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Monday, 22 September 2014
The Art of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Exhibition Opens in Kaluga
Topic: Olga Alexandrovna GD

The grand opening of the exhibition The Art of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, took place on September 20th, at the Kaluga Museum of Fine Arts. Kaluga is situated 50 kilometers (93 mi) southwest of Moscow. The exhibition which is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the First World War, received the blessing of Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsky and the support of Governor Anatoly Artamonov of the Kaluga Region. 

The exhibition presents more than a hundred watercolours painted by the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960), as well as photographs, portraits, and other personal items of the youngest daughter of Emperor Alexander III. The exhibition has been organized by Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky, the chairman of the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Memorial Fund. Mrs. Kulikovsky is the widow of Tikhon Kulikovsky, the eldest son of Grand Duchess Olga.

Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky at the opening of the exhibition in Kaluga, Russia. Photo: SmileKaluga
Exhibits cover the life and career of the Grand Duchess, inviting visitors on a fascinating journey of her life. Her watercolours reflect her observations and experiences, which are displayed on a background of cultural and natural features of the three countries - Russia, Denmark and Canada - countries in which she lived at different stages of her life.

The artistic works of the Grand Duchess have been touring Russia for nearly two years now, exhibited in museums in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Balashikha, Tobolsk Lipetsk, Odintsov and Vladivostok. 

Among the works of the August artist are a number of watercolours created during the First World War, or devoted to a military theme. A special book has been published to mark the exhibition in Russian and English. The album Life at War: 1914-1918, includes rare vintage photographs and drawings, and letters written by Grand Duchess Olga during the war years. The presentation of this unique album took place at the opening ceremony in Kaluga. 

The photo album published to mark the exhibition
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna was the younger sister of Emperor Nicholas II. She was born on June 13th (O.S. 1st June), 1882 in Gatchina, situated outside of St. Petersburg. The life of the Grand Duchess was not an easy one. The premature death of his father, the revolution, the murders of those close to her - were all part of her life's trials. Staying true to her duty to the Fatherland, the Grand Duchess helped those in need. During the First World War she established a hospital and worked there as a nurse. As a deeply religious person, she always believed in the liberation of the Motherland from Bolshevism and totalitarian dictatorship. In 1901, she was appointed Honourary Commander-in-Chief of the 12th Akhtyrsky Hussar Regiment.

The Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna is also known as a talented artist, producing over 2,000 paintings during her life. Her paintings are in many museums and private collections throughout the world, they are highly sought after by private collectors to this day. On November 20, 1960 the last Grand Duchess died in Toronto, and was buried next to her husband, Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky (1881-1958) at the cemetery in North York. A collection of watercolors is the creation of its more than 200 works.

The Art of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna exhibition runs at the Kaluga Museum of Fine Arts until October 19th, 2014. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 22 September, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:23 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 September 2014 9:47 AM EDT
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Saturday, 7 December 2013
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Exhibition Opens in Siberia
Topic: Olga Alexandrovna GD

A new exhibition dedicated to Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna opened on December 6th, at the State Art Museum in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. The exhibition is a joint project between the State Art Museum and Antikvariat Nikolaevskom, an antique salon in Novosibirsk which specializes in Romanov memorabilia.

Olga (1882-1960) - the youngest daughter of Emperor Alexander III, and youngest sister of the last tsar, Nicholas II, was one of the few members of the imperial family who escaped after the Bolshevik revolution. Like her father, she preferred a simple life. 

Olga Alexandrovna was a gifted painter, she studied with teachers such as V. Makovsky, S. Zhukovsky, and Vinogradov at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. During her lifetime, Olga produced more than 2,000 paintings, the proceeds of which allowed her to not only support her family, but to also make donations to charity. She died in Toronto, Canada on 24th of November, at the age of 78.

The exhibition will feature seven paintings by Grand Duchess Olga, as well as lithographs, porcelain and various other personal items of the late 19th-20th centuries, including a rare 1913 edition of the Sun of Russia, published on the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.

The exhibition will portray her image in several ways: as a representative of the House of Romanov, whose 400th anniversary is celebrated this year, as an artist, as a woman, and finally, as a citizen and patriot of Russia.

The exhibition will premiere a new film Olga. From the Life of Grand Duchess, by Novosibirsk director, Peter Dikareva.
The exhibition will run until January 16th 2014 at the State Art Museum in Novosibirsk. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 07 December, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:31 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 7 December 2013 8:41 AM EST
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Wednesday, 4 September 2013
New Portrait of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna
Topic: Olga Alexandrovna GD

A portrait of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna by Pyotr Neradovsky is now on display at the State Historical Museum in Moscow
Further to my article about The Romanov's: Portrait of a Dynasty (see below) which opened on September 3rd at the State Historical Museum in Moscow, I am happy to update it with this very interesting image.
The photograph is from the exhibit but it is the portrait on the far left that I would like to draw to your attention. It is a previously unknown portrait of the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, painted by the Russian artist Pyotr I. Neradovsky. It has been kept in storage for decades but as been specially restored for this exhibition.
Neradovsky (1875-1962) was a gifted artist, art historian and museum curator.
The other portraits in the photograph: Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (top oval portrait), Emperor Nicholas II, and Grand Duke Michael Nicholayevich by other Russian artists. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 4 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:57 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 4 September 2013 7:13 AM EDT
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Monday, 27 May 2013
Watercolours of HIH Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna
Topic: Olga Alexandrovna GD

An exhibition of paintings, drawings and artifacts of HIH Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna opened on May 19th in Ekaterinburg. In attendance were His Holiness Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow and All Russia, and HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Head of the Russian Imperial House.

The exhibit presents more than 200 works in watercolour and perosnal belongings of the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, the youngest daughter of Tsar Alexander III who died in Toronto, Canada in 1960. Also on display is a commemorative mural, a gift from her brother, Tsar Nicholas II marking the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 1913.

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky at the exhibition's premiere on May 19th

The exhibit in honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty has been organized by Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky, the widow of Tihon Kulikovsky (1917-1993), the eldest son of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna.

The exhibit will run until June 7th at the Poklevskii-Kozell House, a branch of the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum, and reopen in the Patriarchal Compound, next to the Church on the Blood from June 10th to July 28th. From Ekaterinburg, the exhibit will then move to Tobolsk.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 May, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:03 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 27 May 2013 8:28 AM EDT
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Saturday, 18 May 2013
FOR SALE - Painting by HIH Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna
Topic: Olga Alexandrovna GD

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 May, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:04 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2013 12:10 PM EDT
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Friday, 5 October 2012
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna and Peter of Oldenburg
Topic: Olga Alexandrovna GD


Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960) and Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg (1868-1924) were married at St. Petersburg on August 9th, 1901.

The couple met the year before when Peter began escorting the 18-year-old daughter of Emperor Alexander III, to the theatre and opera.

Peter asked for Olga's hand in marriage the following year, a proposal that took the grand duchess completely by surprise: "I was so taken aback that all I could say was 'thank you,'"she later told Ian Vorres.

The marriage was announced in May 1901. Her mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna wrote to her son and Olga's brother, Emperor Nicholas II: "I am sure you won't believe what has happened. Olga is engaged to Petya and both are very happy. I had to consent, but it was all done so quickly and unexpectedly that I still cannot believe it."

Nicholas replied to his mother: "I cannot believe that Olga is actually engaged to Petya. They were probably both drunk yesterday.....We both laughed so much reading your letter that we have not recovered yet."

A prenuptial agreement was drawn up by a committee which included the Tsar, the Oldenburg family, and government ministers. It promised Olga an annuity of 100,000 roubles from the Tsar, and 1 million roubles to be deposited into a fund from which she could draw interest.

The wedding was a grand ceremony attended by family, European royalty, government ministers, foreign ambassadors, government officials and courtiers. They spent their honeymoon at the Oldenburg estate of Voronezh.

In the fall of 1901 they travelled to Biarritz, France, where they boarded a yacht loaned to them by King Edward VII of Great Britain and sailed to Italy.

On their return to Russia, they settled into a 200-room palace (the former Baryatinsky mansion) at 46 Sergievskaya Street (today Tchaikovskogo Street), St. Petersburg. The palace was made available to them by Olga's brother, Tsar Nicholas II. The palace has survived to this day and now houses the Saint Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Their marriage remained unconsummated, and Peter was believed by both family and friends to be a homosexual. Olga asked him for a divorce and at first he refused. The couple eventually separated, their marriage was annulled by the Emperor himself on October 16th, 1916. 

Olga married a cavalry officer, Nicholas Kulikovsky the following month. After the Russian Revolution, the couple escaped with their two sons and spent their final years in Denmark and later Canada. Kulikovsky died in 1958, Olga died in 1960. 

Peter and his mother also fled Russia after the Revolution, and settled in France. He remarried to Olga Vladimirovna Ratkova-Rognova on May 3, 1922. The marriage was also without issue. Peter died at Antibes, France in 1924, he was 55.   

Sources: The Last Grand Duchess (Pub. 1960) by Ian Vorres and Olga Romanov: The Last Grand Duchess of Russia (Pub. 1998) by Patricia Phenix.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 05 October, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:24 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 5 October 2012 8:30 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna in Denmark
Topic: Olga Alexandrovna GD

Surrounded by plants and flowers, the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna is photographed on the porch of Knudsminde, her home in Ballerup, Denmark. Aside from painting, the Grand Duchess also enjoyed gardening. She lived in exile in Denmark until 1948, when she went into exile yet again, this time to Canada.

© Royal Russia. 21 February, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:22 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2012 7:26 AM EST
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