Vchutemas: The  Origins of Russian Avant guarde

The Origins of Russian Avant guarde

architectural projects from the collection of Museum of
MARCHI 1920-1930, exhibition

Archivio di Stato, Florence    from 22nd January to 22nd February 2005

Museo del MARCHI, Moscow Architectural Institute
CSA, Center of Contemporary Architecture, Russia
Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco
Faculty of Architecture, Univesity of Florence
Comune di Firenze, Assessorato alle Relazioni Internazionali
Archivio di Stato di Firenze


Viva Hotels
, ART in our heART
Fleming Youth
Nardini Editore
Natali Multimedia

  With the support of Ford Foundation, Moscow
opening hours:
monday-friday: 10.00-13.00, 15.00-17.30, saturday, sunday: closed, free admittance


The Russian architectural avant guarde of the 1920s – the 1930s is one of the bright art phenomena of the 20th century. Together with the French rationalism, German and Dutch functionalism it is a turning point in the historical development of the world architectural process, having expressed in unusual forms utopian ideas of the future subject world, a new way of life, of the environment of a new Utopia. Much less is known about the school of the VKHUTEMAS, than about the Bauhaus – the allied educational institute though their lives, purposes and ideals coincide up to incredibility. The generators of a new aesthetics born by the social revolution and victims of totalitarianism, they were that boiler where the new architecture was smelted. The heritage of the Bauhaus has been investigated thoroughly. The knowledge of the VKHUTEMAS is far from being exhausted. The Moscow Architectural Institute is an heir of the VKHUTEMAS traditions. The MARCHI Museum has been collecting a unique collection of educational and design works by teachers and students of the VKHUTEMAS for fifteen years. The vanguard ideology of the VKHUTEMAS was reflected in exhibitions of that time. At the well known international exhibition in Paris in 1925 (in the pavilion designed by K. Melnikov) students’ works, executed under N. Ladovsky and V. Krinsky, were awarded Grand prix. The «First exhibition of contemporary architecture» took place in Moscow in 1927 (in the building of the VKHUTEMAS). Architectural higher schools and leading architects of the European countries who have offered their vision of architectural avant guarde took part in it, having formed thus «a united front of modern architecture. The first prize was received by the architects Vesnin brothers – teachers of the VKHUTEMAS for the project of a Palace of Labour ,the second prize by the student of the VKHUTEMAS I. Leonidov for his diploma work «Lenin Institute». After the VKHUTEMAS was shut down educational works were not exposed for a long time. During the last decades they began to be exhibited at such prestigious international exhibitions, as «Moscow –Paris» (1986), «Moscow – Berlin» (1996). «The VKHUTEMAS: sources of the Russian avantguarde» is the first exhibition representing the VKHUTEMAS and its architectural faculty abroad. I hope, you will receive some new knowledge of the heroic period in the history of arts of Russia, and maybe of the whole world, will feel the burning breath of the epoch full of hopes and expectations of the time in which we live today. And welcome to the space of the VKHUTEMAS!

Alexander Kudryavtsev
President of the MARCHI,
President of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Building Science

V. Kolpakova. G. Klutsis's workshop Colour Solution for an Architectural Volume. 1928-1929.
I. Golosov. Pavilion of the Far East. All-Russian Agricultural, Handicraft and Industrial Exhibition. 1923.
A. Zal'tsman. A. Vesnin's workshop. Movie Studio. Last course project. 1926-1927.
Students of the VKHUTEMAS at the demonstration.1922.

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