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History of the Collection

The Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA) started its activity in December 2011, in one of the ancient buildings of Moscow cotton-print factory. The fine art collection at the IRRA is considered to be one of the best collections of the national realist school of the XXth century.

Personal holdings of the Russian businessman Alexey Ananyev are the base of the IRRA’s funds and the first exhibition. The foundation of this collection began almost ten years ago as a “home” collection, but since then has expanded sufficiently.

The first painting in the collection was “A Wedding” by Yury Kugach.

Alexey Ananyev explains his interest in the realist art: “I understand what the artists of the second half of the XXth century painted as I grew up at that period. I can easily see what the creator meant, if the subject was imagined or it really occurred. “

The collector personally knows most of the painters, whose works are displayed at the IRRA. “I purchased the works myself, we are still in touch with the artists, - says Ananyev. – They are Gely Korzhev, Viktor Ivanov, Dmitry Zhilinsky, Petr Ossovsky, Efrem Zverkov, the brothers Tkachev and others”. According to Alexey Ananyev “creators are ready to part with the canvases if they are displayed at a museum. That was the reason why the idea of the foundation of the IRRA appeared.”

The creation of the IRRA began five years ago. “There was an old factory building in this place only five years ago”, - recollects Ananyev. “Now we have fully equipped museum premises with more than 4 000 square meters of exhibition areas, a restoration workshop, a lecture hall, a storage room, fine art experts’ offices and a gift shop.”

One of the main functions of the Institute is to educate. “I believe that the national realist art is wrongly forgotten while it is, without exaggeration, an object of national pride”, - says the collector. – It is important that people should understand that the term “modern” is not the synonym of “abstract”, “conceptual” or some other kind of art that denies the classic painting school”.

The future plans of the IRRA are to expand the collection, offer lectures, pay grants for students of art institutes and organize exhibitions.