DescriptionFROM THE ESTATE OF DR. EDMUND P. PILLSBURY
KONSTANTIN KIRILLOVICH IVANOV (Russian, b. 1938)
Building of the Church, 1992
Watercolor and gouache on paper
12-1/2 x 9-3/4 inches (31.8 x 24.8 cm)
Initialed and dated lower right
Acquired directly from the artist, February 1993
Ted Pillsbury's wife, Mireille, recalls that she and Ted went to Konstantin Ivanov's studio in St. Petersburg during the winter of 1993: "We were there that year because Ted was working on the [State] Hermitage Museum project with the UNESCO Ambassador. They were writing a report on the shape of Hermitage, and working on much-needed development strategies for the 250 year old institition and its treasures. Ted always loved going to artists' studios, and I can't remember exactly how we decided to go to see this artist but we did. At that time, in the 90s, conditions were rough. I remember the artist's studio was very cold, but Ted found these two pieces he liked and he bought them from him."
Ted's energetic involvement with the Hermitage Museum coincided with his tenure at the Kimbell Art Museum. He recognized that the Hermitage was in need of funding assistance, and Ted was an outstanding fundraiser for artistic causes he believed in. In this case the cause was that of improving the aging physical plant, initiating and supporting educational programs, mounting meaningful exhibitions, developing a website with access to the collection, and restoring priceless works of art. Upon learning of Ted's passing, Hermitage Director, Professor Mikhail Piotrovsky, wrote this remembrance of the man who became a good friend: "Dr. Pillsbury was not only a major figure on the American museum scene and one of the world's foremost art museum professionals, but also a true friend of our Museum. He was one of the founders of the American Friends of the State Hermitage Museum organized in 1995, and for several years he remained its irreplaceable Chairman. Since that time, until today, the American Friends (presently known as Hermitage Museum Foundation) continue to render significant support to many development projects of the State Hermitage Museum.
Ted Pillsbury was a founding member of the International Advisory Board of the State Hermitage Museum, established in 1994 under the aegis of UNESCO, and served as its first Chairman (from 1994 until 2000). He also led the first UNESCO mission to the Hermitage in 1992. Through all years of the Advisory Board's activity, Ted remained enthusiastically involved with its work, and he will be missed by all its members at the following meetings.
Ted was always a true and loyal friend of the State Hermitage Museum, the one who understood all complexities and subtleties of our institution."
Condition report available upon request.
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2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas