Poland’s Mona Lisa: Lady with an Ermine

Poland’s Mona Lisa: Lady with an Ermine

Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine has a checkered past, having kept company with artists, noblemen, gentlewomen, thieves, and Nazis. But from now on, her heart belongs to Poland. The famous Czartoryski Collection, her cohort since 1798, has been purchased by the state, with the hope that she will never roam again. Read More



8 Reasons to Travel to Iran Now

8 Reasons to Travel to Iran Now

Iran’s fabulous bazaars, amazing archaeological sites, and unfailingly warm and friendly people are favorites of intrepid travelers and media outlets. Discover for yourself why it deserves a place at the top of any traveler’s list. Read More


“Primitive” Prymachenko: National Artist of Ukraine

“Primitive” Prymachenko: National Artist of Ukraine

Born in 1909, Maria Prymachenko spent her long life in a Ukrainian village with the humble name of Bolotniya, which means marsh or swamp. As a girl she came down with polio, which interfered with her schooling and left her with a painful limp. But her vivid imagination and irrepressible use of color made her a giant in the Ukrainian art world in spite of, or perhaps because of, the limitations she encountered. Her fantastical paintings of imaginary beasts, birds, flowers and ordinary villagers doing everyday things brightened the walls of Kiev’s Art Arsenal earlier this year in a first-ever retrospective of more than 300 of her works. Read More


Fame, Fortune & Film: LenFilm Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Fame, Fortune & Film: LenFilm Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

A walk through St. Petersburg’s LenFilm Museum is a walk through the history of Russian film, with sets, props, costumes and sketches from its most famous films. The staff of MIR’s St. Petersburg affiliated office recently made a field trip to the museum and shared photos with us. Read More


Silk Road Ceramics of Uzbekistan

Silk Road Ceramics of Uzbekistan

In Uzbekistan, that art is very much alive. Centers of Silk Road ceramics production sprang up in the vicinity of Gijduvan, Rishtan, Samarkand and Tashkent long ago, and are still flourishing. Just as food varies from region to region, so do ceramics. The clay itself is different from region to region, and so are the local ingredients used for dyes to paint the plates and jars. Even more, every artist's eye sees things a little differently. Read More


Star Wars: The Force is Strong in Croatia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Russia

Star Wars: The Force is Strong in Croatia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Russia

Recently Dubrovnik, Croatia, got some star-studded attention as one of the filming locations for Episode VIII of the Star Wars franchise. Already a TV star, Dubrovnik has appeared as King’s Landing in the popular series Game of Thrones, its winding cobbled streets and medieval stone fortresses doubling as authentic fantasy locations. This news made us curious about hidden connections between Star Wars and other countries we love... Read More


Hidden Treasures: Savitsky Museum of “Forbidden Art”

Hidden Treasures: Savitsky Museum of “Forbidden Art”

Hidden in plain sight in a Central Asian desert, once-banned Soviet paintings of a time gone by are treasured and preserved at the Savitsky Museum in remote Nukus, Uzbekistan. The story of how they got here is the stuff of movies – literally. Read More