GRAD is a cultural platform for initiatives and communication, bringing new insights into Russian and Eastern European art, design and culture through exhibitions, publications, live events, collaborations and digital engagement. We act as a social and visual platform to encourage creative dialogues, create new links and question long established preconceptions of Russian and post-Soviet culture.

Committed to promoting Russian and Eastern European art at the highest standard, in the past four years GRAD has presented over twenty curatorial projects, both historical and contemporary, addressing urgent social issues of today. GRAD has partnered with over thirty leading cultural organisations and museums world-wide including such prominent institutions as the Science Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, State Russian Archive of Literature and Arts, St.Petersburg Museum of Theatre and Music and many others.

GRAD is the only not-for-profit organisation to have been awarded immunity from seizure status by the DCMS. This has made it possible for GRAD to collaborate with international museum collections worldwide, to exhibit them as part of GRAD Academy programme of exhibitions, lectures and screenings that explore cultural and social history. GRAD will continue to present its Academy programme of historic exhibitions in new sites both in the UK and internationally.

Having outgrown our premises in a former retail space in Little Portland Street, London, GRAD is moving to new horizons, investigating new territories and testing unexplored formats that take our critically acclaimed programme beyond the confines of the gallery walls.

Shadow Memory, premiered at the Ural Biennale in September 2017, marks the launch of GRAD Lab internationally and builds upon GRAD Lab’s programme of experimentation that showcases cross-artform projects such as artist-curated exhibitions, performances and specially-commissioned new work.

GRAD is a not-for-profit organization established in 2013.

Further information about our status and any works currently covered by immunity can be found here.
GRAD is a company limited by guarantee
Registered in England and Wales 08287017, VAT registration number 163691393


NINA LOBANOV-ROSTOVSKY, Collector and Art Historian

JOHN MILNER, Professor of Russian Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art

WILLEM JAN RENDERS, Curator of Russian art, Van Abbemuseum

MIKHAIL SHVYDKOY, President of the Russian Television Academy Foundation and Special Envoy of the President
of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation

DEBORAH SWALLOW, Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art



Director & Principal Curator

Before completing an MA in Russian Art at the Courtauld Institute, Elena was director of the Moscow-based G.O.S.T. Gallery, which specialises in late 19th and 20th century works on paper and has established a strong reputation among Russian museums and cultural institutions. Elena is interested in developing multi-cultural links between Russia and Great Britain and her motto is ‘L’Art sans frontieres’.


Creative Director

Katya Sivers is an artist and graphic designer. Holding an MA in Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Art and Design and as a graduate of Stroganov’s Art Academy in Moscow, she has worked with leading Russian museums, galleries and publishing houses including the Tretyakov Gallery and the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture.


Senior Curator and
Head of Education

Before being awarded PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Natalia read History of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and completed the PhD course at the Hermitage Museum. Natalia’s biography of Nikolay Punin, 'Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-garde. Life and Times of Nikolai Punin' was published by Brill Academic Publishers in 2012. Natalia has curated several major exhibitions in the UK including 2017 Royal Academy of Arts blockbuster 'Revolution. Russian Art. 1917-1932'.


Gallery Manager

Ksenia holds MSc in Economics, CIM Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing, MBA and MA in Arts Policy & Management. She has been working in marketing over 20 years,  delivering management & business development services to the creative industries. For the last 5 years Ksenia acted as independent scholar and curator, researching unofficial art of the Second World War and worked on cross-cultural exhibitions of art and memories conceived by the active participants and witnesses of wartime.


Volunteer Placement Programme

GRAD is currently seeking bright and enthusiastic volunteers to assist with the daily running of the gallery. This placement is ideal for candidates at the start of their careers, looking for experience in an arts institution. Please see the full application guidelines here

To apply, please send a tailored CV and covering letter to with Volunteer Application clearly marked in the subject line.