[Arch Framing Statue on Tall Column - The Logo of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage]


Spring 2001
Volume 2, Number 2

Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
Les Amis canadiens de l'Ermitage
280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7

St. Petersburg:
the History of its Creation

A lecture by Pyotr Schwartzman
on Monday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m.
National Library of Canada, Room 156

Free admission, all welcome

Pyotr Schwartzman will introduce us to the main architects and their patrons who built "the Venice of the North". During two hundred years St. Petersburg existed as Russia's window to the West, as the showcase for the wealth and power of an empire. Expense was no object: marble from Carrara, malachite and lapis lazuli were used lavishly used for columns and pilasters, gilding was liberally applied inside and outside buildings, rooms had parquet floors inlaid with rare woods, and sapphires have been used as door knobs.

The best architects of their time were hired: be they from Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands or England. These talented people worked on their own, worked and reworked the same palaces and grand public buildings, or collaborated on various complexes. The result was the creation of a peculiarly rich Baroque, and an elegant Neo-classicism found in St. Petersburg alone. A group of talented Russian architects were trained by them, worked with them and carried on the work in the "Petersburg style".

Mr. Schwartzman will include a selection of outlying imperial summer palaces in his presentation: Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk are on the program.

Mr. Schwartzman was professionally trained in Russia as artist and architect. He now divides his time between painting and working as an architectural consultant.

Challenges of Connecting Collections:
The Hermitage Collections Inventory Project

A Talk by Patricia Young
28 April, 2001 at 11:30 a.m.
Room 156, National Library of Canada
395 Wellington Street

Free admission, all welcome

Pat Young will tell us about the huge challenges that are posed by the task facing the many specialists who will be working during the next five years to transfer existing inventory records at the Hermitage Museum from paper to electrons. As a start, it means assisting the Hermitage to select a collection management systems to track and record almost four million objects that until now have been indexed and recorded in either French or Russian.

The work load is so huge, that some crates and boxes still remain unpacked from the time when they were prepared for evacuation during the siege of Leningrad. There may be some surprises in these crates: not so long ago when one box was opened, they found a Leonardo da Vinci they did not know they had. It will be important to reconcile physical inventory information with existing records.

Pat is a specialist in museum documentation and information management. She is Manager of Professional Programs with Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) and also chairs the International Committee for Documentation of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). She has worked in the area of information management for the last 15 years with Parks Canada, CHIN, and the Getty Information Institute.

In September 2000, Pat Young and her colleague Jim Fox accompanied Robert Kaszanits, President of the State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada, to St. Petersburg to start the Inventory Project. The Project is being spearheaded and funded by the Foundation. Canadian expertise will help digitize the vast collections of the Hermitage and initiate one of the largest projects of this kind.

For a taste of the art you can find in the collections of the Hermitage, visit the Museum's web site:

www.hermitage.ru or www.hermitagemuseum.org
See also www.hermitagerooms.com


"War and Peace in Russia"
On May 14 at 8:00 p.m.
The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra is presenting a program at the National Arts Centre of music by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich

The concert will be preceded by an introductory talk given by
Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer
at 7:00 p.m. in the NAC Salon

Free admission to concert ticket holders to OSO concert
Reserved seats for Canadian Friends of the Hermitage

Both Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich reflected on war and expressed it through their musical medium: a look inside Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Symphony No. 7, The Leningrad by Shostakovich.

Sponsored by the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, the Embassy of the Russian Federation and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

Buy your concert tickets through the Friends, call 236-1116 for the best selection.


The Hermitage Abroad

As of January of this year, a three-way collaboration between the State Hermitage Museum, the New York Guggenheim and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna opens new possibilities for international museum partnership. The Museums foresee a steady exchange of exhibitions, collaboration among museum staffs and the sharing of other resources.

Dr. Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage, stated that the agreement might also extend to the notion of shared membership. When the New York Guggenheim opens its new museum on the East River near Wall Street, space will be set aside for works from both the Hermitage and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The Guggenheim is also a partner in St. Petersburg in the Hermitage expansion into the General Staff Building across Palace Square from the Winter Palace.


Volume 2, No. 2, Spring 2001
The Bulletin is on line at our web site:

Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7
Direct phone line: (613) 236-1116
e-mail <ah239@ncf.ca>
Fax (613) 233-5438

The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
Executive Committee:
Doris M. Smith (President)
Betty Ward (Secretary)
David Wait (Treasurer)
Luba Rybkina (Programs)
Kathryn Mikoski (Administration and Membership)
Tamara Galko (Tours)

Charitable Registration under The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada: #87879 9865 RR0001

Tour to Toronto
Treasures of the Hermitage Museum, Russia:
Rubens and His Age

May 2-4, 2001

A unique opportunity to see this exhibit before it is open to the general public!

The Art Gallery of Ontario will be the only venue for this breathtaking array of Old Master paintings, drawings and decorative arts. The exhibit will feature paintings by the three most important artists of the Flemish Baroque period: Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens. More than 150 works in all!

As Friends of the Hermitage, we will attend a reception at the AGO on May 2 and will have all day on May 3rd to view the exhibit at our leisure.


May 2 —

  • Leave Ottawa from train station
  • Lunch at Cullen Gardens in Whitby with a tour of the Gardens
  • Tour the Royal Ontario Museum exhibit of Scythian gold called Legacy in Gold from Kiev, Ukraine
  • Register at Royal York Hotel
  • Opening Ceremonies Reception at the AGO

May 3 —

  • Viewing of the Rubens and His Age exhibit from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Evening free. A list of "what's on" in Toronto will be provided.

May 4 —

  • Leave Toronto and visit the McMichael Collection (Group of Seven) in Kleinburg, where we will have lunch.
  • Return to Ottawa.

Cost: $650  Includes: bus travel to, in and from Toronto; two nights at the Royal York Hotel (double occupancy); two breakfasts; two lunches; museum entry fees; audio guides; tips and gratuities.

To reserve your place, call
Jean Sheikh
Executive World Wide Travel
(613) 236-5555 or
toll free 1-800-267-5552


NOTE: This tour is for members only. To become a member, please complete a membership application and forward it with your cheque made out to the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage to our offices at 280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7.

Please contact our office for information on our Fall 2001 tour to St. Petersburg and Moscow. You can reach us by mail, by phone (613) 236-1116, by fax (613) 233-5438 or by e-mail at ah239@ncf.ca

Our Mission

The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage is dedicated to the enrichment of Canadians through its cultural, educational and exhibition exchange programs, and to the preservation of the world-renowned collections of art in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

This is achieved through

  • Lecture Series
  • Film Presentations
  • Tours and Travel
  • Educational Programs
  • Special Events
  • Special Projects

[Peter the Great by Etienne Falconet (1716-1791)]

Peter the Great by Etienne Falconet (1716-1791)

Annual General Meeting
28 April, 2001, 11 a.m.
Room 156
National Library of Canada
395 Wellington Street

The agenda of our first annual general meeting will include reports on the past year's activities and the election of an Executive Committee for the coming year. At present, this Committee combines two responsibilities: it functions as the National Board of the Friends and as the Committee in charge of the Ottawa Chapter of the Friends.

All are welcome to attend the meeting; however, only members in good standing are entitled to vote on motions and to elect members of the Executive Committee.

Following the AGM, Pat Young will speak on "Challenges of Connecting Collections: The Hermitage Collections Inventory Project", You will find information about her talk on the front page.

A reception will follow at the conclusion of Pat Young's presentation.

Nominating Committee

If you wish to put your name forward as a candidate for election to the Executive Committee, or if you know of a candidate for nomination to the Executive, please write to The Nominations Committee or contact any one of the members of the Nominating Committee:

  • Robert Kaszanits, Chairman Tel. (613) 489-0794
  • Anne Duncker (613) 728-6062
  • Antoine Lepage (613) 233-5701
  • Kathryn Mikoski (613) 729-2707
  • Doris Smith (613) 729-3504

According to By-laws 11.2, the Nominating Committee will bring its recommendations to the Chapter three weeks prior to the next Annual General Meeting. Additional nominations will be accepted two weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting. No nominations from the floor will be accepted.

A Miracle at the Hermitage

« Miracle à l'Ermitage » is the title of an in-depth article by Frédéric Tremblay in the latest issue of Vie des Arts (No 181, Hiver 2000-2001) about The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada in general and its President, Robert Kaszanits in particular.

2001 Frieberg Scholarship Awarded

This year's winner of the scholarship is Dr. Alexander Babin, curator of French painting at the Hermitage Museum. Dr. Babin will spend the month of April at the Art Gallery of Ontario, to work with their Canadian and Contemporary departments on the exhibition of Canadian art that will be shown at the Hermitage in 2002. Planning is getting under way now for this first-ever important Canadian exhibition to be shown in St. Petersburg. It will include a gamut of works, from historical to contemporary, including a selection of Group of Seven paintings.

The Frieberg Scholarship grants are a program of The Hermitage State Museum Foundation of Canada. They provide annual travel grants for students and professionals from Canada or Russia.

Member Survey

Kathryn Mikoski thanks all the members who participated in this survey. Your comments and offers to volunteer are most encouraging and will help us to improve future programs. Thank you!

From the returns we have identified a number of volunteers and a few members who are interested in filling an executive position. Your energy and enthusiasm are much appreciated and will be put to good use. We can never have enough volunteers, so if you have not already done so, please consider making yourself available from time to time. Nominations for executive positions will be accepted until April 14th. There is no better way to get the fullest enjoyment of your membership than by participation!

This is what you are telling us so far about programs: art appreciation lectures are the most popular choice, followed by tours, then Russian cultural events. Video presentations, Foundation project news and social events received identical approval ratings. It seems that members are quite happy with one monthly event (excluding summer months).

As to venues, the National Gallery received the most votes, followed closely by the National Library.

Members of our soon-to-be-established Toronto Chapter suggested the Art Gallery of Ontario as their preferred venue.

Toronto Chapter

We expect that our Toronto Chapter will begin to operate later this spring, with its own local programs and activities. We'll keep you posted.