Director of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum Irina Antonova, who held this post for more than half a century, resigned unexpectedly on Monday. An honorary post of the president of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum was created especially for her. Under the decree of the culture minister head of the museum exhibition amalgamation Manezh Marina Loshak was appointed at the post, which Antonova occupied before.
On Monday, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, former director of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum Irina Antonova and newly appointed on this post from July 10 Marina Loshak held a urgent super blitz conference at the main museum building on Volkhonka Street, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. It took five minutes to report that Antonova left her post. Even the press service of the museum was not aware about it. Irina Antonova said that she had taken this decision herself and was pondering over the resignation for personal, familial reasons for the last 18 months.
It is absolutely clear that in the history of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum the importance of the personality of Irina Alexandrovna Antonova is equal to the personality of museum’s founder Ivan Tsvetayev, the Kommersant daily reported. Mrs. Antonova has been working in the museum for about 70 years and occupied the post of the museum director for 52 years.
Meanwhile, much that she had done at this post since the years of thaw is the fact of not only the history of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum and even not only the national museum history in general. The visit of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Liza and Rafael’s Dame Under the Veil, unprecedented guest exhibitions of the masterpieces of the Munich Old Pinakothek or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, a breakthrough exhibition of decadent bourgeois impressionists in the main exposition and no less breakthrough exhibition Moscow-Paris - all these events can be ranked among public sensations, but not quiet museum joys.
It is in vain to think that now in the 2010s the patroness turned in a king, whom his court is playing, because of the number of years and the old age. Nothing like that Mrs. Antonova was keeping the reigns of power firmly in the hands, the newspaper believes.
But the truth, and one should dare to call spade the spade, is the current situation behind the facade of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum is not quite good, the Kommersant daily affirmed. With all the respect to the merits of Antonova an ordinary level of exhibitions, which the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum stages now, is far from always be worth of the museum, which claims for one of the leading place in the world ratings. Still, with this in view there are unique guest projects like the recent exhibition of Caravaggio or the ongoing exhibition of Titian. But one should realize that this is the ready products, which the foreign museum authorities had done completely. But the epoch, when the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum was sparkling with original, interesting and frequently incomparable patronage concepts, went down in the past. If to believe to the rumours over the issue, to make a peaceful change of power in the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum would be nearly the first instruction, which Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky gave from the ruling party and the government.
Antonova’s successor Marina Loshak is a famous personality on the art stage, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily noted. For the past year she heads the museum centre Manezh, and fulfilled the projects, which are dedicated to the Russian vanguard art at the private art gallery Proun. Loshak engaged in the big museum politics relatively recently, but works in the exhibition business for a long time.