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Thawing the Russian Art Freeze: SMUís Meadows Museum to host U.S., Russian diplomats and museum leaders
By SMU News
Feb 11, 2019
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DALLAS (SMU) Ė More Picassos, Rembrandts and Monets may be exchanged between U.S. and Russian museums after diplomats and museum leaders from both countries meet for a public discussion Wednesday, Feb. 13, at SMUís Meadows Museum.

The directors of Russiaís State Hermitage Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York are among those who will discuss ending the nine-year freeze on art loans between the two countries. Since 2011, the Russian government has banned state-owned museums and collections from lending art to U.S. museums.

SMUís Meadows Museum and Tower Center for Political Studies, along with the Association of Art Museum Directors, are hosting ďFinding a Way: The Soft Diplomacy of Art Exchanges Between Russia and the United States,Ē Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Meadows Museum on the SMU campus. The conversation is open to the public, but reservations are required at The event also will be livestreamed at

The Russian moratorium followed a fear that artworks on loan to the U.S. might be seized by U.S. courts Ė even those objects that have received formal immunity from seizure by the U.S. State Department. In response, U.S. museums quit lending art to Russian museums. Before the moratorium, strained relationships between U.S. and Russia have not restricted art loans, even during the Cold War.


What: ďFinding a Way: The Soft Diplomacy of Art Exchanges Between Russia and the United States,Ē a public discussion between U.S. and Russian diplomats and museum leaders about thawing the freeze on art loans between the two countries.

When: 5 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13 

Where: Meadows Museum,5900 Bishop Blvd., SMU; free parking in Meadows Museum parking garage


Nicolas Berliner, Acting Deputy Assistant Director of Russian Affairs, U.S. State Department

Glenn Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Ambassador Mikhail Shvydkoy, former Minister of Culture, former Special Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation, Russian Federation