Anthony Austin, founder of QED Rarities, studied Slavonic languages and history at the Universities of Leeds and Sofia, the Pushkin Institute in Moscow and the Centre d’Etudes Russes in Paris. His first visit to the USSR took place in 1980. He was impressed by the art and imagery of the ubiquitous propaganda.
Subsequently, as a member of a ComEcon (and later Russian) organisation for international cooperation he was more or less resident in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg for about nine years and worked primarily in industry. The quasi-diplomatic status allowed extensive travel all over the former USSR, from the Baltic to deep Siberia, from Karelia to Georgia. Later came five years of residence in Budapest and Bucharest.
That period allowed close consideration and a deepening understanding of the integrity of history and culture, the inseparable and dramatic influence of politics on creative thought and its reflection in art.
Currently Anthony lives and works in Moscow. He visits the UK, regularly and recently completed two series of lectures for Westminster City Council entitled ‘The Great Collections’ in the major art galleries of London. He writes on culture, history, art and politics. His interest in Soviet and Central European history and particularly the avant-garde period gave rise to the QED collection, an inquiry into the interrelation of history and art.
He is forming a co-operation with the VKhUTEMAS Gallery in Moscow, with a view to popularising that significant yet little-known institution. Anthony also works with the PR department of the Museum of Moscow.