A faculty exchange program between and American and a Russian university became a reality last May when Seymour Slive, associate professor of Fine Arts, went to Leningrad to deliver a series of lectures on seventeenth century Dutch painting.
Slive's visit marked the first time an American educator has lectured at a Russian university since the Lacey-Zarubin agreement proposed such an exchange nearly three years ago. That agreement laid the groundwork for exchanges between Harvard and Leningrad, Yale and Kiev, Columbia and the University of Moscow, and Indiana and Tashkent, but so far only Harvard and Leningrad have been able to carry out the program.
During his month's stay at the University of Leningrad, Slive studied the collection of Dutch art at the Hermitage Museum, which he termo: "the greatest single collection of Dutch paintings in the world."
In gathering material at the Hermitage for a monograph on the Dutch painter Franz Hale, Slive said he found a great many works by that painter which are totally unknown outside Russia today.
Slive also collected material on 17th century artists for a forthcoming book, which he plans to publish in collaboration with Jakob Rosenberg, professor of Fine Arts.
Discussing his reception in Leningrad, Slive declared that he found the officials at the University "most enthusiastic" about the exchange program and anxious for information on recent art discoveries outside Russia. The audiences at his own lectures, he pointed out, were composed mostly of his colleagues rather than of students. The lectures were delivered in English and translated simultaneously into Russian.
Speaking again of Russian collections as compared to Western ones, Slive declared that very little modern Russian art was on display. The collection of avant garde European art was "spectacular," even in comparison with those of leading Western museums, but practically no 20th century Russian paintings were shown.
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