Federal State Institution of Culture

Russian State
Art Library

"Art to help the arts"

On 25 June, in RSAL’s Blue Hall, the Exhibition ‘The Artist and the Book. In Memory of S.M. Barkhin’ from the ‘Creativity of Our Readers’ Cycle Opened


The renowned architect, set designer, teacher, and writer Sergey Barkhin was also an outstanding book designer and illustrator. From 1965 to 1985, Sergey Barkhin collaborated with a variety of publishing houses—most often Iskusstva—where he designed books on foreign literature and drama.

In 1996, he created Twins publishing house together with his twin sister, Tatyana, and daughter Anna to print family memoirs documenting the history of several generations of their ancestors.

For each work, Barkhin found a style corresponding to its character that makes it possible to introduce the reader into the world depicted therein. Both in the theatre and book design, he used his huge store of knowledge and impressions, combining them in seemingly incompatible ways—yet always with tremendous results.

In the original project, The French, printed in 22 copies by Gemini publishing house, Sergey Barkhin began an experiment: he not only designed French poetic works from various epochs, but also created an artist’s book for them. The author wrote memorable inscriptions and donated almost all the books to the Russian State Art Library (RSAL). In 2019, on a copy of his last grandiose edition, The Book of Songs of Solomon, the artist inscribed: ‘To an invaluable art library, from Sergei Barkhin.’

In memory of its reader and friend, who passed away in November last year, RSAL opened this exposition, showing books from its collections on which the famous artist Sergey Barkhin worked.