Irina Antonova (1922 - 2020), Russian Federation
Contribution to the dialogue of national culture
Irina Aleksandrovna Antonova studied under Boris Vipper at Moscow Sta te University and was later employed at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. She was the director of the museum from 1961 until 2013, making her the world’s longest-serving museum director. She has long championed the renewal of the State Museum of New Western Art, which was de stroyed by Stalin in 1948. Antonova also contributed to the establishment of the December Nights of Sviatoslav Richter international music festival, which has been held at the Pushkin Museum since 1981. Since 1992 she has been an honorary member of the International Council of Museums, the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of the Arts, and she holds an honorary doctorate from the Russian State University for the Humanities. In April 2013 she was appointed Chief Curator of Russian Museums, and in May of the same year she headed the artworks purchasing committee at the Russian Ministry of Culture. She has taught art history at Moscow State University, the Institute of Cinematography and Institute of Oriental Languages in Paris. The author of over 100 publications (catalogues, articles, albums, television shows, educational films and scripts), Antonova holds numerous awards, including the State Prize of the Russian Federation, the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. With her active work in the public sector, Irina Aleksandrovna Antonova has contributed to the development of cultural relations between East and West.