Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
Nicholas Roerich
Estate Museum

in Izvara

O.A. Cherkasova «N.K. Roerich and America»

Original in Russian

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The purpose of this extensive and diversified educational and organisational work carried out by Nicholas Roerich was to create an International League of Culture, dedicated to cultural, creative, peacemaking activity, to putting into practice the principles of the Banner of Peace and of The Roerich Pact – "Peace through culture". The concept of the League structure was carefully worked out by N. Roerich and was put into practice by him and by cultural organisations that he had launched.
Retrospective review of the cultural and organizational work of N. Roerich aiming to establish Russian-American cultural links would be incomplete without one more significant event. In the early 1940-s, at the end of the artist's life, a famous American-Russian Cultural Association was created in the USA under Roerich's supervision by his closest supporters.
And last but not least in order of importance for cultural life in America is the fact that the museum in New York still bears the name of Roerich, the museum that was recreated after the Second World War by Nikolay Konstantinovich's colleagues. It stores both the collection of the artist's paintings and numerous archives, being nowadays an active cultural centre that serves as a reminder of grand possibilities of Russian-American cultural connections.
Let us consider the American period of Nicholas Roerich's life and the creation of the museum named after him in New York.
"In Roerich's archives there are no hints whatsoever that he intended to visit America. However, an unforeseen delay in London induced him to accept an offer from Robert Harshe – then Director of the Art Institute of Chicago to come to the USA for an exhibition tour", that is the opinion of P.F. Belikov, a Roerich biographer, which he voiced in his book devoted to Nicholas Roerich's life in the series "Lives of distinguished people".
In 1920 Roerich came to the USA with a personal exhibition of his paintings. It was open in December 1920 in New York in Kingor Gallery, one of the best in the city. A series of articles about the artist preceded the exhibition.
Among 175 works presented at the exhibition in New-York there were "Evening" (1907), "Treasure of the Angels" (1907), "Varangian Sea" (1909), "The Last Angel" (1912), "Ecstasy" (1917), "Viking's daughter" (1917), "Call of the Sun" (1918), "Not gone yet" (1918), "Daughters of the Earth" (1919), sketches to "Heroica" suite and "Dreams of the Orient" series, décor sketches for plays "Princess Maleine", “Snegurochka” (The Snow Maiden) and others.

N.K. Roerich. «Hidden Treasure». From «Heroica» suite. 1917.
N.K. Roerich. «Hidden Treasure». From «Heroica» suite. 1917.
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Museum Address: 188414, Izvara Village, Volosovo District, Leningrad Region, Russia.
Phones: +7-813-73-73-273 (group tours); Phone/Fax +7-813-73-73-298 (general)
Museum Director: Cherkasova Olga Anatolievna
E-mail: isvara_museum@mail.ru