Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Iraida Viacheslavovna Barry Papers, 1820s-1970s 

Creator: 
Barry, Iraida Vi︠a︡cheslavovna, 1899-,.
Phys. Desc: 
5.88 linear feet (14 document boxes)
Call Number: 
BAR Ms Coll/Barry
Location: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

Iraida Viacheslavovna Barry (nee Kedrina), born on September 10, 1899, in Sevastopol, Crimea, was a sculptor, writer and member of the Russian emigre community in Istanbul and Paris. From an aristocratic family with ties to the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Iraida Barry expected to study sculpture at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Petrograd before the outset of the 1917 Russian Revolution. After Bolshevik purges in Sevastopol claimed the lives of her godfather and a young suitor, she moved to Odessa in 1918 and then to Constantinople in 1919. In 1920-23, she married local dentist Albert Barry, gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth, and became one of the first three female students at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan State Academy of Fine Arts. Elizabeth's physical disabilities motivated several trips to France and Switzerland to consult specialists during the 1930s, a period during which Iraida Barry studied and exhibited alongside leading European sculptors. Barry exhibited her work in Paris at the 1930 Salon d'Automne, at the Salon des Independents in 1931 and 1935, and held solo exhibitions there in 1931 and 1939. Hailed as a leading modern artist of the newly-formed Turkish Republic, Barry's work was featured at the opening of the first Turkish Museum of Painting and Sculpture at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul. This museum continues to hold several of Barry's sculptures, as do galleries and private collections in Turkey and around the world. In 1951, Barry completed Silver Ringlet, a memoir of 1916-20 that comprises the first chapter of her unedited, semi-fictionalized, partially epistolary autobiographical collection The Shattered Mirror. In addition to these manuscripts, Barry donated her correspondence, diaries and drafts, family heirlooms, and the writings of her parents to the Russian Archive (now the Bakhmeteff) at Columbia University over a period from the late 1950s into the 1970s. Iraida Barry died in Istanbul in 1980.

Scope and Contents

The papers are composed of correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, notebooks, documents, journals, printed material and photographs. They document the life and work of Iraida Barry (1899-1980), Istanbul-based Russian émigré sculptor, and of her father, Viacheslav Kedrin (1869-1951). The bulk of the collection consists of handwritten correspondence and manuscripts. The correspondence predominantly is letters addressed to Iraida Barry from friends, family and acquaintances. Major family correspondences (Barry with her mother, father and stepmother) were arranged in a separate series. Of the non-family correspondence, three individuals - Marcel Carga, Alexei Tsytovich and Dmitrii Zviagintsov - account for nearly half. A large part of the collection consists of manuscripts and notebooks written by Iraida Barry and her father Viacheslav Kedrin. Barry's writings include hand-corrected typescripts of memoirs, school notebooks, diaries and compositions. Kedrin's writings are primarily handwritten journals and notebooks of poetry and essays. There are about twice as many documents by Kedrin as there are by Barry herself. Barry prepared two indexes of her father's notebooks in which she marked certain passages as particularly noteworthy. For preservation purposes, the original manuscripts have been placed in acid-free paper and stored in new archival boxes. Photographs have been placed in plastic protectors and are collected at the end. The materials in this collection document the personal and professional life of Iraida Barry and Viacheslav Kedrin. They are extremely valuable resources for research on the emigre community in interwar Istanbul and the artistic life of the early Turkish Republic.