╘ Black Lacquers Co-operative, Russia, 1999

About our company.

Our company was established in 1987 √ which is the very solid age of 12 years for the young Russian market. It was organized in the form of the co-operative of two founders and some painters who insist in shares. First we collaborated with Clark and Clark Travelling Agency and organized trips through all centers of Russian Lacquered Miniature Art - Palekh, Holui and Mstera for Americans who worked for AAFES in West Germany. Our Gallery for Lacquered Miniatures in Ivanovo Regional Art Museum was established one year lately in 1988.

In that time it was very unstable situation in Palekh - centralized organization - Palekh Art Works was broken and several independent firms was established - Masters of Palekh, Union of Palekh Painters (A. Dudorov), Artistists' Workshops (V. Buldakov), Traditions of Palekh. In such conditions we decided to work directly with painters. During last 6 years we had formed the group of painters - famous ones and young gifted painters. We collaborate with such well-known artists as:

Belozerov Yuri
Berdnikov Sergey
Bogatikikov Alexander
Bogdanov Vladimir
Bolshakov Valery
Butorin Stanislav
Butorina Valentina
Doshligin Alexander
Elkhovikova Anna
Kosarev Alexander
Kurkin Alexander
Kurkin Boris
Lebedev Vladimir
Melnikiov Konstantin
Pochanin Alexey
Pochanina Valentina
Riabov Eugene
Riabov Viktor,
Shemarov Mikhail
Shemarov Alexander
Svetozarova Evlampia (Butorina)
Subbotina Olga
Vlezko Vladimir
Zhiriakov Eugene
Zhiriakova Galina
Zotov Vadim
Young artists are: Mamin Alexander
Butorina Alena
Titova Svetlana
Golubev Oleg
Makarova Svetlana
Shemarova Olga
and some individuals from the union of creative artists of Palekh and Holui "Sparkling World".

During these years we also pursued activities of selection of old Palekh and Kholui boxes, buying them from private collections in Ivanovo and Ivanovo Region. The result of this work is our collection of unique old items of such painters as

Ivan Golikov
Alexander Vatagin
Pavel Bazhenov
Alexey Blokhin
Alexander Borunov
Vladimir Brovkin
Grigory Bureev
Dmitry Butorin
Nikolay Vikhrev
Alexander Klipov
Boris Nemtinov
Ivan Palikin
Nikolay & Mikhile Parilov
Ivan Pershin
Nikolay Pravdin
Vasili Salabanov
Sergey Solonin
Mikhail Speransky
Boris Terekhin
Alexey Figurin
Valentin Khodov
Alexey & Mikhile Khokhlov
Pavel Chalunin
Ivan Chelishev
Mikhail Shishkov
Alexander Babanov and some others as well from Fedoskino and Mstera.

Now, situation in Palekh still very complicated by following reasons:

  • market of unique lacquered miniatures is broken in many countries by those individuals who are selling cheap fakes made somewhere in Moscow for very low prices and people are beginning to think about lacquered miniature not as real and unusual art but as a sort of souvenirs and cheap gifts;
  • many talented artists could not sell their works because they don't want to get miserable pay for their creative, unique masterpieces in which they invest so much inspiration and precious work;
  • from the other side some painters (especially young ones) began to work very fast making pieces of very low quality, merely "souvenirs", increasing market destruction.

We want to break that prejudice that some people have - they think that only items that bear trademarks of above-mentioned organizations - small fire-bird, gold feather or other similar logos are original. We don't want to say that items sold by above-mentioned firms are bad or not of high artistic value, but we insist that items that our co-operative sells are of the same level and also authentic. Our approach to work directly with painters not to unite them into some sort of organization - gives us now some advantages in terms of flexibility and ability to satisfy practically all requirements of our valued collectors clientele and to work on the basement of the low margins.

Our collaboration with Ivanovo and Palekh State Museums permits us to confirm the quality of our items by certificates of authenticity signed by the state experts in Russian lacquer miniature art, with the individual state seal for each item. Also we perform close collaboration with Ivanovo Regional Committee for Arts and Culture, which will regulate from 2000 the activities of all those enterprises who deal with Palekh and Kholui art by issuing the suitable licenses.

Our representatives together with Committee took part in All-European Exhibition of Decorative and Applied Art INFA-93 which was held in Hannover, Germany 18.10.1993 - 2.11.1993. Later we▓ve been in German two times more with the exhibitions. Also we took part in organization of All- Holland exhibition "Masters of Miniatures" together with ART E+S Galleries in Hague in May 1994 and after that perform close collaboration with this gallery as authorized suppliers of Palekh and Holui collections. We were in Great Britain with our collection in March 1994 and made connections with ICONOSTAS Gallery in London. We deal with Inna Kaufman Gallery, Holland who organised together with Mr. Ritman (the biggest collector of Palekh in Europe) the all European exhibition of Russian miniatures in Amsterdam devoted to 300 Anniversary of Russian Tsar - Peter the Great in Amsterdam. We organized several local specialized exhibitions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hague, Netherlands. In USA we organized some nice, successful shows in 1995,1997, 1998 and 1999 in San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte, NC. In 1999 our representative settled some interesting new contacts in Tokyo, Japan.

We also programmed the computer data base system for Palekh State Museum, so for interested collectors we'll start to sent desirable information and visible images of the museum items. At the end, we'd like to say that an account in one of Dutch Bank enables us to work on the principles of consigment with serious and tested partners. We cooperate with the EMS Garantpost as the trusted fast delivery service.

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(from 1.04.2000)