Leaders and the Masses: Mega Paintings from Soviet Ukraine at TMORA

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected art exhibitions, attractions, events, and numerous businesses throughout the United States. However, while the virus is still here, the country is already in the phase of recovery, which allows many venues and institutions to reopen. One of them is the amazing Museum of Russian Art (TMORA) in Minneapolis, MN, which has recently opened its doors to the public, unveiling newly gifted mega paintings from Soviet Ukraine.

Leaders and the Masses: Mega Paintings from Soviet Ukraine

Titled “Leaders and the Masses: Mega Paintings from Soviet Ukraine,” the exhibition features 37 realist and socialist realist works from the Soviet era. These paintings are part of a larger collection donated to TMORA by Rose Brady, whose late husband, the Ukrainian-born American law professor Jurii Maniichuk, purchased the paintings while working in Ukraine in the 90s. Overall, the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection at TMORA comprises 96 paintings. 15 additional works are expected to come to the Museum in the near future.

The “Leaders and the Masses” exhibition features some of the largest paintings from the Soviet era in existence, including the impressive 12 ft x 19 ft “Anthem of People’s Love” depicting Joseph Stalin and Communist leaders. Among other highlights are “Portrait of A. Grib, Chief Blast Furnace Operator at Zaporizhstal Steel Mill” by Yuri Smirnov (pictured above), “V.Lenin Makes a Speech on Red Square” by Vadim Odainik and Zoia Odainik-Samoilenko, and “Motherland Greets a Hero” by Mikhailo Khmelko.

Leaders and the Masses: Mega Paintings from Soviet Ukraine at TMORA

“V.Lenin Makes a Speech on Red Square” by Vadim Odainik and Zoia Odainik-Samoilenko. Gift of the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection. Photography: Courtesy of The Museum of Russian Art

Leaders and the Masses: Mega Paintings from Soviet Ukraine at TMORA

“Motherland Greets a Hero” by Mikhailo Khmelko. Gift of the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection. Photography: Courtesy of The Museum of Russian Art

The exhibition also features beautiful works by the prominent Soviet Ukrainian painter Ivan Tikhy. These include “High Honor. Second Order of Lenin Awarded to Ukraine” and “Kaniv. Taras Shevchenko Memorial Day.”

Leaders and the Masses: Mega Paintings from Soviet Ukraine at TMORA

“High Honor. Second Order of Lenin Awarded to Ukraine” by Ivan Tikhy. Gift of the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection. Photography: Courtesy of The Museum of Russian Art

Leaders and the Masses: Mega Paintings from Soviet Ukraine at TMORA

“Kaniv. Taras Shevchenko Memorial Day” by Ivan Tikhy. Gift of the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection. Photography: Courtesy of The Museum of Russian Art

Among other highlights are large-scale portrayals of Khrushchev and Lenin and a series of paintings depicting soldiers, farmers, fishermen, sailors, and Soviet workers. The exhibition is on view at TMORA through January 10, 2021.