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Entries / Society for the Encouragement of the Arts

Society for the Encouragement of the Arts

Categories / Art/Fine Arts/Art and Literary Associations

SOCIETY FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ARTS, called the Society for the Encouragement of Artists until 1882, the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in 1882-1917, and the All-Russian Society for the Encouragement of the Arts from 1917. It was founded in 1820 by Prince I. A. Gagarin, A. I. Dmitriev-Mamonov, P. A. Kikin, and other patrons of the arts in order to prompt the development of fine arts in Russia, to spread art knowledge, and to provide financial support to artists. The society enjoyed the emperor's patronage, and boasted members of the Imperial family at the head of the committee,  as well as Count N. I. Musin-Pushkin (1853-56), F. F. Lvov (1856-64), D. V. Grigorovich (1864-84), N. P. Sobko (1884-1900), N. K. Roerich (1901-06), and V. I. Zarubin (1906-17) as secretaries of the committee. Full membership was mainly granted to aristocrats and high officials. The status of participating member was established in 1857, and was granted to professional artists and architects, including I. K. Aivazovsky, Albert N. Benois, N. L. Benois, A. P. Bogolyubov, A. K. Bruni, N. N. Ge, P. K. Klodt, A. I. Kuindzhi, M. O. Mikeshin, and A. I. Stakenschneider. The society numbered close to 140 full members and over 600 participating members by the early 1880s. The society gave grants to students from the Academy of Arts, sending some of its graduates abroad to study, issued picture reproductions and lithographed books (such as Views of St. Petersburg and its Outskirts in 1821-26), held annual competitions in painting and applied arts, arranged exhibitions by renting the premises of the Dutch Church at 20 Nevsky Prospect, and published Khudozhestvennaya Gazeta newspaper (The Art Gazette) in 1836-39, journals Iskusstvo and Khudozhestevennaya Promyshlennost (Art and Art Industry) in 1898-1901, and journal Khudozhestvennie Sokrovishcha Rossii (Russia's Art Treasures) in 1901-08. The society took control of the Petersburg Drawing School for Irregular Students in 1857, and renamed in the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts (see Roerich Art School). The society's committee met mostly at the residences of its members, first at Count N. P. Rumyantsev's former mansion at 44 Angliiskaya Embankment from 1831, and later on at the former Polish Kingdom Secretariat's building at 31 Ekateringofsky Avenue (today, Rimskogo-Korsakova Avenue). The society was given the former chief policeman's residence at 38 Bolshaya Morskaya Street by the state in 1870 to accommodate the Drawing School, the Art Industry Museum founded in 1870 on the initiative of Grigorovich and named after him in 1899, as well as an art shop and several exhibition halls. Involved in education work as its major activity during the Soviet period, its stock having been annulled in 1918 as decreed by the Soviet of People's Commissars and the Drawing School handed over to the People's Commissariat of Education. The Art Industry Museum was nationalised in 1924 and closed in 1929. Nationalised in 1926, the building of the society now accommodates the St. Petersburg Union of Artists. The society itself was annulled in 1930 as "inappropriate to the spirit of the age." Reference: Собко Н. П. Краткий исторический очерк Императорского Общества поощрения художеств, 1820-1890. СПб., 1890; Макаренко Н. Е. Школа императорского Общества поощрения художеств, 1839-1914. Пг., 1914; Столпянский П. Н. Старый Петербург и Общество поощрения художеств. Л., 1928.

O. L. Leikind, D.Y. Severyukhin.

Aivazovsky Ivan Konstantinovich
Benois Albert Nikolaevich
Benois Nikolay Leontievich
Bogolyubov Alexey
Bruni Alexander Konstantinovich
Dmitriev-Mamonov A.I.
Gagarin Ivan Alexeevich, Duke
Ge Nikolay Nikolaevich
Grigorovich Dmitry Vasilievich
Kikin Peter Andreevich
Klodt von Jurgensburg Peter Karlovich
Kuindzhi Arkhip Ivanovich
Lvov Fedor Fedorovich
Mikeshin Mikhail Osipovich
Musin-Pushkin N.I., Count
Roerich Nikolay Konstantinovich
Rumyantsev Nikolay Petrovich, Count
Sobko Nikolay
Stakensсhneider Andrey Ivanovich
Zarubin Viktor Ivanovich

Angliiskaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 44
Bolshaya Morskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 38
Rimsky-Korsakov Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 31

Собко Н. П. Краткий исторический очерк Императорского Общества поощрения художеств, 1820-1890. СПб., 1890
Макаренко Н. Е. Школа императорского Общества поощрения художеств, 1839-1914. Пг., 1914
Столпянский П. Н. Старый Петербург и Общество поощрения художеств. Л., 1928

The subject Index
Dutch Reformed Church
Khudozhestvennaya gazeta (The Art Newspaper), journal
Iskusstvo i khudozhestvennaya promyshlennost (Arts and Crafts) journal
Khudozhestvennye Sokrovishcha Rossii (The Art Treasures of Russia), album


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