Amid late tsarist Russia’s tumultuous political debates, some Miriskusniki visually proclaimed their sentiments. An in-depth examination of the Miriskusniki’s specific ideologies, subjects chosen, and artistic styles indicates that these artists utilized their talents to depict pressing domestic concerns and to portray Russia’s relationship to Western Europe. Moreover, the tension between the Miriskusniki’s and the Peredvizhniki’s supporters attests to the Miriskusniki’s instrumental role in offering powerful and influential visual commentaries about their country’s immediate concerns and long-term development. The World of Art exhibitions, 1898-1906, demonstrate that some Miriskusniki’s creations embody competing notions of political and national identity, thereby serving as visual accounts of late tsarist Russia’s vibrant arts and contentious politics.
Cadra Peterson McDaniel is an Assistant Professor of History/Liberal Studies at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. She is the Coordinator for the Master of Science in Liberal Studies program, and the faculty sponsor for Phi Alpha Theta. Her primary areas of interest include Russian and European foreign affairs and culture in the late 19th century and the 20th century. Also, she is interested in contemporary Russian foreign policy. Among her publications is the book, American-Soviet Cultural Diplomacy: The Bolshoi Ballet’s American Premiere. Currently, she is researching the intersection of the visual arts and politics in late tsarist Russia.