Irina Antonova

I am very sad to hear of the death of Irina Antonova, one of the more remarkable museum directors that I half knew, although she was not easily knowable, not just because she spoke little English. There is a fascinating interview with her in Donatien Grau’s recent book of interviews with museum directors. You get little sense of her personality, except when she wanted to show work from the defunct Museum of New Western Art in 1974, and the press criticised the fact that she had cleared space by removing some of the collection of historic plaster casts. She is quoted as saying, ‘It was a battle against imbeciles’:  that is the voice of Irina Antonova – the voice of a fierce, independent minded, highly educated, Russian pro-modernist, who had learned to conceal her views of the many political regimes she had had to live under.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/01/russian-museum-director-irina-antonova-pushkin-museum-dies-at-98

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