John Bowlt to Receive ASEEES 2016 Distinguished Contributions Award

Publishing Date: 
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: John Bowlt to receive ASEEES 2016 Distinguished Contributions Award

Pittsburgh, PA – August 30, 2016

Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies will present John E. Bowlt, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute of Modern Russian Culture at the University of Southern California, with Distinguished Contributions Award at its annual conference November 17-20 in Washington, DC.

The Distinguished Contributions Award is ASEEES’ highest honor, recognizing individuals with an exemplary record of sustained achievement in the field through scholarship, training, and service to the profession. For his tireless work in creating and promoting the field of Russian modernist visual culture, John Bowlt has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 ASEEES Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award.

The contributions of Professor Bowlt to the study of 20th-century Russian visual culture are exceptionally deep and multi-faceted. Starting from the 1960s, Professor Bowlt has worked sedulously to uncover, make available, and analyze the oeuvres of artists such as Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov, Liubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova, and many others. He has curated exhibitions, translated and published collections of documents, written monographs, and given countless lectures that have brought the contributions of Russian modernist artists to the attention of specialists as well as the general public. Without his efforts, Russian avant-garde art would not have the level of international recognition that it now possesses.

Professor Bowlt’s first book, The Russian Avant-Garde: Theory and Criticism 1902-1934 (1976), was followed by a steady stream of monographs, book chapters, exhibition catalogues, and translations. Among his most significant contributions are Pavel Filonov: A Hero and His Fate: Writings on Revolution and Art 1914-1940 (1984) and Moscow & St. Petersburg 1900-1920: Art, Life & Culture of the Russian Silver Age (2008), the latter written for a non-specialist audience. Perhaps even more influential have been the exhibitions he has curated (and their accompanying catalogues), including the path-breaking Amazons of the Russian Avant-Garde for the Guggenheim and A Feast of Wonders: Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes for the Nouveau Musée de Monte Carlo and the Tretiakov Gallery. Professor Bowlt has the ability to transcend the myriad facts he has uncovered and create compelling visual and narrative presentations that inspire scholars and the public alike. He willingly engages in collaborative projects often with younger scholars and scholars from Russia. His innovative collaboration with the Institute of Modern Russian Culture has resulted in the publication of a broad range of primary documents on 19th- 20th century Russian culture and history.

Professor Bowlt received his Ph.D. at the University of St. Andrews (UK) in 1972. Professor Bowlt has been a faculty member at the University of Texas and the University of Southern California; in 2015 he was elected Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University.

A full citation of his accomplishments can be found here


For more information, contact Mary Arnstein, ASEEES at or 412/648-9809

203C Bellefield Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260-6424