Alexei Lobov, "Scenes from Mayakovsky's Discovery of America"

Thursday, January 24, 2019
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a lecture by Alexei Lobov, Director of the State Museum of Vladimir Mayakovsky, including a presentation of materials not included in the exhibition Through the Brooklyn Bridge: Here Stood Mayakovsky, as well as the story of the poet’s triumph and tragedy, and a recitation of Mayakovsky’s poetry.

Through the Brooklyn Bridge: Here Stood Mayakovsky is presented by the Harriman Institute and curated by the State Museum of Vladimir Mayakovsky (Moscow). The exhibit is organized around the poet's journey to America in 1925, drawing on poems and photographs, including portraits of friends, colleagues, and people of art and culture Mayakovsky met during his trip. In addition, it will include rare landscape sketches and drawings from the collection of the State Museum of Vladimir Mayakovsky.

This project is focused on the “American” period of the poet's life, the result of which was more than two dozen poems and his book of essays My Discovery of America. In the United States, the Mayakovsky lectured about Soviet Russia, the new revolutionary art, and gave poetry readings in New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Mayakovsky's long-awaited meeting with his friend David Burliuk took place in New York, where Burliuk, the father of Russian Futurism, lived with his family in the Bronx after leaving the Soviet Union. Upon his return to the USSR, he shared his impressions of America. 

This exhibition also unravels a mystery the poet had kept under wraps: the cryptic word “daughter,”  found on a blank page of his notebook, long haunted inquiring minds and sparked various rumors and hypotheses. But Patricia Thompson solved the mystery by disclosing the love story of her parents, Mayakovsky and Elly Jones.

The significance of Vladimir Mayakovsky as a man of extraordinary genius is invaluable not only for Russia but for the whole world. His controversial, charismatic personality left no one indifferent. He was imitated, admired, and debated. A number of people have tried to explain his phenomenal talent.

Please also join us for the exhibit opening on Wednesday, January 23 at 6:00pm.