Bringing up Russia's undergrounders

For five decades, Norton Dodge collected Russia’s underground artists, creating the largest collection of Russian Noncomformist art.

For five decades, Norton Dodge collected Russia’s underground artists, creating the largest collection of Russian Noncomformist art. At the height of the Cold War, he visited the Soviet Union frequently as an economist studying women in the labor force. But he spent most of his time at apartment exhibitions. He also started buying and smuggling dissident works out and found he was quite good at it, rolling them up inside posters and rugs. Dodge died on November 5 at the age of 84. More than 20,000 works from 1956-1986 from Khruschchev’s Thaw to Gorbachev’s Glasnost are cataloged as part of the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University.

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