Artists Trade Union of Russia is an all-Russian social organization which unites artists, art historians and museum and gallery workers on a voluntary basis. The main purpose of the Trade Union is the protection of creators’ rights. It acts in 54 Russian regions and 8 foreign countries. More than 3,000 artists and other art workers are members of the Trade Union. It controls several regional representative offices and has various foreign representative offices. It also includes 11 profile sections, a Public Relations service, a legal service and a producing centre.
The Trade Union is currently working on two large scale projects. The first one is implemented by the Trade Union’s Rating Centre, composed of art historians and art critics. It has a status of professional jury, free as regards both their judgments and estimations. This Rating Centre is responsible for making the reference book United Art Rating, which has been published since 1999 and has already stood 19 editions. United Art Rating includes the names, dates of life and rating categories of more than 55,000 artists. There are 2 sections in the reference book: Russian Art Rating (united Rating of artists of the Russian Empire, the USSR, Russian emigration, the Russian Federation and the republics of the former Soviet Union) and International Art Rating (all-world Rating of artists of XVIII-XXI centuries, forming the world art heritage).
The reference book is one of the main instruments of art market regulations. Particularly, it contains pricing recommendations about sale and purchase of works of art. The reference book has an encyclopaedic character. Rating categories characterize creative and social significance of artists’ works in general and fix each artist’s position in the history of art. It is based on an exceptionally social orientation, because all the information in the reference book is published for free. Besides, no advertising materials are published in it. The book is intended for museum, gallery and creative people, for all XVIII–XXI centuries’ art lovers, and for a very wide circle of attendants of museums, antique shops and exhibitions.
The second project managed by the Trade Union is a Register of professional artists of the Russian Empire, the USSR, the Russian Federation and the former Soviet Union republics. It is a social project that includes all kinds of artists (more than 46,000), who work or have worked in visual arts both in two and three dimensions (painters, graphic and poster artists, theatre decorators, batik painters, illustrators, animators, sculptors, jewellers or ceramists, inter alia).