The Romanovs: Legacy of an Empire Lost - VIDEO Now Playing: Language: English. Duration: 3 minutes, 13 seconds Topic: Exhibitions
Note: I apologize about the advertisement that precedes the video, unfortunately, I have no control over the ads from other media sources - PG
The Romanovs: Legacy of an Empire Lost, is an exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty,and is open now through March 2014 at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr. Maria Zavialova, Curator, joined KARE 11 News at 4 to talk more about this unique collection.
In 1613, a 16-year-old Michael Romanov was elected Tsar of Russia, inaugurating a 300-year dynasty. This exhibition provides an overview of the three centuries of Romanov rule, focusing on the tragic end of the dynasty in 1917-1918 and the dispersal of the remaining family members and their treasures after the Bolshevik revolution.
The events that led to the collapse of imperial rule in Russia are well known, but what happened to their scattered property after the Bolsheviks seized power is a story still being unearthed. This exhibition explores the multifaceted history of the dynasty and its afterlife through a variety of media, including historically significant objects, photographs, paintings, works on paper, books, icons, porcelains, textiles and more.
The Romanovs: Legacy of an Empire Lost will feature loans from more than 15 museums, libraries and private collections. Many of the objects will be exhibited for the first time.
For more information on this exhibition, please refer to the following link;
The World of Russian Nobility: Under the Family Coat of Arms and the Imperial Eagle Topic: Exhibitions
A new exhibition, The World of Russian Nobility: Under the Family Coat of Arms and the Imperial Eagle has opened in the Nicholas Hall of the Yusupov Palace on the Moika in St. Petersburg.
The exhibition, a joint project between the Yusupov Palace and the State Hermitage Museum is devoted to Russian titled nobility, its history, government service to Russia, ceremonials, insignia and distinction. It presents nearly 300 unique items related to the national heraldry - state, military and family from the 18th to early 20th centuries. Many items in the exhibit are on display to the public for the first time.
Vintage portraits, personal seals with the coat of arms, medals and tokens, rare books and weapons, works of glass, china, jewellery, historical costumes from the collection of the State Hermitage reveal new details of the valiant service to the Fatherland, from the finest representatives of the noble families of the Russian Empire - Yusupovs, Sheremetevs, Stroganovs, and Golitsyns.
The exhibition presents objects connected with the official life of these families at the imperial court and in the Guard, including uniforms and costumes attributes court officials, the standards, military equipment and uniforms, awards, etc. Also presented are unique personal items used in the private day-today lives of the noble families of Russia.
Noble families for centuries maintained attributes, emphasizing the importance of their birth and the height of social status, often placing their insignia on personal items.
The family coat of arms and monogram under the crown decorated the facades of mansions and palaces, interiors, furniture, porcelain, objects of decoration and modes of transport, demonstrating the high social status of the owner. Special stamps were made bearing the coat of arms, and used for labelling envelopes, plus personal and business letters. Heraldic symbols accompanied accessories and social life - used for decorating watches, snuff boxes, fans, handkerchiefs, wedding bags, letter pads and other personal belongings.
The World of Russian Nobility: Under the Family Coat of Arms and the Imperial Eagle exhibit, promises to be a vivid and memorable event in the cultural life of Saint Petersburg. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, and runs from December 3, 2013 to March 30, 2014.
Books from the Personal Libraries of the Imperial House of Romanov at the Russian State Library Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 22 minutes Topic: Exhibitions
I have a great love of books, so this particular exhibition piqued my interest. Earlier this year, the Russian State Library (RSL) in Moscow opened a unique exhibition of books from the personal libraries of members of the Russian Imperial family which they have in their possession.
Books from the Personal Libraries of the Imperial House of Romanov was held in honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.
The exhibition opened on May 17, 2013 in the Blue Room of the RSL and closed on June 7, 2013, however, it is still noteworthy and will be of interest to Romanovophiles and book lovers alike. I came across a video and a beautiful slide presentation, both prepared by the RSL, that I wanted to share on Royal Russia.
Click on the link below to view the media presentation prepared by the Russian State Library;
Historic Romanov Exhibition Closes in Moscow Topic: Exhibitions
The lineups for the Romanov exhibition in the Manege grew longer every day. The Manege is the long white building with a green roof, located in the upper left hand side of the photo. The golden cupolas of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral can be seen just behind the exhibition hall.
The 12th Church and Society Exhibition-Forum has closed in Moscow. This year’s immensely popular exhibition, Orthodox Russia: The Romanovs was attended by more than 300,000 visitors over a 20 day period from November 4th - 24th, 2013 (the exhibition was due to close on November 26th, however, it was officially closed on November 24th).
Organizers claim that every day, between 13-18,000 people attended the multimedia historical exhibition held in the Central Exhibition Hall of the Manege.
The exhibition was opened with the participation of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus, Kirill on November 4, National Unity Day. In 1613 tsar Mikhail Romanov instituted a holiday named Day of Moscow’s Liberation from Polish Invaders, a day which was celebrated in the Russian Empire up until 1917. In 1918, the name was changed to The Day of Great October Socialist Revolution. In 2005, President Vladimir Putin re-established the holiday in order to replace the commemoration of the October Revolution. From 1612 the holiday had been celebrated on October 22nd (Old Style) up until 1917, it has since been marked on November 4th. The day is also the feast day of the Russian Orthodox icon of Our Lady of Kazan.
Preparatory work for the exhibition was carried out by more than a thousand people - including historians, designers, creative experts, specialists in computer graphics, sound, light, video, film makers, fitters lasted more than 6 months. The exhibition covered more than 4 thousand square meters spread throughout 21 rooms of the Manege.
Great interest from the public was displayed from the earliest days of the exhibition, and as the line-ups grew, a decision was made to extend the daily opening hours until midnight. However, some eager visitors stayed after the closing time with some showrooms empting only after midnight. As a result, the closing date of the exhibition was extended twice.
Visitors attending the exhibition came from all walks of life, and included people of different generations and social statuses, different beliefs and political views, believers and unbelievers. Every day the exhibition received more than 40 tours of school and university students. Requests for tours were received by the organizing committee right up until the closing of the exhibition.
According to the executive secretary of the Patriarchal Council for Culture, Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunova), the main shock to the organizers was not the number of attendees, but the reviews that were left in the guest book by visitors. "People came up to me and said some very important, kind words - says Archimandrite Tikhon. - For example: ‘You introduced us to our own history.’ Maybe it's too much, but it's probably the most important thing that has been heard."
This exhibition was dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. It was designed to help Russians to learn a more honest and balanced appraisal of the Romanov dynasty, and their contribution to Russia's history. This is a very different interpretation of the Romanov legacy portrayed by the Soviets.
On the closing day, Alexander Myasnikov, one of the organizers of the exhibition, announced that the exhibition will now tour 15 other cities in Russia over the next few years. The venues and dates have yet to be announced.
In the past 6 weeks, Royal Russia has offered extensive coverage of this exhibition with a total of 11 news stories. These included a video (see below) and 26 colour photographs. For more information on this exhibition, please refer to the following links;
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.”
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.”
Exhibition Shows Russian Leaders, From Romanovs to Putin Topic: Exhibitions
Note: over the past few weeks, the exhibition "The Romanovs. My History" discussed in this article has also been referred to the exhibition "Orthodox Russia: The Romanovs" in previous listings in Royal Russia News. I confirm that they are one and the same exhibition. - Paul Gilbert
Moscow has a reputation for lines, yet even seasoned city dwellers were surprised to see the massive lines that formed in the first week of November in front of Manezh, snaking all the way to the State Historical Museum and then back around the other side of Manezh Square.
For the past two weeks, Muscovites have been lining up in their thousands and standing in line for hours in increasingly cold weather to see "The Romanovs. My History," a free historical exhibit on display at Manezh in honor of the 400th anniversary of the beginning of the Romanov Dynasty.
Organized by the Russian Orthodox Church, The City of Moscow, and the Ministry of Culture, the exhibit was highly anticipated prior to the public opening on Nov. 4. Prominent ads were placed throughout the Moscow Metro and on billboards throughout the city, while an intensive PR effort attempted to spread announcements throughout the media.
At first glance, the exhibit seems like something of a gamble: Manezh is the most expensive and most prominent exhibition space in Moscow, and historical exhibits are frequently dry and boring, attracting few viewers. However, the organizers spent lavishly not only on PR efforts but also on the exhibit itself, incorporating the newest technologies and festooning the immense space of Manezh with giant flatscreen televisions and computers, immense color tapestries, and frequent video projections. Apart from the quality of the exhibit, the organizers also made the exhibit free, thereby ensuring a steady stream of visitors.
HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, President Putin and Patriarch Kirill were all present at the opening ceremony on Nov. 4, and since then as many as 13,000 people have visited the exhibit every day, including as many as 35 school groups daily. A quick glance at the line outside Manezh shows that the visitors come from all walks of life: students and pensioners, Muscovites and tourists. Though originally intended to run only for one week, the exhibit has now been extended until Nov. 26 and will be open every day until midnight.
However, while the exhibit has drawn crowds of visitors, it has also been criticized in the media, with many observers commenting on the highly politicized and nationalist history presented to viewers. Some have noted the crowds of Orthodox priests stationed throughout the exhibit to monitor viewers and answer questions, while others have complained about the role of President Putin, whose portrait is prominently placed at the end of the exhibit, almost appearing to be the next Romanov tsar.
Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky was quite upfront about the political aspects of the exhibit: "The use of this exhibit, of course, is not only educational, not only promotional, but also — it seems to me — this exhibition has a political use. It raises many important questions and gives a fantastic collection of quotes and opinions," Medinsky said to RIA Novosti.
The exhibit begins with "Time of Troubles" and the coronation of Mikhail Romanov in the 15th century and follows through to the Russian Revolution in 1917, devoting a room to nearly every Romanov tsar. Some common threads seem to be the gradual expansion of Russia's borders and population and the overall development of Russia. The actions of the tsars appear to be the natural path of Russia, a constant trajectory leading towards greater and greater things.
Consequently, those who attempted to divert Russia from this path are portrayed in an unfavorable light. The exhibit devotes some displays to these "enemies of Russia" — these are easily noticeable as they are all darkly lit and put on blood-red and black backgrounds, with words like "usurpers," "bandits," and "foreigners" scattered amidst the portraits of these repulsive individuals, who include Decembrists, Polish monarchs, and Ukrainian separatists, among others.
Near the end of the exhibit, signs trumpet the many feats that Russia reached under Nikolai II, the last emperor, describing it as "the highest point in the development of the Russian Empire." Quotes highlight the rapid growth of industry and population, speculating as to the miraculous things that might have happened if his rule had continued uninterrupted.
And then, everything goes bad: Lenin and Stalin appear, skulking in the corners of lurid red displays like all the other villains and enemies, and photos of ruined churches and warfare replace the visions of happy peasants and the Romanovs.
In the final section of the exhibit, a projector plays video clips of post-Soviet Russia. Scenes of criminals and hooligans, the White House in flames, poverty and terrorism. Finally, an image of Vladimir Putin gazing determinedly forward flashes across the screen, and once again we see happy families and new malls being built — all is well again in Russia.
While the exhibit may not be the most reliable source of historical information, the extensive use of technology and lavish funding have created a highly entertaining exhibit. Now extended for yet another week, there is still plenty of time to see it, for those who are prepared to face the lines.
"The Romanovs. My History" will run until Nov. 26 at Manezh, 1 Manezh Square. Metro Okhotny Ryad.
For more information on this exhibition, please refer to the following links;
Russians Flock to Exhibition Glorifying Romanovs' Rule Topic: Exhibitions
The holy icon depicting Our Lady of St. Theodore has drawn the crowds to this exhibition in Moscow
With a queue stretching at least a kilometer, a hi-tech exhibition giving a rosy view of the house of Romanov and jointly organised by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin has drawn tens of thousands of visitors in central Moscow.
In another sign of the power of the Russian Orthodox Church in post-Soviet Russia, it is a holy icon which has drawn the crowds as much as nostalgia for Russia's ousted by the monarchy.
But historians say the authorities -- who are fond of mixing both Soviet and Tsarist symbols to project Russian power -- are clearly seeking to glorify aspects of the Romanovs in a bid to shore up their own legitimacy.
The queue of people waiting to see the exhibition, "Orthodox Russia: The Romanovs," has stretched across Manezh Square close to the Kremlin walls.
The exhibition is organised to mark this year's 400th anniversary of the founding of the Romanov dynasty. Its initiator was Archimandrite Tikhon, an influential monk often said to be President Vladimir Putin's spiritual advisor.
Families with young children, pregnant women, retired people and school groups were among those braving chilly temperatures and rain to get into the vast Manezh exhibition center.
So popular has the exhibition been that it is staying open every day until midnight to accommodate 17,000 visitors per day.
The organizers have twice extended the closing date of the exhibition, which was originally set to run for just a week.
It will now close on November 26 so that it can tour other Russian cities.
'They seek legitimacy from the past'
The big draw is the icon known as Our Lady of St. Theodore, which was used to bless Michael I of Russia, the founder of the house of Romanov, on his accession in 1613 and is believed to protect families.
Many visitors bow in front of the icon and kiss it, according to Orthodox tradition. Now kept in a monastery in the town of Kostroma on the Volga, it is rarely shown to the public.
The free exhibition then takes visitors on a tour of Romanov history from the 17th century to the 1918 massacre of the last tsar's family, using giant panels, touch-screens, documentary films and 3D reconstructions of battles -- but very few original artifacts.
The organizers said they were trying to give a more objective view of the tsarist past to Russians who grew up with Soviet history books vilifying the Romanovs.
"We would like to show the history of Russia not in black and white, as we are in the habit of doing here, but in color. The idea was to reestablish the facts, without commentary," said Alexander Myasnikov, a former journalist who took part in the creating the exhibition.
Yet the exhibition's depiction of history extols stability and strong authoritarian rule in Russia, while criticizing opposition forces.
This vision of Russia closely echoes Putin's message, and the authorities seem to be referencing the tsarist past to enhance their own legitimacy, said historian Vitaly Dymarsky.
"The current authorities are looking for something to base themselves upon. And since they can't find anything that they can use as a base in our era, they are seeking it in the past."
The authorities are ready to evoke both the tsarist and Stalinist eras to reinforce the message that the country needs strong rule, Dymarsky said.
'History answers current questions'
Controversially, the exhibition describes the Decembrist armed uprising in 1825 in which young noblemen called for democratic reforms and were brutally put down by Tsar Nicholas I, as a "Masonic plot".
The exhibition concludes with an extract from a Putin speech this September saying: "Too often in the nation's history, we encounter instead of opposition to the authorities, opposition to Russia itself. And we know how that has ended: with the destruction of the state as such."
Organiser Myasnikov acknowledged that the exhibition could be seen as commenting on today's Russia.
"History is interesting in that one can always find there a response to current questions. It is full of allusions, associations and repetitions."
Russia's Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky appeared to confirm the essentially didactic aim of the exhibition, saying that history is not just a chronicle "but has lessons for the present".
He said the exhibition should be seen by all aspiring politicians "especially those who call for meetings with the aim of changing everything," referring to Russia's anti-Kremlin opposition, RIA Novosti reported.
For more information on this exhibition, please refer to the following links;
Masterpieces of Russian Lacquered Miniature to be Displayed in Moscow Topic: Exhibitions
Russian lacquer art developed from the art of icon painting which came to an end with the collapse of Imperial Russia
The All-Russian Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts is opening the exhibition The Russian Lacquered Miniature. Traditions and Modernity on November 13.
The exposition will present to the public more than 500 best works by both founders of lacquered painting and works by modern masters.
In the Soviet years the art of lacquered painting was not lost. Lacquered miniature has both preserved traditional scenes and absolutely new themes that were reflecting the colors of the Soviet era and its art esthetics. Russia today has four centers of art of lacquered miniature painting: Fedoskino, Palekh, Mstera and Kholui.
The history of Russian lacquered painting totals more than two centuries. Russian masters by creatively developing traditions of the Eastern and West European miniature art, enriched its heritage with unique national experience and expanded the framework of the figurative realm of lacquered miniature painting. Russian miniature did not only incorporate experience and achievements of world lacquered art, but also influenced it and even became a model to emulate.
The exhibition will run till December 8 at the All-Russian Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts in Moscow.
Orthodox Russia: The Romanovs Exhibition in Moscow Extended Until November 26th Topic: Exhibitions
More than 170,000 people visited the Romanov Exhibition at the Manege between November 4 - 16
An Orthodox Russia multimedia exhibition that opened at the Manege central exhibition hall in Moscow on November 4 will stay open until November 26 because of a huge influx of visitors. This year it is devoted to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty. The exhibition is open from 10:00 until midnight daily. The entry is free of charge.
“From November 4th to 16th, the number of visitors has exceeded 170,000 people. The exhibition had to be extended twice at the visitors’ request,” the exposition’s organizers told ITAR-TASS on Friday. The interactive multimedia exposition covers an area of 700 square meters.
“I think that it takes at least four hours to see all the stands,” Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), the executive secretary of the Patriarchal Council for Culture, said. The idea behind the exhibition is to show the entire history of the Romanov dynasty in its true colors but with an emphasis on the main achievements made under the rule of each monarch.
“Our contemporaries should know the truth about their country’s past because this truth was either distorted or hidden from them for so many years,” Patriarch Kirill said at the exhibition’s opening on November 4.
“Ideological stereotypes and cliche were used to describe the rule of the Romanov dynasty with an aim to alienate people from their history and form an absolutely wrong attitude to the country’s past as if it had never been or even if it had, everything in that past was bad except for separate uprisings designed to weaken the state power,” the patriarch said.
For more information on this exhibition, please refer to the following links;
Turbulent History of the Romanovs on Exhibit at TMORA Topic: Exhibitions
The exhibition The Romanovs: Legacy of a Empire Lost brings together rare pieces from more than a dozen institutional and private collections, many of them never displayed before in American museums. Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to delve into the history of a dynasty that forged an empire spanning Europe and Asia from the Baltic to the Pacific. Curator, Dr. Maria Zavialova has marshaled over two hundred unique artifacts closely associated with the Imperial House for the exhibition that will open at The Museum of Russian Art on Nov. 16, 2013. The exhibition will introduce the first three hundred years of Romanov rule focusing on the final years of the Imperial dynasty. Subsequent sections will feature the fascinating account of the Soviet sales of Imperial treasures in the West and the dynasty’s survival after the end of the age of empires.
Michael, the first Romanov tsar and a relative of Ivan the Terrible, ascended the throne in 1613 at the age of 16. A gospel handwritten in the inaugural year of the Romanov dynasty and a 17th century atlas of the Russian lands represent the first century of the Romanovs.
A book of military regulations legislated by Peter the Great, porcelain from the first service of the Imperial Porcelain factory founded by Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, and a book of correspondence between Catherine the Great and Voltaire published shortly after her death represent the glorious Age of the Greats - the eighteenth century.
Artifacts from other noted Romanovs include the following:
• A miniature book of the manifestos and edicts of Alexander II, noted for the abolition of serfdom in Russia.
• A thirty-foot funerary scroll of the ceremonial procession at the repose of Alexander I.
• Artifacts from the family of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, a well-known poet, and translator of Hamlet.
• A gold-embroidered liturgical vestment from the coronation of Nicholas II, Russia’s last tsar.
• Draft of the abdication manifesto of Nicholas II, March 1,1917.
After the fall of the Imperial House, its legacy was still alive in memories and mementoes cherished by the Empire’s former subjects in the secrecy of their homes and in exile. The second part of the exhibition considers the afterlife of the monarchy, including the rich panoply of Romanov survivors, the dark fascination and lore surrounding the dramatic fates of the family, the resurrection of the Romanov narrative in post-Communist Russia, and the restoration of the dynastic relics.
The catastrophic rupture caused by the Bolshevik revolution is demonstrated through the juxtaposition of the Imperial and Soviet state symbols featured on bank notes, postage stamps, coinage, insignia, etc. This section includes a porcelain chess set featuring the Whites and Reds; a Soviet propaganda plate and other objects.
Some of the most interesting artifacts in the exhibition reveal the lesser-known story of the Soviet sales of imperial treasures to western collectors to ensure the regime’s survival. A silver samovar by Faberge is among the most stunning items in the selection that also includes objects sold through the Hammer Galleries or collected by US Ambassador to the Soviet Union Joseph E. Davies.
The consultant for the exhibition is a notable expert in the field of Slavic and Eastern European librarianship, Edward Kasinec, Staff Associate at Harriman Institute, Columbia University, formerly Head of the Slavic and Baltic Division, The New York Public Library.
The Romanovs: Legacy of a Lost Empire will continue through March 2014 at the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota.