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Modern Russian Culture: DVD #4

Russia in Art. Disc Four of Modern Russian Culture by Lauren G. Leighton. In English. ISBN 1-58269-038-3 (one video DVD). Produced by Slava Paperno. US Copyright Registration Number PA0001390454. $39.00.

Modern Russian Culture is an audio-visual, multi-disciplinary course of thirty-eight lectures on modern Russian culture (from the eighteenth to the late twentieth century) presented in a series of video DVDs with high quality photographic images and CD-quality music and narration. The course was created and taught, in English, by Lauren G. Leighton as an introduction to Russia for undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The lectures, thirty-eight self-running narrated slide shows for an NTSC DVD player (any region), are divided into five thematic units, one on each DVD. Each lecture offers 25 to 30 images with a narrated explanation for each image. Disc Four contains ten lectures on Russia in Art:

  1. Rural Russia in Art: Seasons
  2. Rural Russia in Art: Land and Water
  3. Peasant Life in Art
  4. Russian History in Art
  5. Social Conscience in Art
  6. Religion in Art
  7. Russians in Art
  8. Russian Portraits
  9. Foreign, Striking, Exotic
  10. The Russian Avant Garde


In this audio-visual course you will be taken on a journey from the high culture of Moscow and Petersburg architecture to the everyday culture of Soviet Russia; to Russia as it was seen by great Russian artists; and back down again to the everyday reality of Russia in the 1990s when it was transformed by the democratic movement.

This publication took more than three years of research and development, even though we started with a work that had been used by the author for ten years in his own teaching. His 17-page article, "A Syllabus for the Audio-Visual Russian Culture Course," published in the Slavica collection Teaching, Learning, Acquiring Russian, is available here as an Acrobat document. For the present multimedia edition, the original slides were reviewed, renewed, and digitized; many were replaced by digital photography and modern scans; and the narrated explanations were recorded at a professional studio. Almost 1,000 high resolution images are included in this course. Several colleagues and organizations generously supported the project.

Here are a few links for more information about the scope of Modern Russian Culture:

  1. Russian rulers of the period covered by the course.
  2. Russian artists whose work is illustrated in course.
  3. Russian architects whose work is featured in the course.
  4. Historical and cultural periods whose concepts and phenomena are touched upon in the course.
  5. Alphabetical index of buildings, monuments, and paintings presented in the course.

Here is a sample sound clip, the narration that accompanies the first slide in Lecture XX. Rural Russia in Art: Seasons. There are 28 slides in this lecture, 275 slides in all ten lectures on Disc Four.

Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Modest Mussorgsky were licensed for this publication from Firma gramzapisi Russkii sezon (Русский сезон). They are used as musical interludes between some of the lectures.

In 2005, Modern Russian Culture by Lauren G. Leighton received the Best Contribution award from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL).

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