Articles by Joy Neumeyer



Inside the Soviet Union's Secret Erotica Collection

In the depths of the Russian State Library, Marina Chestnykh takes the creaking elevator up to the ninth floor. She walks past stack after stack of books behind metal cages, the shelves barely visible in the dim light from the frosted-glass windows.

Controversial Lenin Death Mask for Sale in U.S.

In the quasi-religious personality cult surrounding Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, the leader's death mask became for many the Holy Grail second, perhaps, only to the mummy that still resides on Red Square. The relic, supposedly one of three originals cast by sculptor Sergei Merkurov, is now up for auction through a Boston-based dealer, which estimates it will fetch $35,000-$40,000.

Astronaut's Wife Reveals Hidden Life After Launch

In May 2009, Lena de Winne stood on a barren steppe in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, as she watched her husband, Belgian astronaut Frank de Winne, launch into space. Struggling to remain the composed wife amid cameras and a crowd of observers, she alighted on an unexpected source of emotional support: 1980s power ballad "The Final Countdown," which she played on her iPod as the shuttle disappeared into the atmosphere.

'Beauty' Contest Seeks Out Provincial Bachelor

Since the country's first perestroika-era pageant, Russia has welcomed the beauty contest as a stage to showcase the glamour of its women. But in Moscow's most recent pageant, crew cuts and tuxedos replaced curlers and swimsuits, as 10 finalists fought to be named most eligible bachelor from Russia's regions.

Moscow River Artists Look to the Country

A floor below the sprawling Soviet-themed exhibits at the State Museum of Contemporary History, a group of landscape painters is offering glimpses of a Russia seemingly untouched by the 20th century.

Exhibits Grapple with Gorbachev, Yeltsins Legacies

This spring, the Moscow House of Photography commemorates the 80th birthdays of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Unions last head of state, and Boris Yeltsin, Russias first president, with a pair of exhibits on the two leaders lives and legacies.

Metro Stickers Take On Fascists

Among the usual barrage of ads, commuters on Moscows metro may be noticing images with a social mission more urgent than selling shoes or sushi.

Cosmoscow Brings Modern Art World to Russia

Prominent art galleries from around the world will take over Krasny Oktyabr, the Soviet chocolate factory-turned-gallery space, for the Cosmoscow modern art show.

'If Only I'd Known!' Makes Modern Art Easy

Museumgoers befuddled by Kazimir Malevichs Black Square, rejoice: The Moscow Museum of Modern Art has come to the rescue in an interactive new exhibition.

Movie Festival Shows Brazil Beyond the Beach

Former football players reminiscing about their glory days, a shy copy-machine worker who falls in love with his neighbor, and a man combating the vestiges of slavery are among the stories at this years Brazilian Film Festival, which runs through Wednesday at the 35MM movie theater.

Student Art Fair Offers Russian, French Works

Moscows most talented art students will offer their work to the public at Artplay Design Centers Student Art Fair this Dec. 18 and 19. Out of 1,000 competitors, the exhibits curators chose 105 students to have a shot at selling their paintings, drawings and photographs.

'The Victims Return' Looks at Life After the Gulag

In the 1950s, millions of people reappeared in Soviet society, like ghosts returned from the dead. They had been revolutionaries, scientists, petty criminals and bureaucrats; some were their children. Some had been gone for months; others, for decades. But they all shared a common fate.

Meet the Russian Arnold Schwarzenegger

After 15 minutes of talking, Alexander Nevsky aka Mr. Universe is hungry. Really hungry. Mind if we take a break? he asks, his fork hovering eagerly over his brunch.

Tolstoy Tale Takes Literary Prize

Writer Pavel Basinsky has claimed the 2010 Big Book award for his work Leo Tolstoy: Escape from Paradise. Basinskys book traces Tolstoys life after his flight from Yasnaya Polyana, his childhood home and literary sanctuary, before his death.

Memories of Soviet Emigres, Dissidents Go on Show

In an installation at the XL Gallery, Moscow conceptual artist Igor Makarevich returns to an intimate memory from his past saying goodbye to his friends Konstantin and Tatiana Erastov and their seven children as they emigrated to the West in 1979.

School Stages Music Marathon

International School of Moscow students will hold an all-day music marathon Friday in support of disadvantaged children. The events proceeds will go to BBC Children in Need and Diemas Dream, a Russian charity that provides support to disabled orphans.

Turn-of-Century Russia in Color

In the Russian Empire in Color exhibition at the Photo Center, photographs by Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky reveal the churches, landscapes and inhabitants of the late Russian Empire in brilliant whites, sharp blues and rich purples.

Remembering the Pain of Shtetl Life Under Siege

Meir Axelrods simple drawings, on display at Winzavods Proun Gallery, allow visitors to see a long lost way of life, of Jews in the Russian empire at the start of the 20th century.

Singer Defends His Medvedev Meeting

Andrei Makarevich, lead singer of rock band Mashina Vremeni, has complained about numerous distortions and inaccuracies in the coverage of his and other musicians meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev in a letter to the St. Petersburg Times.

Shteyngart Aims at Collapsing U.S., Not Russia

Author Gary Shteyngart, who was in Moscow promoting his new book "A Super Sad True Love Story," is no stranger to mocking Russias foibles. The Russian-born author skewered fellow emigres in his earlier novels.