From July-December 2012, the University Library, Cambridge, will hold an exhibition of items from the Catherine Cooke Collection, a world-class assemblage of books, periodicals, posters, plans, photographs, and ephemera relating to Russian and Soviet art, architecture, urban planning, and design. Bequeathed in 2004, the collection includes items of great rarity and importance. This conference -- a collaboration between the University Library and the
departments of History of Art and Slavonic Studies -- will complement the exhibition, and raise the profile of the Cooke Collection as a premier resource for the study of Russian and Soviet art of the twentieth century.
The conference will draw together an international line-up of speakers to debate the way in which design was uniquely un-compartmentalised in Soviet Russia. Creative practice was marked by an emphasis on collaborative endeavour, reaching across disciplinary boundaries. Architects, poets, painters and designers were united in formal and informal collaborative networks, leading to innovative design
collectives, and to the unprecedented erosion of any lasting divisions between architectural, graphic, textile, theatre, and urban design. The conference aims to investigate the roots and legacies of these collaborative networks by looking back to the Silver Age and forward to
the late Soviet and post-Soviet period, as well as re-examining the Soviet avant-garde.
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