Zhostovo: A Russian-American Odyssey

  • April 06, 2019 – October 20, 2019
  • /
  • Museum of Russian Icons
  • /
  • Clinton, Massachusetts
  • /
  • Art Exhibit

Zhostovo: A Russian-American Odyssey

A new mini-exhibition of trays and boxes painted in the traditional Zhostovo-style will be on view in the lobby at the Museum of Russian Icons through October 20.  These treasures are created by American decorative painter and teacher Tricia Joiner, and Zhostovo Master Painter Vyacheslav (Slava) Letkov. In the works, the artists combine traditional Zhostovo tray painting techniques with American educational methods and materials.

Many of the works in the MoRI exhibit of Tricia’s collection were painted by Slava Letkov, Merited Artist of Russia and recipient of the Repin Award, who celebrates his 80th birthday this year. He was the youngest of seven masters recognized during the factory’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 1977 and is the only one still painting. Slava no longer travels but does continue to paint. Tricia continues to paint and teach, including online classes.

The history of the Zhostovo craft dates back to the early 19th century when craftsmen’s workshops for decorative painting of lacquered items made of papier-mache and metal were founded in the villages of Zhostovo, Ostashkovo, Khlebnikovo, and Troitskoe outside of Moscow. The rich and tactile floral compositions are traditionally painted in vivid colors against black, red, blue or green backgrounds. The folk artists who work in this style carefully preserve the historic signature patterns and painting techniques; passing along the secrets of the craft to the next generations of Zhostovo masters.

The exhibition features examples of factory and exhibition trays demonstrating the breadth of the Zhostovo art form. The traditional trays were painted in oils with mostly floral designs and dried in ovens to save time. There are furniture pieces and household items painted in acrylics, which are examples of the increasingly challenging class projects. Visitors will learn how thousands of students from dozens of countries have been taught to paint a Zhostovo rose.


Workshop: Introduction to Traditional Zhostovo Painting

Friday, June 7 – Sunday, June 9, 10:00am – 4:30pm

Members $125, Nonmembers $150, plus $80 supply fee

Limited to 18 participants, registration required by Friday, May 31

Times: Daily    Tickets: MoRI and FAM members free, nonmembers $15    Phone: 9785985000    Website    Email

Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union Street, Clinton, 01510

About Us

Russian Life is a 29-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567