Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna Visits Peterhof Topic: Grand Duchess Maria
An official visit by HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna to Peterhof took place on April 25th. She was accompanied by her son, the Grand Duke Georgi Mikhailovich.
They toured the Grand Palace and the recently restored palace church. The Grand Duchess Maria was invited to sign the guest book for distinguished guests to the palace-museum. She expressed her thanks and appreciation to the dedicated staff at Peterhof for their ongoing work to preserve Russia's history and cultural heritage.
From Peterhof, they visited Oranienbaum to view the ongoing restoration at the Chinese Palace and the Menshikov Palace.
Furniture from the Lower Dacha at Peterhof Topic: Peterhof
In 1895 the architect Antony Tomishko constructed the Lower Palace (or Lower Dacha) for Nicholas II and his family in the Alexandria Park at Peterhof. The palace was furnished using designs from the celebrated St Petersburg furniture-maker Friedrich (Fiodor) Melzer. The corner sofa with a high back and a mirrored niche, upholstered in green velvet with a cyclamen pattern, was in the rooms of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolayevna at the Lower Dacha in Peterhof.
This particular piece of furniture from the Lower Dacha is currently on display at the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Center (a branch of the State Hermitage Museum), in St. Petersburg.
Photo Exhibit of Renowned Actresses of Tsarist Russia Topic: Exhibitions
An exhibit dedicated to some of the best known actresses of the late 19th and early 20th century opened on April 28 at the Museum of Theatrical and Musical Arts in St. Petersburg, the information agency Oreanda reports.
The exposition, which is called “Beauties of the Russian Theater: Beauty without Photoshop,” includes photo portraits of ballerinas Anna Pavlova and Mathilda-Marie Kschessinskaya (Mathilde Kschessinska), actresses Vera Komissarzhevskaya, Tamara Karsavina, Anastasia Vyaltseva and many others. In total, 16 famous stage performers are highlighted in the exhibition.
The exhibit is laid out in the manner of a photo salon of the early 20th century. However the museum also presents a number of theater accessories associated with the great actresses as well as tributes from their admirers.
The Museum of Theatrical and Musical Arts boasts an archive of nearly a quarter of a million photographs and negatives, presenting a very intricate, full and elaborate portrait of theatrical life in Russia.
In the Children's Rooms at the Alexander Palace: A Retrospect Topic: Alexander Palace
The exhibit, In the Children's Rooms at the Alexander Palace has officially closed.
The exhibit which originally opened in June 2011 was set out in the former rooms of the children of Tsar Nicholas II on the second floor of the Alexander Palace. It was the first time in more than 80 years that visitors to the palace had access to these rooms.
The exhibit focused on the life of the Imperial children from the 19th to the early 20th century. Most of the exhibit, however, was devoted to the children of Tsar Nicholas II: the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, as well as the Tsarevich Alexei.
The exhibit included more than 200 items: paintings and graphic portraits, photographs, uniforms and dresses, books, toys, porcelain and furniture. Many of the items on display were being exhibited for the first time making this a truly unique exhibit.
For more news, articles, videos and photographs about this exhibit, click on the Alexander Palace in the Directory on the right-hand side of this page.
Just this past week, I received an unexpected gift from a kind supporter of Royal Russia living in Poland. The parcel contained two large hard cover books on the Imperial residences of Spala and Bialowieza.
The first book, Spala: An Imperial Residence contains 144 pages and is divided into two parts, one for the Emperor Alexander III, the other for the Emperor Nicholas II. More than 200 photographs show each sovereign with his respective family in residence at Spala.
The second book (and my personal favourite), Bialowieza: An Imperial Residence contains 124 pages, and offers more than 250 photographs. Of importance is An ablum of photographs by Z. Karasik made for Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, which shows the interiors of this unique Gothic-style hunting palace. Also of interest is The Bialowieza Railroad, a section containing archival photographs of the Imperial train.
Overall, the quality of both books is very impressive. The text of each book is written in three languages: English, Polish and Russian. Many of the photographs are new to me. The selection of photographs of the interiors of both Imperial residences is exceptional to say the very least!
Sadly, neither residence has survived. However, we must be grateful that these outstanding collection of photographs published in these two magnificent volumes have. They allow us to have a more comprehensive appreciation for these two residences that were cherished by the last two Russian sovereigns and their families.
New Restoration Projects at Tsarskoye Selo Announced Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
During a press tour on April 24th Tsarskoye Selo Museum officials unveiled to the journalists what our visitors will see restored in the Catherine and Alexander Parks for the coming summer season.
Cameron Gallery Grottoes
The ground level of the Cameron Gallery, the Grottoes, whose bricked vaults had been losing their supporting capacity over the years, underwent urgent and comprehensive repair in 2010-11. Now the steps and landings of the Gala Staircase have regained waterproofing, while four newly built additional arches have reinforced the supporting structure to fully bear the weight of the Oval Staircase placed right above the vaults. The Grottoes will house a collection of antiquity style sculptures, as they originally did, and are expected to open for visiting by the end of May 2012.
The end of May is expected to also see a restored Mirror Pond in the Old Garden of the Catherine Park. Its previous restoration in the 1960/70s lacked several important reinforcements; the sidewalls began to deteriorate soon, the water was often covered with duckweed and the bottom with slime which was very difficult to clean out. The current restoration work adds reinforcement tothe sidewalls on underwater level and then will even the bottom which is to be lined with special paving slabs.
By the end of August the Alexander Park, where the Shaking Bridge over the Krestovy Canal has been restored recently, will get the Children’s Culture & Education Center in the White Tower. Almost completely destroyed during the Second World War and reconstructed in the 1990s, the White Tower is now undergoing a face-lift. One of its floors will house an interactive touching allowed exhibit and the others a medieval town computer and video installation and a creative workshop with drawing and dancing classes.
Monument to Emperor Alexander II Unveiled at Vyatka Topic: Alexander II
A monument to the Emperor Alexander II has been recently restored and unveiled in Vyatka, a town situated in the Yaroslavl region.
Prior to the Revolution, the bronze monument to the Tsar-Liberator was very popular among local townsfolk. After the Bolsheviks seized power, most monuments to the Romanovs were destroyed or removed from squares and public buildings across the country.
The Vyatka monument had been badly damaged, but restored and once again on view for locals and visitors alike to reflect upon the legacy of one of Russia's most popular rulers.
Nicholas II 1896 Coronation Album on the Block Topic: Books
With an ever-increasing selection of fine and decorative art, Gene Shapiro Auctions will hold its next auction of Russian and International Art on April 28 and 29, 2012.
The two-day auction event will feature 305 lots of paintings, books and works on paper on Saturday, April 28; and 333 lots of icons, works of art, bronzes, and porcelain on Sunday, April 29.
As always, Russian art forms the core of the auction, including a two-volume coronation album of Nicholas II, gloriously illustrated with plates from originals by Vasnetsov and Repin, among others, set alongside photographs of the royal family, and coronation memorabilia such as guest lists and menus ($30,000-40,000).