Museum of Russian Art
The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA), is a member-supported non-profit museum that preserves and displays historically significant examples of Russian art and artifacts. It is the only museum in North America solely dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Russian art and artifacts. Through the universal language of art, TMORA visitors explore new and unique perspectives of Russia, a country with a recorded history that spans over one thousand years. Recognizing the importance of educating current and future generations about Russian art and culture, TMORA exhibitions are designed to provide our guests with an opportunity to examine important artistic achievements and historical events through the works of Russia’s most esteemed artists.
TMORA maintains a vibrant and diverse program of exhibitions, seminars, docent-led tours, and related outreach events designed to foster international awareness and understanding. Working in collaboration with museums and collectors in Russia and the United States, TMORA designs and implements original exhibitions that feature extraordinary works of fine art rarely seen outside of Russia. The Museum of Russian Art’s growing permanent collection includes works by renowned Russian painters Geli Korzhev, Vasily Vereschagin, Yuri Pimenov, Mai Datsig and Viktor Popkov.
The museum’s premier exhibition “In the Russian Tradition ” A Historic Collection of 20th Century Russian Paintings, first opened at the Smithsonian International Gallery, then travelled to Minneapolis for The Museum of Russian Art’s grand opening at its permanent new location in 2005. This exhibition was a collaboration between the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, to represent paintings of outstanding Russian artists of the period. The exhibition in 2007 Raising the Banner: The Art of Geli Korzhev , was the first American solo exhibition of the Great Soviet painter Geli Korzhev, and was named “Best Art Exhibition of the Year, 2007” by Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine.
Other notable exhibitions include “Photographer to the Tsar: Revealing the Silk Road,” an exhibition of the innovative chemist and photographer Sergei M. Prokudin-Gorskii, “Postage Stamps: Messengers of the Soviet Future,” “Russian Realism, Paintings from the 20th Century,” and “Masterpieces of Russian Lacquer Art,” an exhibition of important works of miniature lacquer art drawn from the collections of Russian and American museums and the Lucy Maxym Collection.
Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, TMORA was founded in 2002 through a generous gift from Honorary Consul to the Russian Federation, Raymond Johnson. Housed in a historic building, a major renovation in 2005 transformed the Spanish Revival-style structure into a state-of-the-art Museum designed for the 21st century.
Raymond E. Johnson, a successful international dealer of fine art for more than two decades, recognized in the late 1980s that perestroika presented a unique opportunity to explore the art history of one of the world’s richest cultures. To fulfill this vision, he sent American art historians and curators to the Soviet Union to assess the quality of 20th century Russian paintings. He subsequently employed Russian art historians and researchers from across the Soviet Union to identify the leading artists of this period. Since 1991, Mr. Johnson and his wife Susan have acquired the most comprehensive personal collection of Russian Realist paintings existing outside the Russian Federation. As founders of The Museum of Russian Art, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have contributed generously to the Museum’s permanent collection of paintings and supported the renovation of the Museum’s exceptional exhibition facility. Mr. Johnson was awarded the Order of Friendship, Russia’s highest and most prestigious civilian award, by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2006.