Journal article Open Access

Silent Witnesses of Art Nouveau in Perm or the Story of One Treasure

Vera Ustyugova; Mariya Mingaleva

Art Style | Art & Culture International Magazine


Today, Perm hosts its cultural projects, which are heard of in Russia and abroad – the Russian Povera exhibition and the Museum of Contemporary Art with its founder Marat Guelman, Diaghilev Festival, and opera staging by Teodor Currentzis. The beginning of the XX century saw Perm as the capital of the county, ship empire, a strategic hub in the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. This essay shows that a popular Art Nouveau style contributed to its aesthetics and visual promotion during modernization in provincial Perm at the turn of XIX-XX centuries. At the turn of the century, the Russian province readily absorbed things that the modern technological revolution could deliver. The Great Race movie by B. Edwards, which was filmed in 1965 and hilariously portrayed the 1908 transcontinental race, featured a scene when the racers arrived in Russia (it was cut out for the Soviet screen). This scene portrayed the night with gloomy bearded men with the torches and a banner “Tobolsk Car Lovers Club welcomes you.” The Great Race illustrates Belle Époque with its feminists, obsession with aviation and cars. However, it was not that bad for Russia at that time when the movie was filmed. Art Nouveau being an artistic style per se has its traits and its chronological limits. Nevertheless, the social history of Art Nouveau was uninterrupted despite its origin as an elite phenomenon. The key message of the artists and ideological leaders (English movement of Arts and Crafts, German Gesamtkunstwerk, Louvre Union of Decorative Arts, World of Art Association in Russia, etc.) was to unite architecture, interior, and art in one style, to inspire the contemporaries. This message was supported in different areas of the industrial epoch design and transformed daily routine. A new style was determined by more extensive consumer behaviour among the urban dwellers. Exhibitions and journals, photos, and colored lithographs spread the ideas of famous designers globally. A large-scale Art Nouveau distribution is connected with an overarching experience of modernity.

Art Style, Art & Culture International Magazine is an open-access, biannual, and peer-reviewed online magazine that aims to bundle cultural diversity. All values of cultures are shown in their varieties of art. Beyond the importance of the medium, form, and context in which art takes its characteristics, art is considered the significance of socio-cultural, historical, and market influence.
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