Yuri P. Kugach (1917-2013) is one of the most highly influential Russian Realists of the second half of the twentieth century. His well-known works include: “On Saturday”, 1964 (Tver Picture Gallery); “Before the Dances”, 1961 (Tretyakov Gallery), and “In the Family (First Steps)” 1969 (Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum). He is famous for his thematic works and landscapes of the Tver Region in the area of the Academic Dacha, where he maintained a studio until his death. While a student at Moscow's Surikov Art Institute he was evacuated at the height of WWII along with his future wife Olga Svetlichnaya (1915-1997) to the ancient caravan city of Samarkand to escape the war. There he studied with Sergei V. Gerasimov and other famous teachers along with his notable peers; Alexei Gritsai, Vladimir Stozharov, Geli Korzhev and Alexei and Sergei Tkachev. With his wife Olga he founded the famous Kugach family of artists that include his son Mikhail Kugach, Grandchildren Katya and Ivan.