My name is Courtney Conner and I am the social media intern for the Lazare Gallery. John and Kathy Wurdeman brought me on because I am passionate about Russian art, history, and culture. I have written many papers on the subjects such as:
- Historiography on Socialist Realism Under Stalin (2015)
- The Influence of the French on the Peredvizhniki (2015)
- Research Topic Russian Rayonism (2015)
- The French Influence on Russian Art: 1700s up to Socialist Realism (Senior Thesis 2016)
In April of 2016 I graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor of Arts in art history. However, I also minored in history to provide myself with more historical context for my art history studies. By my senior year, I had myself fully immersed and utilizing every chance I had to make connections back to Russian art or history. It became almost a joke how I made nearly every assignment about Russia; my professors and peers expected it from me. With graduation on my horizon I had to plan my next steps. That was when I found the Lazare Gallery and immediately sent them my resume and writing samples.
While researching my post undergrad options, it became apparent that I had to have a working knowledge of the Russian language to apply to and/ or be a strong candidate for graduate school.
I decided on University of Pittsburgh Summer Language Institute 5+5 program. This meant that for the first five weeks I would be in Pittsburgh and for the following five weeks I would be attending Moscow State University learning. Needless to say, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Once in Moscow, I had myself fully immersed in Russian art. I attended every museum I could, some of which I attended multiple times. I even had a short trip to St. Petersburg where, again, I saw as much as I could. I was also the only one who studied Russian art and became the acting expert on the trip. I explained paintings and artists for those who wanted to learn more but had a hard time keeping up with the Russian speaking tour guides. That was the most rewarding part of the trip, feeling myself apply my degree in a real life situation, teaching others all I knew. In the Tretyakov Gallery, I essentially presented my senior thesis to my friends.
Now, I am home interning for the Lazare Gallery! Besides being the new author of this blog, I also created and maintain the Lazare Instagram and Facebook pages. Additionally, I am continuing my Russian language studies from home.