From Russia with friendship

class=img_thumbleft>Local art dealer and Russian Museum of Art founder Raymond E. Johnson was awarded with the Medal of Friendship from Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. In a

press release

from the Kremlin, Putin praised Johnson for "developing Russian-American cultural partnership and strengthening friendships between the people."

The museum, located on Stevens Ave. in south Minneapolis, is the only one in the States dedicated solely to Russian art. The perhaps under-appreciated gallery is home to an array of wonderful works that span Russian and art history: from Socialist Realism to Impressionism, from the collective desire for utopian perfection to the desire to escape the confines of political oppression in search of humanity. A review of the museum's first show can be found here.

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