Impressive Fechin Painting From Museum's Permanent Collection To Go On Loan

Aug. 10, 2012
Ballerina PaintingBaylor's Martin Museum of Art will loan painting of famed ballerina to The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, Minn. (Courtesy photo)

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WACO, Texas (Aug. 10, 2012) -- Baylor University's on-campus art museum is set to loan a large painting from its collection to The Museum of Russian Art (TMoRA) in Minneapolis, Minn.

Martin Museum of Art's (MMoA) Ballerina Vera Fokina, painted in 1927 by Nicolai Fechin, will be on exhibition at TMoRA from Aug. 18, 2012, through Jan. 20, 2013. The exhibit, "Nicolai Fechin: From Kazan to Taos," is produced by the Foundation for International Arts and Education of Bethesda, Md., and focuses on the Russian-American's life's work.

Karin Gilliam, director of MMoA, explained that a visit that she and her husband made to the Taos Art Museum and Fechin House in Taos, N.M., led to an international relationship, then the loan.

"My husband and I visited the Taos Art Museum and Fechin House about three years ago and I told their museum director about our painting Ballerina Vera Fokina, which was hanging in Jones Library (an on-campus Baylor library) at the time," Gilliam said. "She was very excited to know the whereabouts of the painting and put me in touch with Dr. Galina Tuluzakova, deputy director in research at the State Fine Arts Museum of the Republic of Tatrsta, Kazan, Russia. Dr. Tuluzakova was writing a comprehensive book on Nicolai Fechin at the time and she wanted to include our painting. Because of its size and subject matter, our painting is very important and valuable."

The connection led to Russian art experts from Christie's in New York and London coming to the Baylor campus and inspected the 5- foot-tall portrait of Fokina, dancer and wife of famous Russian dancer Mikhail Fokine, for appraisal purposes. After the appraisal, the Foundation for International Arts and Education contacted the museum about loaning the painting.

"A few other pieces from the Martin Museum of Art have been exhibited at other museums throughout the years, but not many," Gilliam said. "Thousands of visitors will view the exhibition at The Museum of Russian Art, so this will give the Martin Museum of Art and Baylor University some wonderful exposure in the art world."

The painting was a gift to Baylor University from former Senator William Blakely.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, classified as such with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


For the past thirty years, the stewardship and mission of the Martin Museum of Art has been one of education and service. Through bringing outstanding art exhibitions, speakers and guest artists to Baylor University and to the Central Texas community, the museum serves as a teaching tool for students and faculty. Exhibitions complement the courses of art history and studio art taught within the Department of Art. The permanent collection consists of approximately 1300 objects and represents a variety of art that has been donated to or purchased by Baylor University. The collection contains artwork by such well-known artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Kathe Kollwitz, Francisco de Goya, and Edouard-Leon Cortes. Included in the collection are approximately 300 paintings by famous watercolor artists such as George Post, Phil Dike, Edgar Whitney, and John Marin.

For more information, visit Martin Museum of Art

by Mallory Hisler, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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