Konovalenko Project’s Trip to Moscow, Days 3-4

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Steve Nash, Curator of Archaeology, and Rick Wicker, Museum Photographer

The first sculpture we wanted to shoot today was Tsar’s Henchman (1970) on which we tried a new background color. Unfortunately, given a weird combination of lighting, background color, and the mineral colors in the piece, Rick could not get the effect he wanted, so we ended up a bit behind schedule. After changing the background, however, he got want he wanted, and the effect is stunning!

Next up is A Fox and A Beaver (1973), which is of a man, who looks like a beaver because of his teeth, and a woman who is wrapped up in a fox-fur shawl, complete with the head tucked between them. Rick’s close-up photo of the man’s face illustrates details that simply aren’t visible when the piece is on display.

Zemfira (1973) is an unusual piece, a beautiful dancing gypsy with mysterious metallic eyes. She’s the only character that we know of that has eyelashes, which are clearly visible in Rick’s photo.

Finally, we shot Danila (1959), which is one of Konovalenko’s first pieces and represent the main character in the Russian ballet The Stone Flower, on which Konovalenko was working when he discover the art of gem carving. He had to make a large malachite box for Danila in the play; Rick’s photograph highlights details on the small malachite box in this figure.

We’re off to the Museum in a couple of hours. More tomorrow!

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