Skip to main content

John Bowlt

Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-2735
Office: THH 255

Curriculum Vitae

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Bowlt studies the history of late 19th and early 20th Century Russian art. This includes the careers of individual artists such as Bakst, Benois, Filonov, Kandinsky, Malevich, Somov and Tatlin and philosophical issues such as the concept of zero in the avant-garde and the occult dimension of Symbolism. He currently studies the material culture of Russia's Silver Age.

Research Keywords

history of 20th century russian painting, architecture, and design, russian modernism

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Society of Free Esthetics", ASEEES 22 Nov., 2013, Talk/Oral Presentation, Boston, ASEEES, Invited, 2013-2014   
""Representing Genesis: The Bible as a Symbolist Repertoire" ", Bible in Russian Culture, Talk/Oral Presentation, Venice, Universita’ Ca’ Foscari, Invited, 06/24/2014  
"The Russian Cosmos" ", keynote, Keynote Lecture, Los Angeles, Occidental College, Invited, 04/13/2014  
""Malevich through the Looking-Glass" ", Malevich, Talk/Oral Presentation, Amstderdam, Stedelijk Museum, Invited, 01/16/2014  
"Chair and commentator for the section "New Man, New Woman" ", "Legacies of the Russian Avant-Garde" , Talk/Oral Presentation, New York , Columbia University, Invited, 2012-2013   
""David Kakabadze" ", David Kakabadze, Lecture/Seminar, Tbilisi, National Gallery of Art, Invited, 06/30/2013  
""The Russian Avant-Garde and War" ", Avant-Garde and War, Lecture/Seminar, Belgrade, University of Belgrade, Invited, 06/26/2013  
""The Russian Avant-Garde". ", Graduate Seminar, Lecture/Seminar, Jerusalem, Hebrew University, Invited, 06/02/2013-06/04/2013  
""Kingdom of Mystery: Nicholas Roerich and The Rite of Spring" ", The Rite of Spring, Lecture/Seminar, Los Angeles, Music Center, Invited, 02/02/2013  
""Higher, Ever Higher: Letatlin" ", Vladimir Tatlin, Lecture/Seminar, Basel, Museum Tinguely, Invited, 09/27/2012  
""Russian Émigré Collections" ", Russian Emigration, Lecture/Seminar, Amherst, Amherst College, Invited, 03/30/2012  



Bowlt, John E (Ed.). (2014). Russian Avant-Garde Theatre. War, Revolution and Design. London: Victoria and Albert Museum.
Bowlt, J. E., Lobanov-Rostovsky, N., Lobanov-Rostovsky, N. D. (2013). Artists of the Russian Theater. The Catalogue Raisonne of the Collection of Stage Designs of Nina and Niktia D. Lobanov- Rostovsky.


Bowlt, J. E. (2014). "Things That Are Not". (R. Blakseley, M. Samu, Ed.). pp. 201-08. DeKalb.
Bowlt, J. E. (2014). "Goncharova: Sleduia uzoram". (N. Kurnikova, Ed.). pp. unpaginated. Moscow.
Bowlt, J. E. (2014). "Khudozhniki avangarda na voennom fronte". (K. Ichin, Ed.). pp. 271-82. Belgrade, Jugoslavia: Univ of Belgrade.
Bowlt, J. E. (2014). "Telo i dusha". (N Kurnikova, Ed.). pp. 12-23. Moscow.
Bowlt, J. E. (2014). "Playing with Fire". (J. Bowlt, N. Misler, Ed.). pp. 47-80. London.
Bowlt, J. E. (2014). "The Art of Concealing Imperfection. Léon Bakst and Southern California". (L. Johnson, Ed.). pp. 118-45. Los Angeles.
Bowlt, John E, Misler, Nicoletta, anbd Petrova, Evgeniia (Ed.). (2013). «Fire and Ice»,. pp. 18-27. Milan. Skira.
Bowlt, John E, Misler, Nicoletta, anbd Petrova, Evgeniia (Ed.). (2013). «A Profound and Endless Space». pp. 35-43. Milan. Skira.
S. Kudrasov (Ed.). (2013). "Russian Artists and the East". pp. 6-7. Moscow. Stroganov University.
H. Danuser, H. Zimmermann (Ed.). (2013). "Kingdom of Mystery: The Artistic Ideas of Nicholas Roerich". pp. 356-379. London. Boosey and Hawkes.
N. Kurnikova (Ed.). (2013). "A.N Benua, Volshebnik". pp. 45-80. Moscow. Nashi khudozhniki.
W. Otten (Ed.). (2013). "Die Zeichen as der Wand/The Writing on the Wall". pp. 29-48. Hohenews. Otten Kunstraum.
N. Kurnikova (Ed.). (2013). "Leon Bakst as Ethnographer". pp. 80-112. Moscow. Nashi khudozhnik.
Bowlt, J. E. (2013). "Time and Motion". New York. ABA Gallery.
Bowlt, J. E. (2013). "Solomon Nikiritin: The Old and the New". (C. Lodder, Ed.). pp. 153-68. Leiden.
Bowlt, J. E. (2013). Notwithstanding. pp. 7. London; GRAD.
Bowlt, J. E. (2013). "Mark Shagal i Lev Bakst". (O. Leikind, Ed.). pp. 89-93. St. Petersburg.
Bowlt, J. E. (2013). "Russian Artists and the Orient/Russkie khudozhniki i Vostok". (S. Kurasov, Ed.). pp. 6-7. Moscow.
Bowlt, J. E. (2013). "Igry s nostal’giei. A. Benua i kul’turnaia istoriia". (L. Zhebranskaia, Ed.). pp. 226-39. Moscow.
Bowlt, J. E. (2013). "Vremia i dvizhenie". (M. Baryshnilov, Ed.). pp. unpaginated. Moscow.
J. Bowlt and T. Liptuga (Ed.). (2012). Ivan Miasoedov, radikal’nyi konservator". pp. 4-5, 120-126. Odessa. Odessa Literary Museum.
L Kleberg (Ed.). (2012). "Vitrina i afisha". pp. 115-129. Huddinge. Soedertoerns hoegskola.
M. Nashchokina (Ed.). (2012). "Gor’koe-sladkoe. Mikhail Kuzmin i Konstantin Somov". pp. 550-570. Moscow. Progress-Traditsiia.

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

cocurator, Co-curator of the exhibition, "Fuoco e ghiaccio. L’Avanguardia russa, la Siberia e l’Est" [Fire and Ice. The Russian Avant-Garde Siberia and the East], scheduled to open in September, 2013, at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, 2012-2013   
compiler and author, Preparing catalogue raisonné of the Jose Marie Castané collection (Madrid) of Russian art , 2012-2013   
curator, co-curator and consultant for exhibition of Russian stage designs from Bakhrushin Museum Moscow, fir the Theatre Museum, London, in 2014, 2012-2013   
co-organizer, consultant and catalog author for exhibition of collection of Mikhail Baryshnikov at ABA Gallery, NY, 2011-2012   

Honors and Awards

Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation: grant of $15,000 for USC-Russia Exchange, 2013-2014   
Recipient of the Order of Friendship from the President of the Russian Federation for the promiton of Russian culture in the USA, 2010-2011   
Fulbright Award, completion of research in Russiia on Leon Bakst, 2009-2010   
Fulbright Award, Study of the work of Leon Bakst in Russia, 2007-2008   
Borchard Award for study of Ferris collection, 2007-2008   
Casden Institute, USA, 2007-2008   
USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, ASHSS, 2007-2008   

Service to the Profession

Editorships and Editorial Boards

General Editor, Experiment, 1990-  
Faculty may update their profile by visiting