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Joseph Troncale

Joseph Troncale is as associate professor of Russian literature and visual culture at the University of Richmond where he has been teaching Russian literature, painting, and language for over thirty-five years. Recently, he has curated a number of exhibitions of Russian painting for his university's museums. Currently, he is preparing an exhibition of selected works of Nicholas Roerich, including paintings, drawings, and sketches from the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City. The exhibition, "Visions from the Other Side: Nicholas Roerich and the Other Russian Avant-Garde," will contextualize the artist’s work within the Russian intellectual and cultural developments of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.



“St. Petersburg opens vistas on Russian culture unlike any other city in the country. To live and work here under the auspices of the Likhachev Foundation was a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of all that the city offers through a particularly well-crafted program tailored to the needs of each participant’s project. During the fellowship I was able to visit a number of places associated with the life of the artist whose work I am planning to exhibit in the United States. Such visits contributed to the context I have of the artist’s life and work by enabling me through discussions with the directors and staff to assimilate a deeper meaning of those places in the artist’s work. I had the opportunity to meet with scholars of diverse opinions with whom I was able to discuss the artist’s work and to take my basic concepts of the exhibition to a deeper level. I also had the privilege of studying selected paintings of the artist on several occasions in the vaults of the State Russian Museum and of visiting the collections in a number of museum apartments of his peers and teachers where his works were included. I also had the opportunity to present some of my basic concepts for the exhibition at a seminar in one of the museums. In addition to all of the assistance and daily support that the foundation’s staff provided for all of us, we were also guests at several extraordinary, innovative, and unforgettable performances during a theater festival that coincided with our time in Petersburg. And, finally, one would be remiss not to mention the caliber and collegiality of the diverse fellows with whom this time in Russia was spent. There was a strong collaborative environment in which we learned much from each other. My own personal long-standing respect and admiration for Dmitri Sergeevich Likhachev and his work added a whole different dimension to my participation as a fellow of the foundation for 2015. Since the beginning of my career, Dmitri Sergeevich’s worldview has made a profound difference in my own continuing study and teaching of Russian culture and of culture altogether”.