The three-week San Diego Arts Festival, "Treasures of the Soviet Union," which boasts the most extensive lineup of Soviet art and culture ever assembled in the United States, gets under way today. The festival features several major art exhibitions, including:
-The largest collection of Faberge imperial eggs ever assembled for public viewing at the San Diego Museum of Art. "Faberge: The Imperial Eggs" includes 25 eggs from the collections of the Kremlin Amory Museum, Moscow; the Forbes Magazine Collection, Queen Elizabeth II, and several American museums and private collections in the United States and Europe. The eggs are hand-crafted, decorative artworks made primarily from gold and silver and encrusted with precious stones such as rubies, diamonds and pearls. They were created by master jeweler Peter Carl Faberge for the Romanov Czars Alexander III and Nicholas II between 1885-1917, and were used for the centuries-old Russian tradition of celebrating Easter with three kisses and the gift of an egg. After closing in San Diego Jan. 7, the exhibition is scheduled to go on view at the Kremlin Armory Museum on Jan. 30.
-"Poster Art of the Soviet Union," an exhibition of about 100 contemporary Soviet posters never before seen outside the U.S.S.R. at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art and at the La Jolla Museum Downtown. The posters, characterized by bold design and vivid colors, reflect cultural, political and social themes. This is said to be the largest collection of contemporary posters ever sent from the Soviet Union to be shown in the United States. The exhibition closes Jan. 7, after which it will travel throughout the U.S.
-"An Insight Into Contemporary Soviet Photography, 1968-1988," includes 150 images by 39 photographers, and is the broadest show of contemporary Soviet photography ever to be shown in this country. The exhibition is at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts until Nov. 19, after which it will travel to Chicago and cities in the U.S.S.R., Portugal and Greece.
-"Masterworks in Metal," the first United States exhibition exclusively devoted to the art of Christian Georgia, can be seen at Timken Art Gallery. The State Art Museum of Soviet Georgia has lent some of its greatest masterworks to the exhibition, which includes examples of 9th Century to 19th Century embossed metal reliefs, cloisonne enamels, crosses and jewelry. The show closes Nov. 11.
ART ON RADIO: The third season of the Museum of Contemporary Art's radio program, "Territory of Art," begins Thursday. The series of 16 half-hour radio works features actors, audio artists, dancers, painters, photographers, musicians, storytellers, writers, composers and poets who create works for radio. The series is broadcast Thursdays at 10 p.m. on KCRW-FM (89.9).
PHOTOGRAPHY FILMS: "From Adams to Van Der Zee," a one-day film festival tracing the history of photography will be held Saturday at the Vagabond Theatre, 2509 Wilshire Blvd. Presented by Otis/Parsons School of Design, the event will include biographical films on Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston and others, and will include film narrations and interviews on "The Family of Man" exhibition, as well as screenings of the documentaries "The Naked Eye" and "America and Lewis Hine." The $25-per-person film festival runs from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For information and reservations: (213) 251-0509.
NOTES: The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles will kick off a series of mural tours with a gala inaugural fund-raising tour next Sunday at 11 a.m. The four-hour, $75-per-person tour will highlight many of the city's best-known murals, as well as those wall paintings that are known mainly by the people who reside in those neighborhoods. Additional tours, which will cost between $40 and $50, will be held about every four to six weeks. Information: (213) 854-4724. . . . UC Irvine has received a $190,000 grant from the Pacific Telesis Foundation that will be used to mount a show of 100 never-before-exhibited Ansel Adams prints from the University of California's Bancroft Library Centennial Collection. Also shown will be 75 additional Adams prints owned by the Pacific Telesis Group. The monthlong exhibition will debut in January as part of UCI's 25th anniversary celebrations.