Faculties – Ceramics

Deans: A. Filippov (1920-1923), A. Kazantsev (1923-1926), Tchaikov (1926-1927), S.Tumanov (1929-1930).

The faculty of ceramics was founded on the initiative of 1st Free State Art Studios professor Filippov, who thought of the Faculty as a “technical school on ceramics” aimed at mass production of household items, although he himself had a wealth of experience in architectural and decorative ceramics. Filippov’s efforts were aimed at combining artistic and utilitarian tasks: objects (mainly dishes) were to be created using the rational principle of form creation and attention to the consumer qualities of things. This approach was close to the ideas of industrial art. Already in 1921 the faculty received the first order – painting the dishes for the III Congress of the Comintern at the Dulevskiy porcelain factory, where the students took industrial practice.

The faculty was founded on a very scarce base of ceramic workshops, which existed in the 1st Free State Art Studios. According to the first curriculum of 1920, there were supposed to be two departments: ceramic works and glass works. But only the ceramics department was opened. In 1926 an attempt was made to unite the faculty of ceramics with the faculty of sculpture to develop the idea of formal analysis on the principle of working with volume. It was done for a short period of time. On this basis there were conflicts between Kazantsev and Tchaikov who tried to implement this idea. Already in 1927 the faculty of ceramics became independent again due to the increasing tendency of training of personnel directly for industry in VKHUTEMAS. There were three departments at the faculty – design, technology and artistic composition.

Tatlin has done a lot in bringing artistic foundation to the education of designers for the porcelain industry at the faculty of ceramics. Here he also taught a course on “Culture of Material”. Tatlin fascinated students with ideas of “organic” form, designed for sensual perception.

At different times among faculty tutors were: N. Gattenberg, M. Egorov, I. Efimov, Kazantsev, Kuznetsov, Kuprin, Mukhina, Niss-Goldman, Tatlin, Tumanov, Filippov, Tchaikov, Sterenberg and others.

23 ceramists graduated from the faculty.

(Based on the article by N. Adaskina VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN // Encyclopedia of Russian Avant-Garde Fine Art Architecture, Volume III, History. Theory, Book 1. – P.102-111).