Journal Article

Quiet Revolutionaries: The ‘Mir Iskusstva’ Movement and Russian Design

Anna Winestein

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 21, issue 4, pages 315-333
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/epn035
Quiet Revolutionaries: The ‘Mir Iskusstva’ Movement and Russian Design

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • History of Art
  • Art Forms
  • Industrial and Commercial Art
  • Art Styles

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Amateurs in design as well as art, the Russian Mir Iskusstva group accomplished a quiet revolution. They helped transform Russian visual culture of the educated classes through the application of synthetic ideals and inter-disciplinary approaches to nearly every aspect of the aesthetic environment. Existing between 1897 and 1924, the Mir Iskusstva contributed to Russian design not just particular visual ideas or styles, but perhaps more importantly an entirely new understanding of the design environment as a World of Art (the literal meaning of ‘Mir Iskusstva’, and explored and mixed diverse historical sources. The influence of these erudite and independent artist-designers even spread throughout the world through the sensationally successful productions of the early Ballets Russes. In this paper I examine the nature and pathways of Mir Iskusstva amateurism, and how it underlay and enabled their design achievements. I hope to show that while they attained a high degree of sophistication in their design work, their diverse, cross-disciplinary activities allowed them to resist specialization and thus avoid the pitfalls of professionalism, remaining amateurs at heart.

Keywords: art; decorative arts; graphic design; porcelain; Russia; theatre set design

Journal Article.  7855 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.