27 Facts About Helena Roerich


Helena Roerich was an organizer and participant of cultural activity in the US, conducted under the guidance of her husband, Nicholas Roerich.


Helena Roerich was an Honorary President-Founder of the Institute of Himalayan Studies "Urusvati" in India and co-author of the idea of the International Treaty for Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historical Monuments.


Ekaterina Vassilievna Shaposhnikova, Helena Roerich's mother, belonged to an ancient Golenischev-Kutuzov family, which originated from Novgorod at the end of the 13th century.


Helena Roerich grew up and was educated in the rich cultural traditions of her family.


Helena Roerich showed talents in a number of areas, playing piano, and by the age of seven reading and writing in three languages.


In 1895, Helena Roerich graduated from Mariinsky Gymnasium in Saint-Petersburg with a "gold medal", a special award for excellence in study.


Helena Roerich learned painting, knew Russian and European literature well, studied the history of religion and philosophy, and took great interest in the works of the Indian philosophers Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, and Rabindranath Tagore, whose great-niece, Devika Rani Choudhuri, would later marry her son, Svetoslav.


Helena Roerich was a noted figure in Petersburg's musical culture of the time, and personally mentored Roerich.


Many of Helena Roerich's paintings were a result of their common creativity.


Helena Roerich called her "She who leads" in his books, and asserted that on many his canvases, two signatures should be written: his own, and Roerich's.


Helena Roerich supported all of her husband's initiatives, and went deeply into all his fields of study.


Helena Roerich mastered the art of restoration and, together with Nicholas Konstantinovich, recovered some the masterpieces of great artists such as Rubens, Breugel, Van Dyke, and van Orley, that had been hidden by the latest paint layers.


Helena Roerich displayed her artistic intuition by collecting works of art and antiquities.


In 1916, because of a serious lung disease, following the doctor's insistence, the Helena Roerich family moved to Finland, to the seashore of Lake Ladoga.


In 1920, N K Roerich received an invitation to tour the United States with an exhibition of his paintings.


From 1924 to 1928, Roerich took part in a Central-Asian expedition organized by N K Roerich, that traveled through hard-to-reach and little-investigated regions of India, China, Russia-Altai, Mongolia and Tibet.


Helena Roerich shared all hardships of the travel with the others: hard passages, robber's attacks, and obstacles created by English officials that nearly resulted in death of the expedition.


Helena Roerich wrote a book named "Chalice of the East", which was published that year under the pen name "Iskander Khanum".


Helena Roerich became an Honorary President-Founder of the institute and actively took part in organization of its work.


The main task of Helena Roerich's activity was in studying the ancient philosophic thought of the East.


Helena Roerich had dreamed that sometime a city of knowledge would rise in Kullu valley, which would become an international scientific centre.


In Kullu, Helena Roerich continued her work on Living Ethics, the main work of her life.


Helena Roerich devoted a special essay "The Banner of St Sergius of Radonezh" to an image of the Savior and Defender of Russian land.


Helena Roerich wrote about the great Laws of Cosmos, the meaning of human life, the importance of culture for human evolution, and the Great Teachers.


In 1940, a two-volume edition of Letters of Helena Roerich was published in Riga.


In 2005, the museum of Helena Roerich was opened in a retired two-storeyed mansion known as "Crookety House" in Kalimpong.


An international award named after Helena Roerich was instituted by the foundation bearing her name, to encourage scientific research connected to the Helena Roerich's scientific and philosophic heritage.