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


Spring 2001
Volume 2, Number 3

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


September 20 - October 3, 2001 (13 days)

An escorted tour like no other: a congenial group of travellers with special connections in Russian museums and privileged access to the Hermitage Museum. See the sights in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Optional extension in Vienna. We fly on Austrian Airlines from Toronto, connecting flights on Air Canada.

In St. Petersburg we visit:

  • The Russian Museum's art collections in the grand Mikhaylovsky Palace.
  • Grand Duke Vladimir's Palace.
  • Three Imperial Summer Palaces: Peter the Great's palace at Peterhof and its hundreds of gilded fountains; Catherine the Great's splendid palace in Tsarskoe Selo; and beautiful Pavlovsk Summer Palace, built for Tsar Paul I.
  • The greatest palace complex of them all: the historic Winter Palace, as well as the adjoining palaces that house the Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage contains one of the world's largest and most prestigious collections of European art.
  • As "Canadian Friends of the Hermitage", we will enjoy special privileges as guests of the Director of the Hermitage Museum. We tour State apartments and the spectacular collections on a day when the Museum is closed to the public As Friends of the Museum, we may visit any time free of charge and enjoy a 20% discount in museum shops.
  • Other palaces, cathedrals, the Peter and Paul Fortress, a folklore performance, gourmet meals, a city tour and more round out the program! On this tour, buffet breakfasts, a reception, several lunches and dinners are included.

We stay in the Swiss-run de luxe Hotel Angleterre, within walking distance of Nevsky Prospect and all major attractions.

From St. Petersburg we travel by first-class sleeper train overnight to MOSCOW, where we spend four full days of sightseeing and visits to outstanding cultural venues:

  • A panoramic tour of the vibrant capital of an empire where east meets west.
  • A visit to the Kremlin and its fabulous Armoury collections of Imperial treasures.
  • Guided tours of the great Pushkin Museum of European Art and the Tretyakov Gallery, the largest and finest collection of Russian art in the world.
  • A special trip out of town to the historic Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius in the town of Sergiev Posad. Two cathedrals and five churches form the core of one of Russia's most important religious centres. Fabulous icons and museums await us.
  • Opportunities to see ballet, opera, the Moscow circus - depending on availability.

We stay at the five-star National Hotel, located in the city centre near the shopping area. The Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoy Theatre are within a few minutes' walk from the hotel.

On the afternoon of October 2, we leave for VIENNA, where we are overnight guests of Austrian Airlines at Hotel Ibis. We shall find something to do that evening. If you do not wish to extend your stay in Vienna, we leave the next morning and arrive in Toronto in the early afternoon of October 3.

Priced at $4,999 (CAN) per person, two persons per room. Single supplement: $1,280 (CAN). A deposit of $700 accompanies your registration; balance of tour price is due by July 15.

For information, and to register contact our office in Ottawa, tel. (613) 236-1116



Overall visitors to the Hermitage:
in 1998 — 1,768,124
in 1999 — 1,980,450
Foreign visitors through tour companies:
in 1999 — 185,098

We learn from the March issue of the Art Newspaper that the Russian Ministry of Culture, the State Hermitage Museum and the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory will soon sign an agreement to transfer control over the factory's museum collection of some 25,000 items to the Hermitage while keeping it on the territory of the factory.

Founded in 1744 as the Imperial Porcelain Factory by the daughter of Peter the Great, Empress Elizabeth, the porcelain factory is Europe's third oldest.


Last month, when Mr. Michael Jarvis renewed his membership, he told us about the reception he and Mrs. Jarvis met with in St. Petersburg:

My wife and I joined the Friends of the Hermitage while back in Canada in March of last year. In June we were able to spend two weeks in St. Petersburg on our sailboat, a long enough period to enable us to visit the Hermitage a number of times. We also went up the Neva on our boat at night, passing the building just after the bridges opened at 2:00 a.m. Half lit by the northern mid-summer night sky, a nearly full moon above and the spire of St. Peter and Paul church silhouetted on the other side of the river against the same sky, it was an absolutely magnificent sight.

But back to the Hermitage itself. Using our season's pass, we called on the Friends of the Hermitage office where we met Svetlana Philippova [Friends' co-ordinator]. She arranged to have Mrs. Eugenia Vasilijeva, head of the Education Department, give us a personal two hour tour of the building. Mrs. Philippova also obtained tickets to a performance of Giselle by the Mariinsky Ballet given in the Theatre. Our reception could not have been fuller…

Useful web sites:


The Hermitage Collections Inventory Project

At the AGM on 28 April, Patricia Young, Manager of Professional Programs with The Canadian Heritage Information Network introduced her talk on the five year, 3.3 million dollar project, with a slide of Peale's The Artist in His Museum, where a drawn curtain hints at the riches within.

Cataloguing the Hermitage Collection responds to the Director's request to automate the registration and inventory information.

Ms. Young pointed out that with a staff of 2,500, a single department at the Hermitage may be compared to the size of a whole Canadian museum. The collections are vast and varied, and housed in exhibit halls, storerooms, and off-site. It is hoped that this project will provide an accounting of these collections and reveal their actual size — now estimated at between 2.8 and 4 million.

"How do we go about it? Where do we begin… we are a small team with a long way to go… we must establish momentum to keep staff engagement. The required planning, teamwork, communication — even finding the right software for Russian use - are all under discussion. Although the project has outside assistance, the Hermitage has to run it."


The Getty Trust, Bombadier, SNC Lavalin and others have provided funds for this Foundation project.

Jim Fox, Manager of Technology Assessment at CHIN, said: "The whole collection will be done; we went last year and got a feel for the experience within the Hermitage and its people. There's not much Information Technology experience in Russia. We gave a session to the staff: and we must find a Collection Management System that suits them. We must start with registration information… and go from there."

In conclusion, Patricia Young said, "What a privilege to be involved."

Paul Marland

Ottawa Chapter News


On Saturday, April 28th, members attending the first annual general meeting of the Friends elected a full slate of Executive Committee members to carry on the work of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage. If you missed the meeting, reports on last year's activities, a copy of our by-laws, financial statements and budget figures are available to members by calling 236-1116.

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 State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.


Saturday, June 16


a special presentation by
Jean-Marie Joly and Friends

Join us on at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 16 in Room 156 at the National Library to hear first-hand what to expect if you are planning to visit the Hermitage Museum by joining our tour this fall.

Jean-Marie Joly will share his impressions of the Hermitage in an illustrated talk; Tamara Galko and Pat Simmermon will answer your questions about the forthcoming tour.

Free admission. You are invited to bring a guest.



Start the season with a series of Saturday morning lectures on art appreciation! After last year's very successful series with Claude Dupuis we have changed the format slightly and bring you five speakers who are especially qualified to speak on their chosen topics. We can guarantee that you will be enchanted.

As always, there is a connection with the Hermitage — many of the works you will get to know are part of the Hermitage collections. In all cases the artists are represented in St. Petersburg.

On September 29 we start the series with a talk on The Golden Age of Dutch Painting. Our speaker is Mary Nash who is a docent at the National Gallery. Her own Dutch heritage has led her to study Dutch art in depth. Did you know that the Hermitage owns more paintings by Rembrandt than any other museum anywhere, even in the Netherlands?

On October 13, Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Christina Corsiglia will come to Ottawa to speak on the superb collections of decorative arts amassed by Empress Catherine the Great.

On October 27, Ruth Wilson, senior docent at the National Gallery, will give a guided talk in the National Gallery on Lorenzo Lotto and Chardin, two artists who are represented at the State Hermitage by some of their major works. You will be in the presence

of actual works of art rather than slide images.

On November 10, Agnes Beckett, head docent at the National Gallery, will speak on Icons, images of a very special kind, symbols of the deepest religious experience. Agnes has studied the development of icons and will share with us her impressions enriched during this fall's tour to Russia where she will have paid special attention to famous icons in churches and museums.

On November 17, Rina Wright, a docent well known for her lively presentations, will speak on a major master of the 20th century, Matisse. We hope that the Hermitage will include Matisse's great "La Danse" in its exhibition of impressionist and post-impressionist art slated to come to Toronto and Montreal in 2002-2003.

All lectures will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings at the National Library, except for the lecture on October 27th, which will be held at the National Gallery of Canada.

Cost of the lectures:

  • $30 for the full series of five lectures. The discounted series price is vailable to members only.
  • $10 for a single lecture (for members).
  • $15 for a single lecture (for non-members).

Limited seating. To order the series or individual tickets, please contact our office at 236-1116.

Toronto Chapter News

At long last we have a Toronto Office!

You will find us at

50 Baldwin Street
Toronto, ON M5T 1L4

We share office space with the Ontario Museums Association in one of Toronto's well-known heritage buildings, the home of George Brown, Father of Confederation and founder of the Toronto Globe.

To contact our office, call (416) 979-0932. Our Toronto e-mail address is memoma@planeteer.com and our web site is www.carleton.ca/gallery/hermitage

To visit in person, please make an appointment with Joan McNabb who, together with Bill Humphries has taken on the challenge of launching our Toronto Chapter.

Joan brings with her a great deal of volunteer experience, admiration for the Hermitage Museum, and a sense of adventure; Bill is an active Board Member of The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada and a committed supporter of worthwhile causes.

We have openings for volunteers! We have a place for you, whether you have only limited free time to give… wish to volunteer on a regular basis… or prefer working on a special event. Have you some special skills to offer? Do you love art and adventure? If you like to meet interesting people and be an active Friend of the Hermitage, please call Joan or Bill at

(416) 979-0932

We are currently developing fall, winter and spring programs for 2001/2002. We will be offering a series of lectures, a program on art appreciation, including discussion of some of the masterpieces at the Hermitage, and special events to mark the launching of our Toronto Chapter.

Meanwhile, enjoy the exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario: Treasures from the Hermitage - Rubens and His Age will be on show until August 12th. You may order tickets by calling TicketKing at (416) 872-1212. From out of town call toll free 1-800-461-3333. To order group tickets, please call (416)-979-6608

Special AGO events in June include a lecture by Dr. Marjorie E. Wiseman, Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Cincinnati Museum, who will speak at the AGO on Thursday, June 7 at 7 p.m. on Lush for Life: The Rubensian Aesthetic.

On June 13, at 7 p.m., Dr. Leslie Korrick, professor at York University, will speak on The Cabinet of Curiosities.

Admission: general public $10 per lecture, AGO members, $8.

For tickets to both lectures, call 416-979-6608.

Are You a Member of the Friends?

To take advantage of the benefits we offer to our members, and to participate fully in Chapter activities, please do not delay, take out your membership today, give our Chapter office a call!

PLEASE NOTE: You are invited to attend the Toronto Chapter's inaugural lecture given by Dr. Alexander Babin, Curator of French Art at the Hermitage Museum.

Dr. Babin will speak in June, date, time and location to be confirmed. Dr. Babin is the recipient of the 2001 Frieberg Scholarship awarded annually by the State Hermitage Foundation of Canada, allowing him to spend a month at the Art Gallery of Ontario, working on preparations for the exhibition of Canadian art from the AGO to be shown at the Hermitage in 2002.

For information, please call our Toronto Chapter office.


Volume 2, No. 3, Summer 2001
The Bulletin is on line at our web site: http://www.carleton.ca/gallery/hermitage/

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

The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
National Executive Committee:
Doris M. Smith (President)
Judith Parkes (Vice-President)
Nancy Scarth (Secretary)
David Wait (Treasurer)

Tamara Galko, Jean-Marie Joly, Paul Marland.

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