Leonid Talochkin archive

Leonid Talochkin began to assemble his archive in the early 1960s. It contains several thousand documents, including his personal notebooks and diaries with detailed accounts of contemporary art events in Moscow; manuscripts by underground writers, poets (Genrikh Sapgir, Yuri Mamleev), and artists (Oskar Rabin, Evgeny Kropivnitsky); and correspondence with émigré artists (Mikhail Chernyshov, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid), international specialists in Slavic cultures (Jindřich Chalupecký, John Bowlt), collectors, and representatives of Russian and foreign museums and art institutions. From the 1960s through the 1990s, Talochkin also collected hundreds of photographs, exhibition invitations (including some rare handwritten ones), booklets, postcards, slides, and images of works that are now in museums and private collections in Russia and abroad. The archive also includes a collection of catalogues and books, which are now available in Garage Library.

About Leonid Talochkin

Leonid Talochkin (1936–2002) was an archivist and collector of Soviet nonconformist art. In the early 1960s, he became part of the circle around the Moscow nonconformist artists and started collecting their work. By the mid-1970s, he had around 600 works in his possession, and devoted all his time to archiving the activities of Moscow nonconformists. To avoid accusations of parasitism (which was illegal), he worked as a concierge, stoker, and night guard.

In 1987, Talochkin began working on exhibiting his collection (Retrospection. Moscow 1957–1987 (1988) and Other Art (1991)). In 1999, he lent his collection of over 2,000 artworks to the Museum Center of the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. It became the core of the Other Art Museum at RSUH, which opened in 2000.

In 2014, Talochkin’s archive was acquired by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and in 2016 his widow, Tatiana Wendelshtein, transferred his collection from RSUH to the State Tretyakov Gallery.

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