In the early 70s paintings from A.W. Mellon collection were exhibited in Leningrad at the Hermitage museum. The works displayed gathered thousands of Soviet people of all walks of life and the reasons for this acute interest were very different. One of them was political: A.W. Mellon was sold some of the rare treasures of art by the Soviet government in the 30s, (in the famous “bourgeois art for the steam engines drive”) and now some of them came back on loan. Art experts who were not allowed beyond the Iron Curtain could see for the first time the original paintings they were familiar with through reproductions. Others were simply attracted by the American origin of the collection. All of this was very important to observe and feel, and for the aspiring photographer in me it was an important study of faces of people engaged by the art.
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