Marc Chagall’s pupil returns to homeland

Russian collectors Isaac and Lyudmila Kushnir, from St. Petersburg, donate 62 works by Belarus-born Anatoly Kaplan to Marc Chagall Museum in Vitebsk: paintings, drawings and his illustrations of Sholem Aleichem’s works

Isaac Kushnir admits that, despite never knowing Kaplan personally, he is carrying out the artist’s wish to send his pictures to his homeland. Natalia Kozyreva, a candidate of art history, who heads the Russian State Museum’s 18th-20th Century Drawings and Watercolours Department (in St. Petersburg) stresses that most of Kaplan’s works remain in private collections abroad, with the Kushnirs owning a significant portion. Now, the best works by the painter are also to be held in Vitebsk.

The Director of the Marc Chagall Museum, Lyudmila Khmelnitskaya, plans to exhibit the collection separately, allowing it to tour the Republic. The exhibition will spend an especially long time in Rogachev, where Kaplan was born. In fact, Isaak Kushnir and his wife also plan to donate a considerable part of their collection to Rogachev.

In 1918, the artist moved to Vitebsk, studying under Chagall, who headed the Commissariat on Art in the Vitebsk Province at that time. Chagall recommended that Kaplan go to Petrograd to learn to paint. Anatoly Kaplan is an acknowledged Soviet master, who allowed local culture to influence mainstream contemporary art.

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