Life in Miniature

Life in Miniature

The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus Exhibition building

From September 22 to November 19, 2023, at the exhibition complex of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus (24 Karl Marx St.), the exhibition “Life in Miniature” will be presenting about 70 twentieth-century porcelain figurines from the funds of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, created at the Mikhail Lomonosov Leningrad Porcelain Factory, Volkhov Porcelain Factory, Dmitrov Porcelain Factory, Dulevo Porcelain Factory and Minsk Porcelain Factory.

Tabletop porcelain figurines of the 1920s–1960s played an important role in the everyday cultural life of the Soviet land. In the 1950s–1960s, a state programme was devised to improve the well-being of the people. The spiritual life of Soviet society was to be filled with ideas of harmonious development of personal qualities, nurturing of a new taste, aesthetic transformation of the environment, and the creation of cities and dwellings of a new type. Changes in public life were to usher in new prospects for the development of architecture and objective art so closely related to it. Small-scale sculpture becomes one of the important elements of the interior of a typical Soviet apartment, a symbol of home comfort and warmth. Interior porcelain plastics reflect the tastes of the homeowner, his range of interests, aesthetic preferences, as well as convey the zeitgeist, the nature of social life.

The country’s porcelain factories were actively involved in the process of shaping the everyday culture of Soviet people. Porcelain figurines with their clear and recognizable images were produced in mass quantities. The designers chose a unique and eventually well-defined set of subjects and themes for their creations: literature characters, theatre and circus, “pictures from everyday life,” the world of childhood, animals.

Soviet mass-produced porcelain can be considered an important art phenomenon of the twentieth century. Nowadays it still attracts the attention of researchers, collectors and art lovers, being a kind of a monument to a bygone time.


Exhibition curators: Natallia Kalashnik, leading researcher at the Scientific and Fund Department; Yulia Zagorskaya, senior researcher at the Department of Belarusian art of the 20th–21st century; Maria Shugaley, researcher at the Scientific and Fund Department