- Publisher: M. T. Abraham Center for the Visual Arts Foundation, Paris
- Date published: 2013
- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 9780789211545
Black cloth/boards. Red lettering on spine. Color-illustrated dj with black print. 362 pp. with color and bw images throughout. Documents one of the great cultural dramas of the 20th century: the sale, by a cash-hungry Soviet government, of the artistic treasures accumulated by the Russian royal family, aristocracy, and church over the centuries. Many pieces entered the collections of wealthy westerners like Andrew Mellon (many of which now form the core of the National Gallery of Art in Washington) and Marjorie Post and her husband, Joseph Davies (then US Ambassador to the USSR), whose collection is the core of the Hillwood Museum, also in Washington. This is the first English-language edition of the Russian edition, considered the definitive authority on this subject. Contains new material on the secret files of the Hermitage and more. Includes a checklist of pieces sold from the crown jewels, a chronology, and bios of key figures. Anyone with an interest in Russia's cultural history, contemporary debates about museum deaccessioning and about the repatriation of cultural objects must read this book. Beautiful plates and some incredible archival bw photos.