On Saturday, August 13th, Dr. K. Andrea Rusnock presented “Pictures in Thread: Late Imperial Russia and Needlework” as a part of the Russian History Museum’s Second Saturday online lecture series.
Needlework played a key role in nineteenth century Russian culture and art across all social classes, from the peasantry to the urban elite. Women plied their needles to create and embellish household articles, personal items, and interior décor. In addition to the actual objects themselves there was a plethora of publications relating to needlework produced at the end of the Imperial period. In her presentation, Rusnock examined the intersection of these varied elements of needlework in the waning years of the Russian Empire.
Rusnock presented examples of various needlework techniques and materials, and explained how work created by peasants differed from that of upper classes. She also spoke about the role of needlework in the lives of women in imperial Russia, the traditions associated with needlework, and the documentation of this art by art historians such as Vladimir Stasov. Rusnock used numerous objects from the Russian History Museum’s collection to illustrate her presentation.