Stalin considered the art collection of a Moscow textile magnate too “decadent”. The collection included the works of Monet, Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne and the dictator has kept it hidden for dozens of years. But now for the first time ever, it will be on display at the Foundation Louis Vuitton.
The topic of the fate of collections of modern art has been on agenda in September 2014, when representatives of Russia and France attended the United General Assembly. Between 1897 and 1914, Sergei Shchukin, Moscow textile magnate collected 275 masterpieces, including 8 Cézannes, 13 Monets, 16 Gauguins, 41 Matisses, and 50 Picassos, which he stored at his home – The Trubetskoy Palace.
But in 1918, after the Bolshevik Revolution the collection was divided between Pushkin Museum in Moscow and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. In 1948 Stalin categorized the works as too decadent and the masterpieces have been hidden until his death, after which few works poped out in the museums. This was the time when collection came back to light again.
The last few years, Shchukin’s 74 year old grandson- André-Marc Delocque-Fourcaud was trying to bring all the works back together in one huge exhibition that would finally establish its eminence. But unfortunately none of the museums neither in Russia or France had enough funds or political power to make it come true. It was up to one modern Medici to make the dream come true. Bernard Arnault, the chairman and C.E.O. Of LVMH, a huge empire of 70 luxury brands got extremely excited on hearing about this collection. Starting from October 22 of this year already and until February 20, 2017 the Foundation Louis Vuitton center which opened in Paris two years ago will host the spectacular exhibition:”Icons of Modern Art; The Shchukin Collection”.
For Arnault it is a huge event as the collection is one of the most beautiful that has ever been put together. It is like a beginning of contemporary art.