Playful Tradition: Traditional Russian Clay Figurines and Toys

All Current Exhibits  March 12, 2024
Folk art figurine in the form of a rooster.

Clay figurines and toys can be found in many culturea and traditions. They go back thousands of years and often had ceremonial or mystical functions. Some of these  figurines represented fertility and harvest symbols, or they depicted scenes from daily life and work. Many are in the shape of a whistle to keep away evil spirits. Still others are simply bright and playful and were used to decorate homes and entertain children.

Irene and Alex Belozersky first discovered this folk art in their travels in Russia at the end of 1970s. They were enchanted by the beauty and expressiveness of these figurines. They were fortunate to collect traditional works of true folk artisans from different corners of the former Soviet Union. This art form has been fast disappearing, and the present collection is quite unique.

Apart from their rarity, these objects are colorful, playful and beautiful. We hope they will bring you joy.