Who doesn’t love a story with a little intrigue? In 2014, one of the world’s most important art collections became known to the general public… here’s the fascinating backstory.
Between 1897 and 1914, Moscow textile magnate, Sergei Shchukin amassed 275 masterpieces by greats such as Cezanne, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse and Monet. For years, these’s beautiful pieces were prominently displayed on the walls of his home at the Trubetskoy Palace. After the Bolshevik Revolution, the collection was split between Russia’s two greatest museums, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. When Stalin rose to power, he called these masterpieces decadent and inappropriate; thus, the paintings were promptly hidden until Stalin’s death in 1953.
Recently, Shchukin’s 74-year-old French grandson, Andre-Marc Delocque-Fourcaud began lobbying for the collection to be reunited and displayed in it’s glorious entirety. International clout was something that had to be overcome… neither France nor Russia had the monetary funds to put this together from a governmental capacity. Lucky for us, Bernard Arnault, the esteemed chairman and C.E.O. of LVMH heard about this collection and “jumped” into action.
Through February of 2017, the Foundation Louis Vuitton (a Frank Gehry-designed center that Arnault opened in 2014) in Paris will host an exhibition titled, “Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection”. Think of this, 3 global powers are equally represented here!
A Russian national treasure + French artists + displayed in a building designed by U.S. architect, Frank Gehry. What a wonderful testament to working together!