DURING the first phases of the bolshevik regime, art, like science, enjoyed a privileged position. The Red leaders were not narrow-minded. While making frenzied endeavours to promote the development of a “new”art, of a “revolutionary” mass-art, they were not backward in the attempt to collect and safeguard the art treasures handed down from the pre-revolutionary past. No doubt amid the storms of the civil war, rabid marauders, uncultured Red Guardsmen, were responsible for much wanton destruction; but in the bolshevik ranks there was a sufficiency of persons inspired with such genuine enthusiasm for art as to make sure that prompt measures should be taken to preserve an invaluable heritage. The existing museums were soon packed from cellar to garret with the spoils of the expropriated bourgeoisie. Several years were needed to arrange and make accessible to the public these extensive acquisitions, which must be the envy of all the museum directors in other parts of the world. The authorities had the good sense and kindliness, in many instances, to appoint the sometime owners of collections as custodians of these in the State or municipal service.