russia, MOSCOW. 2016


Created by Roma Liberov

Curators: Roma Liberov, Ekaterina Kuzmina

Research curator: Maria Kotova

Exhibition design: Anna Rumyantseva

Wall design: ZUKCLUB, Parallel Comics Publishing House

Voices of the exhibition: Ivan Urgant & Vladimir Pozner

Audio recording: Alexander Truhan (Vox Records)

In 1935–1936 Soviet authors Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov spent four months in the United States of America. Having crossed the country from ocean to ocean by car, back in the USSR they co-wrote Little Golden America — the travel notes that some American journalists of the time praised as the most insightful book on their homeland.

Travelling across America, Ilya Ilf sent home daily letters, postcards and telegrams. When he returned, he brought back a lot of souvenirs, as well as many letters and telegrams he had received during his trip from his wife Marusya. After his death, Ilya Ilf's unique archive documenting the authors' road-trip was preserved by his daughter Aleksandra Ilf.

Now, Ilya Ilf's American archive will be available to the public for the first time.

Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Mikhail Bulgakov Museum present Little Golden America: Based on a True Story. The exhibition devoted to Ilya Ilf's and Evgeny Petrov's travels will contain unique documents, letters, postcards, photographs and objects, including the following:

  • a letter describing the process of choosing a car to travel in;
  • a telegram informing Ilya Ilf that his daughter has cut the second tooth;
  • a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge at the time of its construction;
  • the first edition of Little Golden America (1937) signed by Evgeny Petrov for the Soviet Consul in New York Jean Arens.
  • a set of postcards with Grand Canyon, which Ilya Ilf brought to Moscow.
In MMOMA galleries, redesigned by Moscow-based street-art group ZUKCLUB, the viewers will get a chance read a different Little Golden America, and see American roads, the desert of Nevada, and Hollywood in its Golden Age with the eyes of the famous authors of The Twelve Chairs and The Little Golden Calf.

The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Aleksandra Ilyinichna Ilf (1935–2013)

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