John Bowlt

Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures
John Bowlt
  • 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

  • Conference Presentations

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

    • 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.
    • co-organizer, consultant and catalog author for exhibition of collection of Mikhail Baryshnikov at ABA Gallery, NY, 2011-2012
    • 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
    • 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
    • Borchard Award for study of Ferris collection, 2007-2008
    • Casden Institute, USA, 2007-2008
    • Fulbright Award, Study of the work of Leon Bakst in Russia, 2007-2008
    • USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, ASHSS, 2007-2008
  • Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • General Editor, Experiment, 1990 –