World-Renowned Artist to Hold Lecture on Cumberland Campus

World-renowned portrait painter Maestro Igor Babailov will lead a lecture on Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. in Vise Library at Cumberland University. Deemed Living Master by his contemporaries, Babailov is an advocate for timeless values in the academic tradition of portrait painting. He is the recipient of many national and international awards and honors.

Babailov is currently visiting Cumberland to bring the campus to life on canvas with a painting of Memorial Hall. His lecture in Vise Library will also serve as part of his ongoing visit to campus.

“In my lecture at Cumberland University, I will share with the audience the highlights of my lifetime professional career as a portrait painter and my personal portrait encounters with some of the greatest people of our times,” Babailov said. “I will also talk about the tremendous value of a formal classical art education and share the secrets of my own 16-years experience as a formal art student and how it contributed in the excitement of my everyday life.”

Cumberland University President, Dr. Paul C. Stumb, said the university values Babailov’s presence and work on campus. “Cumberland University is honored to host, the world-renowned artist and portrait painter, Maestro Igor Babailov. Babailov has created illustrious portraits of Popes, U.S. Presidents, and well-known government officials,” Stumb said.

Once complete, the painting of Memorial Hall will be gifted to the university by Babailov.  “Cumberland is very fortunate that Babailov has graciously agreed to paint a rendering of our historic landmark building, Memorial Hall,” Stumb said. “His lecture will be a rare opportunity for our students, faculty, staff, as well as the entire community, to connect with this celebrated artist and hear first-hand his unique and imaginative perspective.”

Babailov has created over 2,000 portraits and other works, more than half of which are in official public, private and corporate collections around the world.

Notable subjects of Babailov’s portraits include President George W. Bush (Bush Presidential Library), Hillary R. Clinton (Clinton Presidential Library), Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II, now a Saint (all three for the Vatican), His Royal Highness Prince Andrew The Duke of York (Buckingham Palace, London), President Vladimir Putin (Kremlin), Nelson Mandela (Presidential Collection, South Africa), Isadore Sharp, Founder & CEO of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and many other prominent figures for prestigious collections.

Babailov began his formal classical art training at the age of nine, studying with leading Masters of traditional painting and drawing. In the span of 16 years (1974-1990), Babailov attained the highest level of fine art education and received his Master of Fine Arts degree (official Ph.D. equivalent in the U.S.) under the Russian Academy of Arts (est.1757), which taught and gave the world many outstanding Masters of portraiture, including Repin, Serov and the great American artist, James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

Babailov’s campus lecture is free and open to the community.

To learn more about Babailov’s work and experience, visit his website:

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