5 January 2016
Siege of Leningrad brought to UK
through Art and Endurance exhibition in Cambridge
• For the first time, this selection of works by the WWII Leningrad survivor Elena Marttila will be
exhibited in the UK
• Lithographs and engravings create a visual diary of the terrible winter of 1941-42
• Historian Dr John Barber and art historian Larissa Haskell, who personally endured the siege of
Leningrad, will formally open the exhibition on 19 January
• Exhibition will include talks and screenings from 20 January to 19 March
One of the most tragic events in human history will be powerfully depicted in an exhibition beginning this month.
Selected works created by the artist, Elena Marttila, during the winter of 1941-42 in Leningrad will feature in
ART AND ENDURANCE IN THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD, which runs until 19 March at Darwin College,
Cambridge. The exhibition will also include various talks and film screenings to provide a cultural and historic
insight into this period of World War II.
It is the first time that Elena’s Leningrad series of works has been shown to the UK public. The lithographs and
engravings create a visual diary of the blockade that lasted 872 days and cost the lives of a million people, most
of whom died of starvation.
To mark her 94th birthday, Elena is delighted that her record of life under extreme conditions 75 years ago will
be shown to modern viewers, offering them a unique insight into the dark days that Leningrad endured.
The exhibition is a tribute to Elena’s life, legacy and artistic integrity and is dedicated to her friends and fellow
Leningraders who lived and died during the siege.
‘While my hand can still hold a pencil, I will continue to tell the story of my fellow Leningraders, who are dear to
my heart,” said Elena. “I wish for this exhibition to become a warning against the dangers of war for the
preservation of our humanity.”
The exhibition will be curated by Ksenia Afonina – an independent curator and researcher into the art of World
War II and Libby Howie, an independent curator with a specialist knowledge of graphic art.
Dr John Barber, Dr Olga Kucherenko, Dr Jeremy Hicks, Professor Katharine Hodgson and Professor Marina
Frolova-Walker are some of the names to give enlightening talks and presentations on life in Leningrad during
World War II.
Opening times: Fridays 2-6pm, Saturdays & Sundays 1-5pm
Venue: The Old Library, Darwin College, Silver Str, Cambridge, CB3 9EU
Notes for editors, included with this Press release:
• The full story of Elena Marttila, written by Olga Kucherenko and Ksenia Afonina
• Programme of talks and film screenings
• An invitation to the preview of the exhibition on 19 January 2017, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
For more information, contact:
Anthony Burr 07766 459 469 email@example.com
Yana Maksimochkina 07412 47 77 97 firstname.lastname@example.org