Nicholas Roerich

From Theosophy Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Nicholas Roerich in 1930s

Nicholas Roerich (known also as Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh or in Russian, Никола́й Константи́нович Ре́рих) was a Russian painter, theatrical designer, and writer best known for his mystical paintings of the Himalayas.

Early years

Nicholas Konstantinovich Roerich was born on October 9, 1874 into the family of a famous lawyer. Since early childhood he took interest in history, archeology and painting.

After graduating from the gymnasium Nicholas immediately entered two universities: at the insistence of his father he entered into St. Petersburg University to study law where he also attended lectures in the history and linguistics departments, and following his own heart, he also entered into the Imperial Academy of Art. In 1895 Roerich transferred into the class of an acclaimed Russian painter and master of colorful landscapes, Arkhip Ivanovich Kyindgi. Kyindgi had a major impact on Roerich as he was the kind of teacher who gently guided his students’ own interests instead of forcing them to adhere to certain rules. Later Roerich would call his tutor not only a teacher of painting, but a great teacher of life as well.

Upon completion of the Artist’s Academy, Roerich was awarded the official title of artist for his thesis painting “Messenger” from the series “The Beginning of Russia: The Slavs.” The painting held up to the most exacting criticism and was acquired by Pavel Mikhaylovich Tretyakov for his private collection.

Also at the age of 9 years old Nicolas began an archeologist: well-known Russian archeologist Lev Ivanovsky took Nicolas with him for exscavations in the surroundings of Isvara – Roerichs’ country estate near St.Petersburg. Further Nicolas will become professional archeologist and make excavations in the North of Russia, in Novgorod, in Tibet and in Indian Himalayas. As he wrote in one of his essays, nothing but own-hands excavations and touching an ancient object can advance you to the genuine impression of the antiquity.

Nicholas Roerich found time not only for creating art – he was also a busy public figure. In 1898, at the age of 24, Nicholas Roerich became an assistant to the Director of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and an editor assistant for the Society`s art magazine. Starting 1902 he took part in exhibitions, organized by the magazine “Mir iskusstva”. In 1906 he became director of the School within the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts – one of the leading Russian art schools of the time. The new director thought that training artistic taste and supporting artistic individuality of the students should be the school`s main goal. He deeply believed that art should be incorporated into our daily life as much as possible.

Since 1905 the painter`s exhibitions were held in Europe at a regular basis. Prague, Paris, Berlin, Venice, Rome, Brussels and Vienna got acquainted with Roerich`s works. They were purchased by European museums. In 1909 Nicholas Roerich became a member of the Imperial Academy of Art and a member of the Academy of Reims in France.


Roerich`s interest in archeology and history to a large extent defined his travels to Russia. In 1903-04 Nicolas Roerich with his wife Helena Roerich made a trip to the old towns of Vladimir, Suzdal, Moscow, Novgorod, Pskov, Tver, Smolensk, Yaroslavl, Kazan regions, and also Riga, Kiev, Vilna and others. More than a hundred sketches of the beautiful architectural relics came as a result of the trip.

Roerich`s world-view was shaped not only by Russian art and history. The East was significantly affecting his literary and art works since the mid 1900s. He was drawn in particular to India, to its ancient culture and rich spiritual traditions. His reflections not only as historian and archeologist, but also as philosopher brought him to the mysterious “cradle of civilizations”.

His thoughts on unity, universal spiritual values and special role of Russia as a connecting link between East and West were in keeping with the ideas of Russian philosophers as N.Berdyaev, N.Lossky, V.Solovyev and others. Justly believing that basic ethical laws were formulated already in antiquity, at the dawn of civilization, Roerich looked for answers to the mysteries of life on primary sources – myths, legends, ancient philosophical systems, he studied as well works of Eastern thinkers.

In 1923 Roerich`s cherished dream came true – on the 2nd of December together with his family he arrived in India. Within a month the Roerichs visited ancient monuments of Elefanta, Jaipur, Agra, Sarnath, Benares and Kalcutta. At the end of December they stayed in the small kingdom of Sikkim in Eastern Himalayas. Scientific research, conducted in Sikkim, visits to ancient monasteries, numerous meetings with scientists and spiritual men persuaded him more and more to undertake a serious expedition in Central Asia. The journey lasted from March of 1925 till May of 1928: Kashmir – Ladakh (Leh) – Chinese Turkestan (Hotan) – and after 2 months in Moscow – Altai – Mongolia – Tibet – Sikkim (Darjeeling). No researcher had walked this route before. For the first time, dozens of mountain peaks and passes were marked on maps, archeological monuments were discovered, rare manuscripts were found. Vast scientific data was corrected, books (“Heart of Asia”, “Altai – Himalaya”) were written, hundreds of paintings created.

Upon finishing the expedition in July of 1928 Roerich founded the Himalayan research institute “Urusvati” that translated from Sanskrit as “The Light of the Morning Star”. Institute cooperated with other research institutes and botanical gardens of East and West, with many scientists all over the world. Nicholas Roerich and his family settled down in the Western Himalayas, in Kulu valley.

In 1934-35 together with his elder son, Yuri (George) Roerich, Nicholas undertook an expedition to Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. This expedition was organized by Institute “Urusvati” on the initiative of the Agriculture Department of the US that offered Nicholas Roerich to study and collect seeds of drought-resistant plants.

Agni Yoga

The Roerichs lived in India for a span of many years where they collaborated with those who are called Mahatmas or Spiritual Teachers. The depth of their thoughts and teachings attest to their great knowledge of the spirit. In cooperation with them, the Roerichs gave to the world the unique philosophical system called Living Ethics (or Agni Yoga).

Living Ethics is a synthesis of the ancient teachings of the East which opens the way for incorporation the scientific achievements of the West. This Teaching is based upon essentially the same knowledge as the Theosophical doctrine since the both systems have the same common source.

Summing up previously accumulated human knowledge and organically putting together principal methods of learning, Living Ethics offers new approach to solving a whole range of problems and new outlook on such fundamental notions as energy and matter, mind and conscience. It bring a fundamentally new type of mindset that Nicholas Roerich interpreted as “energetic”. According to this mindset, the Universe is a grandiose spirited system of energy that is evolving according to the Great Laws of the Cosmos. It explains a man as one of many structures, closely linked and interacting with the others – with similar objects on the surface of our planet, with celestial bodies, with the worlds of other states of matter. Viewing a man as “part of the cosmic energy, part of the elements, part of Cosmic Reason, part of the consciousness of the higher matter”, Living Ethics assigned to him the role of evolution`s chief tool. Without a man the main task of the evolution process – spiritualization of the matter, its transformation into a higher state of different quality – would have been impossible.

Apart from our solid world Living Ethics also observed the worlds of different states of matter – Subtle world (the other name is Astral world) and Fiery world (Arupa world in Theosophy) that are closely linked to each other and to the solid world of our physical stratum. Combining the matter of these kinds inside himself the man is constantly interacting with these worlds. The nature of this interaction is defined by the level and the expansion of one`s mind and by the participation of one’s heart. Therefore the Teaching lays great emphasis on ethical notions and their practical realization – high moral standards, love, compassion, feeling of responsibility for one`s close ones and for the evolution of the planet as the whole. According to the doctrine, “The feeling of responsibility should be developed infinitely. The spirit of a man, like the Creator, holds responsibility for all his deeds. We shall not be in fear of realizing the phenomenon of responsibility. We are responsible not only to ourselves, but also to the Cosmos”.

The books of this philosophical teaching were first published in Russian in 1924-1937 and were translated and printed in several languages during the lifetime of Helena Roerich. These books include the next volumes:

- Leaves of Morya’s Garden. The Call. 1924. Paris

- Leaves of Morya’s Garden. Illumination. 1925. Paris

- Community. 1927. Urga

- Community. 1926. Riga

- Agni Yoga. 1929. Paris

- Infinity. Part I. 1930. Paris

- Infinity. Part II. 1930. Paris

- Hierarchy. 1931. Paris

- Heart. 1932. Paris

- Fiery World. Part I. 1933. Paris

- Fiery World. Part II. 1934. Paris

- Fiery World. Part III. 1935. Paris

- Aum. 1936. Riga

- Brotherhood. 1937. Riga

- Supermundane. (It was not published during the life of Helena Roerich.)


Nicholas Roerich painted more than 7,000 works of art (easel painting, stage design and mural, etc.).

Passionate interest in archeology and history to a large extent defined the subjects of his paintings – ancient Pagan Rus, colorful images of folk epos, primordial greatness of pristine nature. Roerich began his career in art as a historical painter, his paintings are always distinguished for their vibrant and unique historical mood. He created a unique collection of paintings telling us about ancient life in all the richness of its bygone into silence culture (“Overseas Guests”, “Building the Town”, “Stone Age”, “Idols”, etc.).

After trips to the old russian towns Nicholas Roerich created more than a hundred sketches of the beautiful architectural relics came as result of the trip (“Rostov the Great”, “Pskov-Pechory Monastery”, “Izborsk. Walls”, “Kostroma. Ipatiev Monastery”, etc.). In 1905 in according to Russian imperior`s Nicholas II will they placemented in the Russian Museum in Sankt-Petersburg.

Around 1907 Nicholas Roerich received the first invitation to the part in designing sets for theatrical performances. He creates sketches for stage sets and costumes for the works of N.Rimsky-Korsakov (“The Snow Maiden”), A.Borodin (“Prince Igor”), R.Wagner (“The Valkyrie”), M.Maeterlinck (“Princess Maleine”), H.Ibsen (“Peer Gunt”), I.Stravinsky (“The Rite of Spring”), etc. Roerich was a member of the famous Djagilev entreprise “Russian Seasons” of 1909-1913 years, his theatrical and decorative works became the part of the golden fund of Russian and world art. He didn`t disregard the monumental art either – he created sketches of mosaics, majolicas, paintings for portals, apses, churches` naves, as well as interior designs (Livshits` villa in Nice, Bazhanov`s dining hall in Saint Petersburg).

Before the beginning of the First World War, he created a series of paintings which had a prophetic character. These were pictures-warnings on the inadmissibility of World War, “The Last Angel”, “Sword of Valor”, “Doomed City”, “Cry of the Serpent,” etc.

In 1914, before the First World War, in Talashkino near Smolensk, he worked on the mural of the Holy Spirit. In his art the theme of saints, hermits and the heroes who gave the man high examples of selflessness, courage, love of country took special place (“St. Mercurius Smolensky”, “St. Nikola”, “Procopius the Righteous praying for the Unknown Travelers”, “St. Sergius from Radonezh” etc.).

In 1920, Roerich got an invitation from the Director of the Chicago Institute of Arts to organize a big exhibition tour around 30 cities of the United States. Among 115 his paintings the following were exhibited: “Angel’s Treasure” (1905), “The Last Angel” (1912), “Viking’s daughter” (1917), “Call of the sun” (1918), “Ecstasy” (1917), series “Heroica” and “Dreams of the East” and others. The exhibitions were a great success. In America, Roerich created the following series: “Sancta”, “New Mexico”, “Ocean’s suite”, “Dreams of Wisdom”.

In his art Roerich early approached to the East. He was always interested in the culture of the ancient peoples of Asia, their history, art, philosophy. He studied the rich heritage of the nomadic world, which considered to be a conductor of many cultural influences outgoing from India and China.

India attracted the attention of Roerich not only as a painter, but as a scientist interested in a number of questions related to ancient peoples’ world migrations, and the search for a common source of Slavic and Indian cultures. In a great number of paintings Roerich reflected his knowledges and impressions, collected during his travel through Central Asia. The artist portrayed a panorama of the expedition's itinerary, a famous painting series “Himalayas” was begun, the series “Maytreya”, “Sikkim’s Path”, “His Country”, “The Banners of the East” and others.

On the paintings of the “Himalayas” series, the mountains are ancient like the Planet itself. The tops lit with the sun at dawn and sunset are flaring with a whole range of amazing colors. Bright, radiant strokes of tempera, to which the artist passed when he was still in Russia, are lying onto the canvases with spell-binding beauty, shine with the gleams of different remote worlds. “It is said that there will be no greater singer of the Sacred Mountains, – Helena Roerich wrote about her husband’s paintings. – He will remain for ever unsurpassed in this area”. Roerich’s mountains are living and breathing. The breath of the Earth and the Universe is mixed in them. The Himalayas are for the painter the symbol of spiritual ascent of man himself, of his thousand-year-old links with this magic space of the planet. Every sketch by Roerich is unique in its own way. Artist rightfully earned the title of “Master of the mountains.” Indian Prime Minister D.Nehru said about the Himalayan series: “When you look at these paintings ... it seems that you catch the spirit of these great mountains that towered over the plains of India through the centuries and were our guards”.

One of the main themes of Roerich art in those and subsequent years was the theme of Teachers, the keeper of knowledge, preceptor and sage (“Buddha the Winner”, “Sergius the Builder”, “Moses the Leader”, etc.). Traveling along the route of the Central Asian expedition Roerich had recorded a lot of legends, tales and historical evidence about Teachers and cultural heroes whose lives have been linked with the feat. He expressed his credo in art as “heroic realism”. Roerich's paintings are deeply permeated with the belief in the victory of the noble ideals of humanity.

After an expedition to Central Asia (1923-28) he had developed a series of paintings devoted to the past of Mongolia, India, Tibet, China, in which the etched remarkable architectural ensembles of monasteries, cities, memorials and places of worship.

Nicholas Roerich art period of 1930-40s, stands out with especial colorfulness, skill generalization, consummate synthesis of impressions, and all that was the result of understanding the essence of transmission. The artist had always believed in the power of colors, and, perhaps no one had cognized their harmony and amazing value tones, like him.

“To see a picture of Roerich means to see a new world,” – says the writer Leonid Andreyev. He gave the characteristic definition – “Realm of Roerich” – for all art of the Russian master.

Last years Roerich lived in India, which became his second home, but the thought of Russia did not leave him until the end of life.

During the Second World War the painter organized exhibitions and painting sales and transferred the money to the Red Army fund. In his work he came back to the theme of his native land. He created patriotic paintings “Alexander Nevsky”, “Yaroslav the Wise”, “Boris and Gleb”, “Partisans”, “Victory” and others, glorifying the great power of the people, their faith in a better future.

N.Roerich's paintings are represented in many museums around the world, in Russia and in Europe, America and Asia.

Association with Henry Wallace

Peace Pact

Nicholas Roerich was a great peacemaker.

As a person of high culture, he could not stand aside when the objects of the world cultural heritage were being destroyed, mainly because of the armed conflicts. That is why in the beginning of the previous century he initiated an international movement for the protection of cultural heritage.

Nicholas Roerich believed that it is only by expanding the area of culture that we can scale down the possibility of the armed or other various conflicts. Nowadays the world is still struck by armed conflicts leading to the destruction of the world cultural treasures. That is why Nicholas Roerich`s ideas on the protection of the cultural heritage are ever more timely.

In 1930s, anticipating the coming threat of the war, Roerich prepared a project of a special Pact on protection of cultural objects during wars and civil disorders – “On the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments”. An exceptional achievement of this Pact was the initiative to take under protection not only cultural objects, but also the staff of scientific, educational, cultural and art institutions and museums under the authority of the Pact.

His initiative was supported in broad circles of international public, by the committees and different people all over the world. The painter`s idea was welcomed by R.Rolland, B.Show, R.Tagore, A.Einstein, M.Meterlink, R.Kent, T.Dreiser, T.Mann and many others people in different countries.

In 1931 (September, 13-15) – The First International Conference dedicated to the Roerich Pact was organized in Bruges with participation of many European countries. The conference developed a plan of promotion of the Pact in educational institutions and establishes contacted with the International Arts Committee and with the Steering Committee of Arms Control Conference.

In 1932 (August, 7-9) – The Second International Conference dedicated to the Roerich Pact was organized in Bruges. 22 countries took part in the conference. The Conference decided to found a special institution for spreading the ideas of the Roerich Pact in Bruges. The Conference recommended all countries to recognize the Pact as an international document.

In 1933 (November, 17-18) – The Third International Conference dedicated to the Roerich Pact was held in Washington, USA. This Conference was welcomed by 35 countries, which recommended all governments to sign the Roerich Pact.

The signing of the Roerich Pact on the 15th of April, 1935 in Washington`s White House – the International Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments – became one of the most important events of the XX century in the field in the international protection of the cultural heritage of mankind. This document is primarily characterized by its high humanistic content. The President of the United States of America F.D.Roosevelt said: “In opening this Pact to the adherence of the nations of the world, we are endeavoring to made of universal application one of the principles vital to the preservation of modern civilization. This treaty possesses a spiritual significance far deeper than the text of the instrument itself”.

Having proclaimed the priority of culture over military necessity, the Pact first secured an unconditional protection of the world cultural values, safeguarding them not only against wartime devastation, but also against vandalism in peacetime. A special distinctive flag of the Roerich Pact proposed by Nicholas Roerich – the Banner of Peace – a symbol of protection of cultural objects - served the same purpose.

The Banner of Peace became the symbol of the Roerich Pact. Three small spheres in a big one signify the unity of the past, present and future in the circle of Eternity and symbolize the law of cultural succession.

Banners of Peace, international signs of spiritual evolution of mankind, are hung out all over the world where Culture is protected. But what is Culture? Roerich defined Culture like this: “Culture is reverence of Light. Culture is love for the humanity. Culture is fragrance, the unity of life and Beauty. Culture is the synthesis of uplifting and sensitive attainments. Culture is the armour of Light. Culture is salvation. Culture is the motivating power. Culture is the Heart. If we gather all the definitions of Culture, we find the synthesis of active Bliss, the altar of enlightenment and constructive Beauty”. Nicholas Roerich was confident that the further evolution of the mankind would not be impossible without the preservation and development of culture during peaceful times and without the possibility for the people to turn to its origins.

The Banner of Peace as the Banner of Culture flew around our planet on boards of spacecrafts, it streamed on the North and South Poles, took part in many cultural events. Michael Foel, American astronaut, said: “We have raised this Banner of Peace in space to remind all people once again about our global responsibility for the destiny of mankind and our planet. …Human flights in space …are the first steps of a new united cosmic culture and the Banner of Peace is the symbol of it”. P.Vinogradov, Russian cosmonaut, said: “We have raised the Banner of Peace above the planet in hope that the space of Culture will displace the space of war and enmity on our planet. We call for the construction of a new spiritual, scientific and art cooperation of all people and nations of the Earth”.

To this day Banners of Peace flies above many cultural and educational buildings of the world. Also many exhibitions dedicated to Roerich`s Pact and Banner of Peace pass in the various towns in Russia, Europe, India, etc.

Due to the Roerich Pact the system of modern international law in the field of cultural heritage preservation was formed, as this document subsequently became the basis of the 1954 Hague Convention of UNESCO for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

The Roerich Pact has paved the way for several of UNESCO`s international activities devoted to the protection of cultural property both in peacetime and during war – including the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocol.

Many provisions of the Pact are still relevant in today`s world where military conflicts and peacetime threats destroy achievements of human culture.

Roerich Pact is an outstanding social initiative. It demonstrates the efficiency of consolidation efforts of governments and international communities in the field of culture protection.

Later years

In 1934-1935 together with his elder son Nicholas undertook an expedition to Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. This expedition was organized on the initiative of the Agriculture Department on the US that offered Nicholas to study and collect seeds of drought-resistant plants.

During the Second World War the painter organized exhibitions and painting sales and transferred the money to the Red Army fund. In his work he came back to the theme of his native land. He created patriotic paintings “Prince Igor”, “Alexander Nevsky”, “Partisans”, “Victory” and others. His essays and letters like never before called for people`s unity and cooperation, tirelessly reminding that the foundation of peace is not only observance of international agreements. Roerich believed that the most important part of it was within us, in the strength of our spirit, in our inner culture that was based on kind-heartedness, striving for Knowledge and worshiping Beauty.

His appeals were never abstract. Not only Roerich`s art and literary work were based on these principals, but his whole life. Testimonies of his contemporaries are full on admiration for the versatile artistic genius of Roerich, but also portray him as a purposeful man possessing striking spiritual force, inner harmony and great compassion for beliefs of other people. The fact that more than a hundred institutes, academies, scientific corporations and cultural institutions all over the world appointed him as their honorary and full member confirms the Russian painter`s recognition. The artist was treated with great respect in India itself – many Indian philosophers, scientists, writers, public figures and officials were personality acquainted with Nicholas Roerich. People of Kullu valley honored him as a great sage, bringing flowers to his doorsteps on holidays.

Nicholas Roerich travelled widely across Europe, Asia and America, but he never gave up the thought of coming back to his Motherland. Right after the end of the war, the painter tried to come back to the Soviet Union. He wrote, “As long as I have strength, I would like to use it for the benefit of my Motherland. Knowledge, experience, love for the glorious Motherland – everything needs to be used where it will be particularly useful”. His intentions were not meant to be realized – in the full swing of the preparations, on December 13th , 1947, he passed away. On the spot of the funeral pyre, facing magnificent snowy peaks, a big stone was installed, on which the following inscription was carved: “Here, on December 15th , 1947, the body of Maharishi Nicholas Roerich – a great Russian friend of India – was committed to fire. Let there be peace”.



Roerich contributed to The Herald of the Star, The Messenger, and other periodicals. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 24 articles by Nicholas Roerich, and another 170 or more made mention of him and his work.


Roerich's books are listed in chronological sequence:

  • The Nicolas Roerich Exhibition. New York: Redfield-Kendrick-Odell, 1920.
  • Adamant. New York: Corona Mundi, 1923.
  • Leaves of Morya's Garden. New York, 1923. Translated by Louis L. Horch. Available at Hathitrust.
  • Himalaya: a Monograph. New York: Brentano's 1926. Articles by Frances R. Grant, Mary Siegrist, George Grebenstchikoff, Ivan Narodny, and "Banners of the East", by Nicholas Roerich, with 24 color-plates and 78 halftones.
  • Altai--Himalaya; a Travel Diary. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1929. Altai-Himalaya. Introduction by Claude Bragdon.
  • Flame in Chalice. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1930. Songs and sagas, Book 1; translated by Mary Siegrist.
  • Heart of Asia: Memoirs from the Himalayas. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1930. Available at Hathitrust.
  • Shambhala. New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1930.
  • Realm of Light. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1931.
  • Fiery Stronghold. Boston, MA: The Stratford Company, 1933.
  • The Invincible. New York: Nicholas Roerich Museum, 1974. Translation of Nerushimoe, 1936.
  • Himalayas: Abode of Light. Bombay: Nalanda Publications, 1947.

In addition, Roerich contributed to these works:

  • Narodny, Ivan. American Artists. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1932. Introduction by Nicholas Roerich.

Museums and exhibitions

With a lifetime production of something like 6,000 paintings, it is not surprising to find that his works have been dispersed throughout the world in many museums. Several institutions are devoted entirely to Nicholas Roerich, his family, and his art:

Other museums with Roerich paintings include:

  • Department of the State Museum of Oriental Arts in Moscow.
  • National Gallery for Foreign Art in Sofia, Bulgaria has an important collection.
  • Art Museum in Nizhny Novgorod (formerly known as Gorky), Russia
  • Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram in south India. See Wikipedia article.
  • Latvian National Museum of Art has several of Roerich’s larger works.
  • National Museum of Serbia.
  • Zanabazar National Museum in Mongolia has one painting.
  • Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth University has one painting.
  • Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta Georgia. Website:

Awards, honorary memberships, and other honors

N. Roerich's many-sided cultural activities are recognized by awards from many governments of the world, and also by the titles of honor given him by scientific, public and cultural institutions, whose founder, protector, president and full member he was.


  • Holder of an Orders of Saint Stanislaus, Saint Anna and Saint Vladimir (Russia)
  • Holder of an Order of Saint Sava (Serbia)
  • Holder of an National Order of the Legion of Honour (France)
  • Holder of an Order of the Polar Star (Sweden)

Honorary memberships

  • Full member of Imperial Academy of Arts, Russia.
  • Founder of Master Institute of United Arts in New York, USA.
  • Founder of International Art Centre “Corona Mundi”, USA.
  • Honorary director of Museum named after N. Roerich in New York and its branches in Europe, America and Eastern countries.
  • Full Member of Yugoslavian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb.
  • Full member of Portuguese Academy, Coimbra.
  • Full member of Reims Academy, France.
  • Full member of International institute of science and literature, Bologna, Italy.
  • Honorary member of Committee on Culture, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Vice-President of Mark Twain Society, USA.
  • Vice-President of American Institute of Archeology, USA.
  • Honorary member of Enlightener Society of Varanasi, India.
  • Honorary member of More Society, France.
  • Member of Red Cross, France.
  • Member of Society for antiquities study, France.
  • Lifelong member of Federation of French painters, France.
  • Member of “Salon d’Automne”, Paris.
  • Lifelong member of antiquarian society, Paris.
  • Honorary president of International Union for Roerich’s Pact support, Bruges.
  • Honorary protector of Historical Society at Academy, Paris.
  • Honorary President of Roerich Society in France, Paris.
  • Member-Founder of Ethnographical Society, Paris.
  • Honorary President of Academy named after Roerich, New York.
  • Honorary President of Society for cultural progress “Flamma”, Indiana State, USA.
  • Honorary President of Roerich Society in Philadelphia, USA.
  • Honorary Member of Society for historical sites protection, New York.
  • Honorary President of Latvian Roerich Society, Riga.
  • Honorary President of Roerich Societies in Lithuania, Yugoslavia, China.
  • Honorary member of Institute named after S. Ch. Bos, Calcutta.
  • Member of J. Bose Institute, India.
  • Member of Nagati Prachari Sabkha, India.
  • Lifelong member of King’s Asian Society in Bengali, Calcutta.
  • Lifelong member of Society “Art of the East”, Calcutta.
  • Honorary President and doctor of literature of International institute for Buddhism study in San Francisco, California. (International Buddhism Institute, USA).
  • Honorary member of Russian Museum of history and culture, Prague, Czechoslovakia.
  • Honorary member of Luzas Society, Paris.
  • Honorary member of League for Art Defense, Paris.
  • Protector of Cultural Society, Amritsara, India.
  • Member-benefactor of Association for International Research, Paris.
  • Honorary member of Field Association, S.-Luis, USA.
  • Honorary member of Braurveda Society, Java.
  • Honorary member of National Association of Natural Medicine in America, Los-Angeles, USA.
  • Honorary President of Centre of Arts and Culture, Allahabad, India.
  • President of League of Culture, USA.
  • Honorary President of American-Russian cultural Association in New York, USA.

Other honors

  • The minor planet 4426 Roerich in our Solar System was named in honor of Roerich.
  • Roerich was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929, 1933 and 1935.[1]
  • In 2003, the St Petersburg the annual Nicholas Roerich International Prize was instituted by the Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum.

Additional resources


  • Archer, Kenneth.Roerich East & West: Paintings from the Nicholas Roerich Museum. Bournemouth, England: Parkstone Press, 1999.
  • Brinton, Christian. The Nicolas Roerich Exhibition: with Introduction and Catalogue of the Paintings. New York: Redfield-Kendrick-Odell, 1920.
  • Decter, Jacqueline. Nicholas Roerich: the Life and Art of a Russian Master. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1989.
  • Drayer, Ruth. Nicholas & Helena Roerich: the Spiritual Journey of Two Great Artists and Peacemakers. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 2005.
  • Klimentieva, Victoria. Nicholas Roerich: In Search of Shambhala. Thesis at University of Texas at Austin. August 2009. Available at UT Library web page.
  • Nicholas Roerich Museum. Roerich Museum, a Decade of Activity, 1921-1931. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1931.
  • Paelian, Garabed. Nicholas Roerich. Agoura, CA: Aquarian Educational Group, 1974.
  • Roerich, George. Tibetan Paintings. Paris: P. Geuthner, 1925.
  • Roerich, George. Trails to Inmost Asia; Five Years of Exploration with the Roerich Central Asian Expedition. London: Oxford University Press, 1931.
  • Roerich Pact and Banner of Peace Committee. The Roerich Pact and the Banner of Peace. New York, 1947.
  • Selivanova, Nina Nikolaevna. The World of Roerich. New York: Corona Mundi, Inc., International Art Center, 1922.
  • Znamenski, Andrei A. Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 2011.