Where Is My Home?

Where Is My Home? : The Art and Life of the Russian-Jewish Sculptor Mark Antokolskii, 1843 -1902

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Where Is My Home?: The Art and Life of the Russian-Jewish Sculptor Mark Antokolskii, 1843-1902 is the first full-length study in English of the art and life of Mark Antokolskii, the widely recognized Russian and European sculptor of the late 19th century. An originator of novel trends in sculpture in its transition to modernism, Antokolskii was the first artist of Jewish origin to attend the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg and to become an honorable member of the Russian and Western intellectual milieu. Participating in many International World Exhibitions, he received numerous awards, including the Legion d'Honneur (1878, Paris). Antokolskii was a member of many European academies of art, and his works are in museums and private collections worldwide. Where Is My Home? focuses on Antokolski's artistic uniqueness and his fate as a Jewish intellectual who belongs to distinct cultures. Musya Glants pays particular attention to Antokolski's constant struggle between his devotion to Russia and the lifelong commitment to his people. This opens ways to discuss less known aspects of the notions of national identity and spiritual duality.
It is an attempt to give an account of the artist as a notable Jewish social and cultural figure, a thinker and essayist whose art reveals his longing for people's reconciliation and overcoming of historical alienation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 410 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 33.02mm | 816.46g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739132997
  • 9780739132999
  • 1,814,049

Review quote

In this first full-scale scholarly biography of the Russian-Jewish sculptor Mark Antokolskii, Musya Glants blends the formal skills of an art historian with deep sensitivity to both Russian and Jewish history. Where is My Home? makes a compelling case for Antokolskii's art and life as emblematic of the turbulent Russian-Jewish encounter. -- Benjamin Nathans, author of Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia This is a book long overdue, an important event in the ongoing process of reestablishing the boundaries of Imperial Russian culture after Soviet ideology's demise. Mark Antokolskii was one of the few 19th century Russian artists who enjoyed international fame and whose sculpture was considered equal to that of his European contemporaries. This is a moving case study of the power of racial and religious intolerance to color the reception of art and the way its history is written. -- Wendy Salmond, Chapman University This important book thus offers enlightenment and assistance, not only to art historians interested in Russian art and nineteenth-century sculpture, but also to the rapidly growing community of historians exploring Russian and Russian Jewish cultural history and its politics of visual communication. Slavic Review Where is my Home? is a cry from the heart that evokes centuries of Jewish exile in hostile environments...Glants's book is more than a sensitive portrayal of a Russian Jewish artist. It is a poignant and compelling attempt to grapple with the human condition. Russian Review
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About Musya Glants

Musya Glants is a fellow in the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University.
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Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Mark Antokolskii and his role in Russian, Jewish, and European Culture. Chapter 2 Chapter 1: Vilna. Childhood and youth. Family and friends. Jewish life under Nicholas I and Alexander II: religion, tradition, and the struggle for secularism and education; the Jewish Enlightenment. Antokolskii's search for his own way in life and his fi Chapter 3 Chapter 2: St. Petersburg. The Academy of Arts: a dream fulfilled. The liberal atmosphere of the 1860s-early 1870s. Professors and new friends. Il'ia Repin. Estrangement from classicism. The Russian intellectual milieu. New friends outside the Academy. Th Chapter 4 Chapter 3: The strong links to home and Jewishness. Letters to Yakov Barel and the hardship of life in the capital. Between past and present: the intensifying sense of duality. Summer vacations at home. Images of Jews: "The Tailor" (1864), "The Miser" (18 Chapter 5 Chapter 4: Towards a new style: "Ivan the Terrible" (1871)-an innovative turn in Russian sculpture. The success and the sweetness of fame. Serious Illness. Chapter 6 Chapter 5: Trip to Italy: a window to the world. Rising hopes and inspirations. Life in Rome. Images of Italy. New friends: the Mamontov family, the Polenovs. The Mamontov circle. "Peter the Great" (1872). Marriage to Elena Apatova (1872). Chapter 7 Chapter 6: Disturbing news from the homeland: the growth of anti-Semitism. The expanding feeling of dual belonging. The death of his son Lev (1876). Search for his own style in sculpture. Christian images as a reflection of his strong ideas to draw Jews a Chapter 8 Chapter 7: Removal to Paris, 1877. Life in Paris. The Russian intellectual community. The "Society of Russian Artists in Paris". I. Turgenev; A. Bogoliubov. Art in Paris and French sculpture of that time. The portrait gallery; World Exhibition, 1878 and A Chapter 9 Chapter 8: Exploring genres: distinctive memorials (M. Obolenskaia, 1875-1877) and monuments, accomplished (Catherine II, 1901-1902) and unrealized (A. Pushkin, 1875; I. Fiodorov). Political reaction in Russia: persecution of Jews and pogroms. Visits to R Chapter 10 Chapter 9: Images of Russian historical figures: "Nestor" (1890) and "Yermak" (1891) as a silent call for national tolerance. Official and unofficial manifestations of intensifying ill will towards the sculptor. Antokolskii and his path to Modernism: a ne Chapter 11 Chapter 10: The late 1880s and 1890s: prolific last years. Triumph in Munich (1892). Extensive writing. "Dreyfus". "Reminiscences of Italy". "Letter to H. Gintsburg." The pain of lost ideals and illusions. Illness and death. The funeral-a symbolic homecom Chapter 12 Conclusion: M. Antokolskii's human and artistic fate as emblematic for an artist and a Jew in Late Imperial Russia.
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