib (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Landscape by Pavel Kravchenko, Istanbul, 1922. The writing on the back is indecipherable, but most likely says: “The Asian Shore of the Bosphorus”. Pavel Kravchenko was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a secretary of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople. His fate is unknown (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Christos Pancratos (Zeyrek Mosque / Monastery of the Pantocrator) by P. Fedoroff, Istanbul, 1922. P. Fedoroff was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople. Presumably he was Pyotr Fedoroff, who settled in Paris in 1924 and mainly worked as a painter of icons (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Caricature by Mitritch Karelin, Istanbul, 1922. Mitritch Karelin was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople. Presumably, Mitritch is a pseudonym, and this caricature (as well as others from this series on Istanbul) was created by Vladimir Kadulin, who liked to use different brush names (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Letter from Pyotr Wrangel to Foster Waterman Stearns, Box 2, Folder 2 of Stearns Family Papers (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Lydia Nikanorova
    Painter

    In Istanbul, Nikanorova worked at copying the mosaics and frescoes of the Kariye Mosque, and met her future husband, Georges Artemoff, also an émigré artist from the former Russian Empire.

    Word Count: 30

    Lydia Nikanorova and her husband Georges Artemoff in Clamart, France (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).
    Lydia Nikanorova and her husband Georges Artemoff in Clamart, France (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Georges Artemoff painting Lydia Nikanorova’s portrait in Istanbul (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Émigré artists at Caveau Caucasien in Paris. From left to right: Sandro Minervine, Serge Pimenoff, Lydia Nikanorova, Georges Artemoff (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Self-portrait by Lydia Nikanorova (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).Small house in Clamart, France, by Lydia Nikanorova (Private Archive of Marie Artemoff-Testa).
    Istanbul
    Nikolai Saraphanoff
    PainterIllustrator

    The artist is known for his numerous works with views of Istanbul, the design of the famous almanac’s cover, and the creation of decorative panels. Alas, his artistic activities were interrupted by his imprisonment.

    Word Count: 35

    Self-portrait by Nikolai Saraphanoff who created an elegant cover for the almanac Les Russes sur le Bosphore, 1927 (Russkiye na Bosfore. Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928, n.p.).
    Cover of Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac by Nikolai Saraphanoff, 1927.
    Istanbul
    Roman Bilinski
    PainterSculptorCollectorArt restorer

    At the beginning of the 1920s, a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Roman Bilinski was known as a sculptor. At the end of the 1920s–beginning of the 1930s – as a sculptor, painter and connoisseur of local antiques.

    Word Count: 42

    Self-portrait by Roman Bilinski. Turkey, 1936 (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).
    Painter Dimitri Ismailovitch with his bust created by Polish sculptor Roman Bilinski, Istanbul, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Formal letter of thanks to Martha Stearns from the members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, 1922. One of the signatures is Roman Bilinski’s. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 9 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Bilinski's monument to the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz in Polonezköy was demolished but its plaque has been preserved (Postcard from Polonezköy, 2021).Adampol (Polonezköy) by Roman Bilinski (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).Adampol (Polonezköy) by Roman Bilinski. Turkey, 1935 (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).Adampol (Polonezköy) by Roman Bilinski. Turkey, 1936 (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).Adampol (Polonezköy) by Roman Bilinski. Turkey, 1936 (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).Adampol (Polonezköy) by Roman Bilinski. Turkey, 1936 (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).Adampol (Polonezköy) by Roman Bilinski. Turkey, 1936 (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).Work by Roman Bilinski. Turkey, 1936 (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).Work by Roman Bilinski. Yugoslavia, 1936 (Private Archive of Diana Bilinski).The cover of the book by Marco Farotto, Roman Bilinski - Un artista cosmopolita nel Ponente ligure. According to the author, Bilinski used to walk around dressed in this way.
    Istanbul
    Ismet Inönü Heykeli
    Monument

    Between 1941 and 1944 the Berlin sculptor Rudolf Belling worked on the Ismet Inönü Heykeli. The monument was placed in the neighbourhood of Maçka.

    Word Count: 24

    Rudolf Belling, Monument for Ismet Inönü, Maçka, Istanbul, 1940–1944, detail (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2002).
    Ismet Inönü, 3rd left, visiting the Academy of Fine Arts Istanbul. Also present: Mayor of Istanbul, Lütfi Kirdar, far left; Ismet Inönü and wife, both seated; Academy director Burhan Toprak, far right. Belling's equestrian statue of Inönü can be seen in the background, 1. August 1942, photographer unknown. (Cezar 1983, 16).Rudolf Belling, Monument for Ismet Inönü, Maçka, Istanbul, 1940–1944, front view (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2002).Rudolf Belling, Monument for Ismet Inönü, Maçka, Istanbul, 1940–1944 (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2002).Rudolf Belling, Monument for Ismet Inönü, Courtyard of the Agricultural Faculty of the University of Ankara, 1943/44 (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2004).Rudolf Belling, Moulding for the Istanbul University, entrance to conference room of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, 1946, detail (Photo: Dogramaci, 2002).
    Istanbul
    Russkiy v Konstantinopole/Le Russe à Constantinople
    Guide-book

    The guide-book was created for Russian-speaking refugees who had to leave their country and settle in Constantinople.

    Word Count: 17

    Russkiy v Konstantinopole / Le Russe à Constantinople, 1921, cover (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).
    Announcement concerning the publication of the guide-book in the Russian newspaper Presse du Soir, 1921, n.p. (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).Russkiy v Konstantinopole / Le Russe à Constantinople, 1921, cover (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).Layout of the Grand Rue de Péra (Istiklal Street) from the guide-book, 1921 (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).Schematic plan of Constantinople for ‘Russian’ refugees in the guide-book Russkiy v Konstantinopole/Le Russe à Constantinople, 1921 (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).Most common words in Turkish for ‘Russian’ refugees from the guide-book, 1921 (Slavonic Library/Slovanská knihovna, Prague).
    Istanbul
    First Russian émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition
    Exhibition

    The first Russian-speaking émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition was a one-day event but its success led to the formation of the Union and paved the way for other exhibitions.

    Word Count: 29

    Portrait of the poet Maximilian Voloshin (one of the representatives of the Symbolist movement in Russian culture and literature) by Boleslav Cybis that was presented at the exhibition. Boleslav Cybis was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople who was fond of representing truths symbolically, combining figurative thinking with ideas of the avant-garde (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Portrait of the poet Maximilian Voloshin (one of the representatives of the Symbolist movement in Russian culture and literature) by Boleslav Cybis that was presented at the exhibition. Boleslav Cybis was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople who was fond of representing truths symbolically, combining figurative thinking with ideas of the avant-garde (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Exhibition of Russian émigré artists at Taksim Military Barracks
    Exhibition

    The exhibition of Russian-speaking émigré artists at Taksim Military Barracks was the first major exhibition organised by the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople.

    Word Count: 24

    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition foyer, Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 11 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition foyer, Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 11 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 10 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Sculptures at the Union of Russian Painters exhibition in Constantinople, Taksim military barracks, summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 5 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Works of the Artel of Russian Craftsmen in Constantinople, Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 6 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 7 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Nikolai Saretzki
    PainterGraphic ArtistIllustratorArt CriticCollectorScene Designer

    Saretzki took a rather long exile route: from the Russian Empire he fled to Istanbul, from Istanbul to Berlin, from Berlin to Prague, and from Prague to Cormeilles-en-Parisis near Paris.

    Word Count: 30

    Nikolai Saretzki, 1927 (Gebrauchsgraphik, October 1928).
    Self-portrait by Nikolai Saretzki/Saretzky, 1921, Constantinople (Gebrauchsgraphik, 1926).Nikolai Saretzki, 1927 (Gebrauchsgraphik, October 1928).Fish trade, by Nikolai Saretzki, 1922 (© Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, Moscow. All Rights Reserved).
    Istanbul
    Pera Palace Hotel
    Hotel

    The Pera Palace was the gem of Pera district where people gathered to wine and dine and be entertained, as well as to discuss the issues of the day.

    Word Count: 29

    Pera Palace Hotel, Tepebaşı (SALT Araştırma, Fotoğraf ve Kartpostal Arşivi, Istanbul).
    Pera Palace Hotel, Tepebaşı (SALT Araştırma, Fotoğraf ve Kartpostal Arşivi, Istanbul).Image of Pera Palace Hotel (Güneş Newspaper, 14 April 1991).Jazz-Band du Pera Palace by photographer Jean Weinberg (Les Russes sur le Bosphore Almanac, 1928).
    Istanbul