9 July 2020

Art Russe Foundation Confirms Its Intention to Acquire Monuments Destined for Removal in the United States

Art Russe Foundation is yet to receive a response to its proposal to acquire the statue of Theodore Roosevelt to be taken down in the United States.

In the period from June 29 to July 6, 2020, Art Russe Director Rena Lavery sent letters to authorized representatives of the New York City Hall and the American Museum of Natural History. Specifically, the proposal was addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio, President of the American Museum of Natural History Ellen V. Futter and members of the museum’s Board of Trustees Theodore Roosevelt IV and Lewis W. Bernard.

In its proposal, Art Russe Foundation expressed interest in acquiring the monument to the 26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and assuming all associated costs. “Mr. Roosevelt was an important political figure connected to Russia at different stages in the history of the two countries,” noted the Foundation. Given the historical and artistic value of the monument, its protection and preservation for future generations “are critically important."

Art Russe also sent a letter to Sitka Mayor Gary Paxton and Municipal Administrator John Leach, expressing interest in acquiring the statue of the Governor of Russian settlements in North America Alexander Baranov, which, according to the Foundation, “represents a significant period in the history of relations between Russia and the United States at the beginning of the 19th century”. In a response letter, Mr. Leach assured the Foundation that the fate of the monument will be decided through “a public process that is constructive, civil, and respects our history on this sensitive issue”.

Art Russe Foundation confirms its intention to acquire the above monuments to preserve the history of relations between Russia and the United States, and in the interests of future generations.

For Reference

Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) – President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt was actively involved in the preparation and conduct of peace talks between Russia and Japan, which were at war. Concluded on extremely favorable conditions for Russia, the Portsmouth Peace Treaty (signed on August 23, 1905 by Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire S. Witte and Russian Ambassador to the United States R. Rosen, on one side, and Japanese Foreign Minister Komura Jutaro and Japanese Ambassador to the United States Takahira Kogoro, on the other) put an end to the strenuous Russo-Japanese war. The outcomes of the talks were hailed by contemporaries as the pinnacle of Witte’s career, while Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the peace treaty.

Alexander Baranov (1746 – April 16, 1819) - The first governor of Russian settlements in the United States (1790-1818). Until 1790, Baranov was engaged in trading and industrial operations n Moscow, St. Petersburg and Siberia. Thanks to his energy and administrative skills, the trade ties of the North American Russian settlements with California, Hawaii and China expanded significantly; new settlements were created, a number of expeditions were outfitted to survey the Pacific coast; shipbuilding, copper smelting and coal mining in Russian America were launched, a school was opened in Alaska, etc. Baranov participated in geographical survey and mapping of the Chugach Bay, adjacent islands and other areas. An island in the Alexander Archipelago (the Gulf of Alaska) is named after Baranov.

About Art Russe

Art Russe Foundation was established by entrepreneur Andrei Filatov in 2012 to implement educational projects aiming to support and raise awareness of 20th-centurry Russian art. The collection of the Foundation includes master artworks in a variety of genres, dating to the period 1917-1991. The Foundation aims to raise awareness of international audiences about Russian art of that period by supporting exhibition projects, as well as through art loans to Russian and foreign museums and galleries. An important area of activities of the Foundation is publication of artist monographs and catalogs as part of an independent publishing project.