His heart could not endure . . .

 

We have been orphaned.  Veniamin Viktorovich Khudoley passed away suddenly in the 62nd year of his life.  His life demonstrated a unique dedication to both science and art, and not only for the city of St. Petersburg.  Veniamin was a world-acclaimed scientist, ecologist, a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, as well as the director of the Independent Ecological Committee of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a doctor of Medical Sciences, the head of the Division of Ecological Oncology, the recipient of the E. P. Pavlov Prize (his official titles are numerous), even though he did not have a single governmental award (he didn’t seek such things).  In our circle he introduced himself as a collector, a researcher on Ex Libris, and a bibliophile . . . Behind every scientifically exact word, one can see an unprecedented amount of work for one person.  He established a club for experts and aficionados of Ex Libris and founded the Russian Ex Libris Journal.  He was elected president of FISAE (1996-98) by delegates from 42 international associations of Ex Libris aficionados and occupied the position of Vice-President in this organization for the next two terms (until 2002).  He gathered together a unique collection of Ex Libris for the Pushkin Jubilee, and thereafter gave 300 Ex Libris from this collection to the AllRussian Pushkin Museum on Moyka 12.  The author of many articles,  books on the history of Ex Libris, and many catalogues, he did not consider all this enormous work to be anything out of the ordinary.  And all of us who were sure that he would live for many years did not express our gratitude to him in full measure.  Veniamin was the center of Ex Libris life in our country.  He introduced the work of St. Petersburg Ex Libris artists in Russia and abroad, always expressing his love and devotion to us. His qualities could be compared to Chekov and Bulgakov, open-hearted, compassionate, and talented . . .

 

Behind all of Veniamin’s accomplishments, a supremely cultured individual, was a very simple, but almost forgotten principle—it is necessary to live in accordance with your conscience, love one’s family, do one’s work in the best way possible, and not for self-aggrandizement, to help one’s friends and colleagues unselfishly.  We cannot imagine that we will no longer see Veniamin at exhibitions, that the world that he opened to artists, will not be open to him any longer.  But his word, his thoughts, his work, his example of self-denying service to others will remain with us.

 

T. Yur’eva, V. Vereshchagin, S. Nekrasov, Yu. Nozdrin, V. Mishin, M. Verkholantchev, V.Petrotchenkov(translation),Yu. Lyukshin, O, Yakhnin, E. Elagina, N. and Yu. Kasimov, L. Kasbekov,  Yu. Borovitskiy, S. Petrov, T. Bukovskaya, E. Fedina, and other artists…