20th century realism collection and soviet art expert – joining the international VELVENOIR network

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20th century realism collection and soviet art expert - joining the international VELVENOIR network

VELVENOIR offers its own vetted 20th-century realism collection which was carefully selected by Soviet art expert Myroslava Hartmond who joined the international VELVENOIR network with her expertise and know-how to support and guide clients through the Soviet art market.

VELVENOIR, international art consultancy and concierge, today announced the latest collaboration with Soviet art expert Myroslava Hartmond. Through this collaboration, VELVENOIR has exclusive access to a curated 20th century realism collection and an expert who is available to guide through the Soviet art market.

The demand of Socialist Realist art has been growing over the last years. Social realism known for its striking monumental canvases depict the vast and varied landscapes of the former Soviet Union, the lives of its hardworking people, as well as scenes from important historical events. Indeed, Socialist Realism has been the rising star of the global art market in recent years. It makes for a particularly attractive investment for private and corporate clients, and forms the basis of museum collections.

“Operating at a global level, with a lot of different enquiries and demand for all sort of art – for us it was essential to bring another expert on board who has direct access to social realism art as well as is able to guide our clients through the soviet art market. ” Alexandra Schafer – Managing Director, VELVENOIR

I started to take a professional interest in 20th-century realist painting by Ukrainian artists in 2009, when I took part in the Russian Art Fair in Knightsbridge, London, curating a selection of works from my family collection of Soviet artworks. My parents, long-time collectors, have long understood the unique value proposition of this often-overlooked category of fine art. By the 2000s, there was an established market for Soviet artworks in the West. In the UK alone, top auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s featured them twice a year in their Russian art sales, while Soviet works formed an integral part of the MacDougall’s agenda. However, as time went by, collectors looked beyond the initial ‚kitsch‘ factor of Socialist Realism, discovering the high academic training and art-historical value of the works through the work of such experts as Matthew Bown and Boris Groys. Since then, I have vowed to become an expert in art of the Soviet period, its various genres and currents, and the way it fits into global art history — and the global art market.


What appeals to me about art of the Soviet period is its historicity, a quality that imbues both the official Socialist Realist art and the Non-Conformist art created by dissident artists. These works belong to a time, a place, a historic context, and that determines their aesthetic. I have often worked with first-time buyers who are looking for a quality period piece that won’t lose value over time, and one that they ‚understand‘. This is the appeal of figurative art, especially one that takes its cues from French academic painting of the 19th century… it radiates harmony and beauty. 20th century realist artworks often look surprisingly chic when placed in an eclectic setting. I like to experiment with innovative framing approaches. For example, an academic landscape (created to decorate the hall of a public building), may lend a minimalist contemporary interior a grandeur and a sophistication that it might otherwise lack. Collectors sometimes fall in love with genre-paintings (showing scenes from life) and still life paintings, or even political artworks, but landscape oil paintings remain the steady bestsellers.” – Myroslava Hartmond VELVENOIR


Through this collaboration, VELVENOIR and its international network of art experts are able to offer access to a 20th century realism collection, curated by Myroslava Hartmond as well as guidance and advisory during the acquisition.

ry during the acquisition.

Myroslava Hartmond