The study of works by European masters in the museum’s collection was episodic before. The most valuable contribution was made by Nina Baranovskaya (1914–1989), a senior research associate who was engaged in the scientific study of the collections of foreign art in the museum in 1976–1989. She made the first scientific card indexes of collections. She published the results of studying a number of works, which made it possible to introduce into scientific circulation many exhibits belonging to various European art schools.
The sector founded in 1990, and later the department of foreign art, was headed by Tamara Karandasheva, who previously worked in the department of pre-revolutionary Russian and Soviet art. The collection of monuments of culture and art of the peoples of the East was added to the European Art Fund in 2000. At the same time, the department was renamed the Department of Western European Art and Oriental Art. According to the museum’s staff schedule, it became known as the Research Department of Foreign Art since 2002. Yelena Senkevich was the head of the department in 2003.
During its existence, the department has carried out extensive research work, cataloged collections of European and Oriental art and organized many exhibition projects, including international ones. O. A. Kovrik, A. A. Goleta, E. V. Senkevich, O. A. Klip and N. V. Shchukina worked in the department at different times.
In 2013, the Department of Foreign Art was merged into the Research Department of Russian and Foreign Art, together with the Department of Russian Art (formerly the Department of Pre-revolutionary Russian and Soviet art), which was organized in the museum in 1957. Its first head was Pyotr Gerasimovich (1912–1990), previously the chief curator of the museum. The department was headed by Yelena Resina (1926–2014) in 1964–2000. Tatyana Reznik headed it in 2000–2010. The department was headed by Aleksey Khoryak (1978–2019) since 2010. R. G. Badin (1930–1999), N. P. Marchenko, E. D. Shaposhnikova, T. I. Karandasheva, M. V. Trofimova, I. G. Tomasheva, D. S. Bartoshuk and others worked in the Department of Russian Art over the years.
Aleksey Khoryak became the head of the united department. The department has been headed by Svetlana Prokopyeva since November 2017. The department was again renamed the Department of Foreign Art in 2021.
The department manages collections of European and Oriental art of the 16th–21st centuries and the collection of Russian art of the 18th–21st centuries, which is the pride of the museum collection. The high artistic value of the collection of Russian art of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus ensured its wide popularity, which went far beyond the borders of the republic.
The priority activity of the department is research work. Today, most of the work on cataloging the collections has been completed. Under the scientific editorship of Yelena Resina, the staff of the department prepared and published the Catalogue of Russian and Soviet Sculpture (1977), ‘Catalogue of Russian Pre-revolutionary and Soviet Engraving and Lithography’ (1984) and ‘Catalogue of Russian Pre-revolutionary and Soviet painting’ in two volumes (V. I, 1995; V. II, 1997). The catalogue ‘Sculpture of the Countries of Western and Eastern Europe in the Collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus’ was published (compiled by Svetlana Prokopyeva) in 2008.
Today, the catalogue ‘Russian Drawing and Watercolors in the 18th–20th centuries’, ‘European Printed Graphics in the 17th–21st centuries’, ‘Ceramics and Porcelain of China’ has been prepared for publication. The department staff is working on cataloging new arrivals.
The staff of the department gives lectures, conducts museum programs and tours of the museum’s permanent exposition and exhibitions. They work to popularize the works of the museum collection, organize and hold exhibitions. The department specialists provide consultations on the scientific topics of the department. They perform art attribution at the request of state organizations and individuals.
In addition to their main work, the department staff is custodians of collections of foreign painting, sculpture and graphic arts (Svetlana Prokopyeva) and Russian graphic arts (Yuliya Lisay).
She graduated from the Saint Petersburg State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I. Ye. Repin of the Russian Academy of Arts (Department of Theory and History of Arts, specialty ‘Study of Art’) in 1996. She has been working at the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus since 1996 (a junior research associate, a research associate, a senior research associate and a leading research associate in the Department of Foreign Art since 2005). She was a custodian of the collection of foreign graphic arts since 2006, a custodian of the collection of foreign sculpture since 2007 and a custodian of the collection of foreign paintingssince 2008. She conducts research work on the study of works of European sculpture, graphic arts and painting from the museum’s collection. She is the author of numerous attributions accepted by the Attribution Council of the National Art Museum of the Republic.
She is a participant of the Fresh Paint International Art Fair in Tel Aviv (Israel, May 13-18, 2012).
She is a scholar of the President of the Republic of Belarus for talented young scientists (2009).
She is a recipient of grant of the President of the Republic of Belarus in science, education, healthcare and culture (2019).
She is a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
She is a holder of the Order of Arts and Literature (L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, French Republic (2016).
She graduated from the State Institute of Management and Social Technologies of the Belarusian State University with a degree in ‘Study of Art’ in 2007. She completed her master’s degree in ‘Study of Art’ in 2009.
She took part in the development of concepts and the creation of permanent exhibitions ‘Belarusian Artists in the 19th – first half of the 20th century’ and ‘Russian Art in the 18th – early 20 century’in the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.
She graduated from the Belarusian State University (Faculty of History, Department of Ethnology, Museology and Art History) in 2008. She completed her master’s degree in ‘Study of Art’ in 2009. She is awarded the Master’s Degree in ‘Study of Art’. She has been working as a custodian of temporary receipts in the museum since 2016. She is engaged in the study of historic portrait.
She graduated with honors from the Belarusian State Academy of Arts with a degree in ‘Study of Art’ in 2008. She has become an employee in the museum’s branch ‘The Vankovichs’ House. Culture and Art in the first half of the 19th century’ since January 2009. She received the degree of Master of Arts in 2013. In the same year, she completed a two-year study in the joint Belarusian-Polish educational project ‘Nesvizh Academy’ under the program ‘Rules for the protection of territories adjacent to heritage sites: the experience of Belarus and Poland’ with further defense of a diploma in Warsaw on ‘Palace and Garden Complex in Polonechka. Potential for conservation and use’.
She completed her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Arts in the same specialty in 2018. She is working on her dissertation research on ‘Italian influences in the secular architecture of Belarus in the 16th–19th centuries’. She is the author of scientific and popular science works on the history of art and architecture of Belarus in the 16th–20th centuries. She is a participant in republican and international conferences.
She has been a senior research associate in the Department of Scientific and Educational Work since April 2017.
Research interests: palace and estate architecture of Belarus in the 18th–19th centuries. Life and interior of the Belarusian estate. Italian architecture and art in the 16th–19th centuries.
She graduated from the Belarusian State University (Faculty of History) with a degree in ‘Museum Affairs and Protection of Historical and Cultural Heritage’ in 2011. She conducts scientific work on the study and cataloging of the collection of Russian painting.
Research interests: Russian fine arts of the 18th – early 20th centuries; Belarusian fine arts of the late 19th – early 20th centuries; Soviet fine arts.
She graduated from the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts (Department of Cultural Studies and Socio-Cultural Activities, specialty ‘Study of Art (Comparative Study of Art)’, Bachelor’s programme (qualification ‘fine art expert, teacher’) in 2021, master’s degree (specialty ‘Study of Art’) in 2022.