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Morozov Reviews

Morozov by Natalya Semenova, Arch Tait

Morozov: The Story of a Family and a Lost Collection

Natalya Semenova, Arch Tait

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 2 Oct 2020
ISBN: 9780300249828

The first English-language account of Ivan Morozov and his ambition to build one of the world's greatest collections of modern art

4 stars out of 5
24 Oct 2020

"how an apparently dull textile magnate became one of the world’s most discerning collectors of post-Impressionist art"

Indeed, the descriptions of their activities read like raw material for Gogol or Dostoevsky. Ivan’s younger brother Arseny even managed to earn a mention, albeit an unfavourable one, in Tolstoy’s novel Resurrection. He did so by building Castle Morozov, a vast structure on a plot close to the Kremlin, in the Portuguese Gothic-Moorish manner. It was modelled on the Pena Palace in Sintra but with certain details adjusted, as Semenova puts it, ‘to take account of the much colder climate’.


4 stars out of 5
9 Oct 2020

"Beguiling biography of a textile man who shaped the Russian avant-garde during dark historical dramas"

A Soviet co-operative examining his pictures in 1930 found only nine passed the test of “worker and peasant subject matter”; the collection was separated, the canvases rolled up, and it was forbidden to name the “Moscow capitalist” who had “caused great harm to the development of Russian and Soviet art”, according to an edict signed by Stalin. It was so effective, although later in the century his pictures were displayed again at the Hermitage and Pushkin museums, that Morozov remained relatively obscure — until brought to life in this beguiling biography.