An exhibit which showcases many of the Naryshkin treasures found in a St. Petersburg mansion last year will go on display today at Pavlovsk Palace.
In March 2012, workers found an enormous cache during the restoration of the former Naryshkin mansion on Tchaikovsky Street in the city center. Nearly 2,000 items dating from the 19th-early 20th centuries had been hidden under the floors by the owners of the mansion prior to their escape from Russia during the Revolution.
Silverware, porcelain, medals and awards, jewellery, among other items were found wrapped in old newspapers, dated June-September 1917.
After their discovery, the cache was carefully packed into 40 boxes and coffers and sent to the Konstantin Palace at Stelna for examination and cataloguing.
In January, about 400 items were transferred to Pavlovsk Palace to be put on display. The Konstantin Palace at Strelna hosted an exhibit last year displaying a portion of its share of treasures. Organizers from both museums note that only half of the Naryshkin treasure has been put on display.
Over the decades similar caches of Imperial treasures have been found hidden in other palaces, including the Yusupov and Shuvalov in St. Petersburg.
The Naryshkin exhibit at Pavlovsk will run until June 1st, 2013. The ultimate fate of the collection has yet to be decided by the Ministry of Culture.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 February, 2013
The 12th annual Imperial Bouquest Festival opened at Pavlovsk Palace on July 14th. The theme of this year's festival was dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Russia's victory over Napoleon's armies in 1812.
The festival is now held every year in honour of the palace's original owner, the Empress Maria Feodorovna (1759-1828). During her years at Pavlovsk, the wife of Emperor Paul I had a great love for flowers and oversaw the development and maintenance of some of the most beautiful gardens in Russia. Having an avid interest in flower arranging, she filled the rooms of the palace with arrangements and bouquets that she created herself using fresh, fragrant blooms from her gardens and greenhouses year round.
This years' festival involved over 100 florists, and guests were entertained with a fashion show and music in the Rose Pavilion (pictured lower right). The festival lasted two days, July 14-15, 2012.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 July, 2012
A concert in memory of Anna Ivanova Zelenovna will be held on February 29th at Pavlovsk. Zelenovna served as Director of Pavlovsk from 1941 to 1979.
She is credited with the evacuation of art treasures from Pavlovsk during the Second World War, after having them moved to the basement of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
After the war, she played a significant role in initiating the restoration of a number of palaces, including the Catherine Palace, Peterhof, Pavlovsk and Gatchina.
Her life and work is explored in detail in Pavlovsk, The Life of a Russian Palace by Suzanne Massie (1990) and Saving the Tsars’ Palaces by Christopher Morgan and Irina Orlova (2005).
Anna Zelenovna died on the job on January 16, 1980, at the age of sixty-seven. Since her death, every year on her birthday her friends and co-workers gather at Pavlovsk to listen to chamber music concerts and honour her memory.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 February, 2012
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