ROYAL RUSSIA: News, Videos & Photographs About the Romanov Dynasty, Monarchy and Imperial Russia - Updated Daily
« November 2013 »
S M T W T F S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
400th Anniversary
A Russian Moment
Alapaevsk
Alexander I
Alexander II
Alexander III
Alexander Mikhailovich, GD
Alexander Palace
Alexandra Feodorovna
Alexandra Nicholayevna, GD
Alexandra Pavlovna GD
Amber Room
Anna Feodorovna, GD
Anna Ioannovna, Empress
Anna Pavlovna, GD
Antiques
Architecture
Auctions
Bagrations
Beautiful Orthodox Churches
Benckendorff, Count Paul
Bolsheviks
Bolshoi
Books
Catherine II
Chavchavadze
Chekhov
Collectibles
Conspiracy Theories
Constantine Constantinovich, GD
Cossacks
Country Estates
Crimea
Dmitri Pavlovich, GD
Dmitri Romanovich
Documentaries
Dowager Empress Maria
Eagar, Margaretta
Easter
Ekaterinburg
Elena Vladimirovna, GD
Elizabeth Feodorovna GD
Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress
Events
Exhibitions
Faberge
Ganima Yama
GARF
Gatchina
George Alexandrovich, GD
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexa
Grand Duke Mikhail Alexan
Grand Dukes
Holy Royal Martyrs
Imperial Russia
Jewels
Kazan Cathedral
Kerensky, Alexander
Kolchak, Admiral
Kolomenskoye
Kostroma
Kremlin
Kronstadt
Livadia
Maria Alexandrovna
Maria Feodorovna, Empress
Maria Pavlovna, Senior
Maria Vladimirovna GD
Marie Georgievna, GD
Massandra
Mikhail Nikolayevich, GD
Moscow
Museums
Nevsky, Alexander
Nicholas Alexandrovich GD
Nicholas I
Nicholas II
Nicholas Mikhailovich, GD
Nicholas Nicholayevich, GD
Nicholas Romanovich
Nobility
Numismatics
Oleg Konstantinovich, Prince
Olga Alexandrovna GD
Olga Konstantinovna GD
Olga Nicholayevna GD
Oranienbaum
Ostankino
OTMA
Palaces
Paley, Princess Natalia
Paul Alexandrovich, GD
Paul Gilbert
Paul I, Emperor
Pavlovsk
Peter and Paul Fortress
Peter III
Peter Nicholayevich, GD
Peter the Great
Peterhof
Prince Michael of Kent
Pushkin
Rasputin
Romanov
Romanov Descendants
Royal Russia
Russian Art
Russian Church
Russian Cuisine
Russian Film
Russian History
Russian Imperial House
Russian Monarchy
Russian Orders
Russo-Japanese War
Sergei Alexandrovich
Sergei Alexandrovich GD
St. Petersburg
St. Theodore's Church
State Hermitage Museum
Stieglitz, Alexander
Stolypin, Pyotr
Strelna
Succession
Tauride Palace
Tobolsk
Tsarevich Alexis
Tsaritsino
Tsarskoye Selo
Vladimir Alexandrovich, GD
Vyrubova, Anna
Winter Palace
Witte, Sergei
World War I
Wrangel, Pyotr
Yachts
Yalta
Yelagin Palace
Yusupov
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Museum of Russian Art Documents Tragic Tsarist Past
Topic: Exhibitions


The following article is from the November 22nd, 2013 edition of The Star Tribune. The author Mary Abbe owns the copyright presented below. Some of the text was edited by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia 
 
Amid all the dazzling memorabilia — maps, letters, coronation menus, photos, paintings, china and even bejeweled Fabergé buttons — in “The Romanovs: Legacy of an Empire Lost,” it’s a humble petticoat that most haunts the mind after leaving the Museum of Russian Art in south Minneapolis.

Made of white batiste linen so fine it’s almost translucent, Anastasia’s half-slip and someone else’s pretty blouse now adorn a tall mannequin in a little side room. Her floor-length petticoat is simple, unembellished aside from embroidery at the hem and two initials stitched in red at the back of the narrow waistband: A.N. for Anastasia Nicholayevna, daughter of Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia.

Anastasia wasn’t wearing that slip when she was murdered in the early morning hours of July 17, 1918, in a basement in Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains. She and 10 others were murdered there — her parents, three sisters, a brother, their doctor, maid, valet and cook.

Afterward reports were sent to Moscow, things were packed and shipped. The civil war dragged on between the “Red” Bolshevik revolutionaries and the “White” Russians loyal to the tsar. The Romanov dynasty, which ruled Russia for three centuries, faded into history and legend. But Romanov things survived and found their way into the outside world, cherished by monarchists, sold by the Soviet government, sought by collectors, preserved by museums.

“Legacy” gathers more than 200 Romanov artefacts and historic documents from 25 institutions and private collections, including souvenirs from the 1896 coronation of Nicholas II brought home by a pair of pretty Minnesota girls who were among the 15 American “Strangers of Distinction” invited to the Kremlin festivities.

Beautifully designed and installed, as always at TMORA, the show offers a transporting experience of Russia’s tragic past.
 


‘They became close to me’

It’s important to remember that “everything in this exhibition is authentic; it’s the real stuff,” said curator Masha Zavialova, who tracked down the material with help from a team of consultants.

A substantial portion is on loan from the Foundation of Russian History at Holy Trinity Seminary, a Russian Orthodox repository in Jordanville, N.Y.

Anastasia’s skirt came indirectly from the tsar’s sister, who was in London when the family was killed. Fifty boxes of their goods were shipped to her via Siberia, of which about half arrived, Zavialova said. She in turn entrusted much of the material to the Orthodox church, a traditional supporter of the tsar.

“Working on this was really hard because I had to touch these things and it was heart-wrenching,” said Zavialova, who grew up in St. Petersburg in the Soviet era before moving in 2001 to Minnesota, where she earned a doctorate at the University of Minnesota. “No leaders are perfect, as we know, but Nicholas was a good person and they became close to me, people I really feel I know.”
 

Romanov saga


For all their tragic fame, Anastasia and her family are bit players in the Romanov saga.

The marquee actors include Peter I the Great, who built St. Petersburg as a gateway to the West during his reign from 1682 to 1725; Catherine II the Great (1762-96), a wilful German princess who disposed of her Romanov husband and established her own imperial court as a center of European art and culture, and Alexander II (1855-81), a modernizer who emancipated the serfs in 1861, introduced jury trials and began to reorganize the country as a constitutional monarchy before being assassinated.

The wealth of Russian royals in their heyday is almost unimaginable now. Paintings by Rembrandt, Raphael, Leonardo and luminaries of that ilk lined their palaces; intellectuals including Voltaire enlivened the court; bling abounded.

“Under Catherine the Great, you were served on silver and gold if you were not important,” said Zavialova. “Only the imperial family was served on porcelain because it was so expensive.”

But once the Romanovs established their own porcelain factory, they turned the stuff out in bulk — exquisite hand-painted, gold-rimmed, 47,000-piece table settings. The show’s coronation memorabilia ranges from a deep blue 1825 bowl rimmed with golden military insignia to a banner-length menu for Nicholas II’s 1896 fete at which guests munched an all-Russian menu of borscht, pickle soup, fish, pastry and ice cream.

Come the revolution, the luxurious life ended as aristocrats fled the country fearing for their lives. Strapped for cash, the Soviet government sold paintings from the Hermitage palace in St. Petersburg to, among others, American financier Andrew Mellon, who made them the core of what is now the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Porcelain, jewellery, icons and other artefacts were sold through New York’s Hammer Galleries, where royal dinner plates fetched $55 each.

Newspaper articles, bank notes, stamps and other documents show the change from Tsarist to Soviet power.

“We’ve studiously tried not to proselytize for or against the aristocracy,” said TMORA director Brad Shinkle. “We’re just trying to provide a context for the history of Russia over 400 years.” 
 
© Star Tribune. 26 November, 2013
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:41 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 26 November 2013 8:06 AM EST
Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older