[Bulletin - Volume III, Number 3 ISSN 1497-8865]

The Friends Launch a Major Education Project

[Irina Kureeva, Judith Parkes and Natalya Krollaou in the Education Centre of the Hermitage Museum]
Irina Kureeva, Judith Parkes and Natalya Krollaou in the Education Centre of the Hermitage Museum

Education is a major component in the Friends' mandate, so for 2002 we have initiated a major educational joint venture with the State Hermitage Museum. The project is called the Hermitage Education Program, and it consists of a package of materials and activities in art education, with all source material drawn from the Hermitage collections.

The core element of the program is a kit of materials, consisting of three items:

  1. a set of eighty 35 mm slides, representing the highlights of the collection;
  2. two CD-ROMs on the history of the Hermitage and its collection;
  3. question sheets and essay topics for students.

Most of the program content was developed during a visit to the Hermitage by Judith Parkes, Director of Education at the Friends, in June 2002. Four days of consultations were held with Irina Kureeva (Head of the School Centre) and Natalya Krollaou (Senior Researcher), two senior members of the Education Department of the Hermitage.

Discussions during the meetings focussed on the approaches used in Russia to involve school children of different ages in the museum's activities, and to determine which elements of this approach could be transposed to the Canadian milieu. Judith was especially taken with the emphasis placed by Hermitage staff on involving young people in the museum's programs and the enthusiastic participation shown by students of all ages in the various offerings.

Back in Canada, Judith has held meetings with a number of senior officials at the Ottawa school board, and the goal is to roll out the program in the local high schools when the school year begins in September. The kits will available to the schools free of charge. Subsequent approaches with the kits will be made to elementary and private schools in the Ottawa area.

Longer-term plans include discussions with the provincial Ministry of Education of Ontario with a view to moving the initiative to a larger audience, and to translate the kit into French, to make the material available in both official languages.

Eventually the kit will be available to school boards and schools in areas where the Friends have established chapters.

For more information, contact Judith Parkes at (613) 569-3715, toll-free at 1-866-380-6945 or by e-mail: friends@hermitagemuseum.ca

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Voyage into Myth:

French Painting from Gauguin to Matisse from the Hermitage Museum

Opening at the Art Gallery of Ontario on October 12, and running until January 5, 2003, Voyage into Myth: French Painting from Gauguin to Matisse from the Hermitage Museum, Russia, will give the visiting public an extraordinary opportunity to view renowned works rarely seen outside Russia. This exhibition, drawn from one of the largest and finest collections of modern French art in the world, unites 74 of the most celebrated masterpieces by artists such as Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso.

The exhibition is organized by the AGO and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in association with The State Hermitage Museum, Russia, and The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada. After closing in Toronto, it will open in Montreal in February, 2003.

Most of the works in the exhibition were purchased by Russian merchants Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morozov, who began acquiring Post-Impressionist paintings around 1904. Their paintings and sculpture now form the cornerstone of the Hermitage's modern collection.

The title of the exhibition, Voyage into Myth and, more specifically, the French title, L'Invitation au voyage, is derived from Baudelaire's poetry cycle Les Fleurs du Mal. In these epic verses, he evokes a sensuous world of order and beauty nostalgically linked to a mythological golden age from the time of Virgil and Ovid. Voyage into Myth operates on a number of interpretive levels, taking the viewer on a voyage of discovery through mythical landscapes such as those in the sun-drenched paintings of Fauve artists Matisse and Derain. The exhibition invites visitors to enter worlds that exist somewhere between dream journeys and actual places.

As a highlight of the exhibition, the AGO will also install a spectacular recreation of Morozov's Music Room, featuring Maurice Denis' impressive series of 13 decorative panels for The Story of Psyche.

By special arrangement, all members of Friends of the Hermitage have been accorded temporary membership in the AGO. As a result, members are invited to the Members' Preview on Wednesday, October 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with a Members' reception from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.. We can also participate in the Official Members' Opening on October 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Travel News

Our Travel Committee is offering a tour from Ottawa to Toronto for Oct. 9 and 10, which will include the ROM's Special Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Art, Treasures from a Lost Civilization.

Accommodation for one night at The Strathcona, a boutique style Hotel, steps from Union Station and the subway, near the West Door of the Royal York Hotel. Round trip Ottawa-Toronto by VIA Rail.

Please indicate your interest immediately to - Jean Sheikh, Executive Worldwide Travel, 60 Queen Street, Suite 202, Ottawa K1P 5Y7 (613) 236-5555 E-mail: jsheikh@executive-trvl.com

Baltic Capitals and St. Petersburg tour departing September 21st is sold out. Tours conducted in French as well as English are being planned. Let us know if you would like to visit the State Hermitage Museum on a tour conducted in French. Would you consider a "Winter Break" in St. Petersburg, at the height of the ballet and concert season? Leave a message for Pat Simmermon at the National Office, toll-free at 1-866-380-6945 or by e-mail friends@hermitagemuseum.ca.

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Ottawa Chapter News

280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7. Tel. (613) 236-1116. Fax (613) 233-5438

October 9/10: Please note that all Friends of the Hermitage have been granted temporary AGO membership for the duration of the Voyage into Myth exhibition described on page 2, and may attend both the Members' Preview on October 9 and the official opening on October 10.
We will be organising a tour from Ottawa in conjunction with these openings, with travel by train and a stay at the Strathcona Hotel in Toronto - see notice on page 2.

*October 19: 11:00-12:30 in Room 156 of the National Library: Images of Siberia: How the Land has Shaped the Culture. Lecture and slide show by Nancy Scarth, recently returned from representing Canadian Museum volunteers and the Friends at the ICOM (International Council of Museums) (Russia) conference at Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.

Cost: Members $5, non-members $8. Tickets at the door.

November 9, 16, 23 and December 7, 14: 11:00 - 12:30 in Room 156 of the National Library Images series of five lectures designed to complement the exposition of modern French masterworks, Voyage into Myth, to be shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario October 12, 2002 to January 5, 2003, and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, beginning February 2003.

  • November 9: The Cultural Scene in Russia during the Reign of the last Tsar by John Felvinci, who has given lectures around the world on Russian history and culture in the years leading to World War I.
  • November16: Why Cézanne by Rose-Ann Hoffenberg, docent at the National Gallery of Canada
  • November 23: Symbolism and its Importance to the Nabi Movement by Sylvia Lillie, docent at the National Gallery of Canada
  • December 7: Paul Gauguin by Rina Wright, docent at the National Gallery of Canada
  • December 14: Pablo Picasso by Nancy Richardson, docent at the National Gallery of Canada.

Cost: $35 for series (available to members only);
$10 single lecture (members);
$15 single lecture (non-members);
$12 single lecture (members of the Friends of the National Library).

November 30: Hermitage Day Dinner: The Hospitality Centre at Woodroffe Campus of Algonquin College.
A great start to the holiday season. Look forward to a Russian feast. Executive Chef John Le Blanc has been reviewing Russian recipes, including old favourites such as Sturgeon, Elk and Pomegranate Sauce. You will be treated to a 5-course dinner with vodka and wine, and there will be a silent auction with lots of items to bid on. Bring your friends. There's lots of space and free parking.

Cost: $50 members, $60 non-members.

CALL 236-1116 TO RESERVE PLACES FOR ANY OF THESE OTTAWA EVENTS. FAX 233-5438 OR E-MAIL friends@hermitagemuseum.ca

[Diamond Dots]

Looking forward into 2003

March: lecture and video on 19th Century Russia - the Glitter that was not Gold by Paul Francis, noted local historian.
February/March/April: day trips to Montreal to view Voyage into Myth.
May: International Museums Day lunch.
June & September: Two excursions to
St Petersburg, one in English, one in French, to visit the Hermitage and to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg

More details in future issues of the Bulletin.

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Ottawa Chapter Study Group

The Study Group was founded in February under the co-chairmanship of Nancy Scarth and Judith Parkes. Its purpose is to situate Russian culture over the past three centuries in its historical context. In the meetings held to date, we have reached the brink of the Golden Age of Russian art, literature and music, so the program for the coming year will look at the time from the end of the reign of Catherine the Great.

Meetings are held at 1:00 pm on the first Thursday of the month, and the first of these will be held on September 5 at the home of Nancy Scarth in the village of Osgoode. So, come out to the country for a noon lunch at the Sweet Peas Pantry, followed by a "show-and-tell" session at Nancy's nearby home. We are especially looking forward to seeing Judith's slides taken during her June visit to the Hermitage.

New members are most welcome - come and join us.

Nancy Scarth 826-1090 Judith Parkes 569-3715
scarth@monisys.ca, jfparkes@rogers.com

[Diamond Dots]

Montreal Chapter News

730E - 4300 de Maisonneuve West, Montreal, PQ H3Z 1K8. Tel. (514) 934-0821
E-mail: ethel.kesler@mail.mcgill.ca

The newly-formed Montreal chapter of the Friends of the Hermitage is getting organised and growing. We now have an Executive Committee, and a vigorous search is now underway for francophone members and a francophone co-chair. An organisational meeting of the Executive was held on Dorval Island in July, and plans were formulated for a far-reaching membership drive, coupled with a public launch in the fall. Meanwhile, efforts continue in the search for a permanent office location.

We are also eagerly looking forward to the opening of the Hermitage Voyage into Myth exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in February. The Montreal chapter plans to host an exciting gala evening to coincide with this event.

[Montreal Executive Meeting]Getting organised - the incoming executive is shown taking a break from their deliberations at their Dorval Island meeting. Pictured are (l to r) Gavin Ross (Resource); Doris Smith (President, Canadian Friends): Dr. Sean Murphy (Liaison with the Foundation); Emilita Taylor (Tours); Betty Maldoff (Communications); Dr. Clarence Epstein (Program Committee); Hope Boland (Communications); Saretta Levitan (Communications); Tamara Lieven (Secretary); Catherine Basham (Treasurer); Ethel Kesler (President, Montreal Chapter); and John Felvinci (Program Committee).

Missing from the photograph: Sheila Goldbloom, Isabelle Lafrenière and Prof. Paul Austin.

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Toronto Chapter News

50 Baldwin Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1L4. Phone 416-979-0932, Fax 416-348-0438,
E-mail: cfh@lefca.com

Our fall program

OCTOBER 12, 2002-JANUARY 5, 2003
The highlight of the fall program is, of course, the Voyage into Myth exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This is the collection of French masterpieces from the Hermitage.

By special arrangement, all members of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage have been accorded temporary membership in the AGO. See article on page 2.


7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Memphis, 942 Yonge Street, Common Room. (Yonge and Belmont, 2 blocks south of Rosedale subway).

An informal Art History Study Group related to the Voyage into Myth exhibition. Susan Marcus, a former lecturer in art history at the University of Toronto, will give an eight-week lecture series, which will seek to establish the place of the artists in the cultural environment that shaped them.

Cost: $100 for the full series of eight lectures. If there is room, individual lectures will be available at $20 per session.

To register, please mail a cheque, payable to the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, to our address at 50 Baldwin Street.

OCTOBER 2: The Canadian Opera Company's production of Tchaikovsky's masterwork, The Queen of Spades, at the Hummingbird Centre, conducted by Richard Bradshaw.

Hasmik Papian sings Lisa, Judith Forst is the Countess and Vadim Zaplechny is the unfortunate Herman.

Special ticket prices have been arranged for Friends and their guests. Remember that this opera is set in St. Petersburg. We are also invited to a pre-performance Opera Chat at the theatre. Members of the Toronto Chapter will receive a mailing with seating and prices in the near future.

NOVEMBER 4: 7:00 p.m. at Mazzoleni Hall, the Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor West. Rick Phillips, host of the CBC radio program Sound Advice, and lecturer in music appreciation at the conservatory, will give a sound-accompanied lecture on 19th century Russian music to complement the Hermitage exhibition at the AGO.

Registration forms to order tickets will be sent to Toronto members shortly. For further information, phone the office at 416-979-0932.

Cost: Members and students $15,
Non-members $20.

DECEMBER 3: Plan to set this evening aside for the second annual Hermitage Day Dinner, to be held at the Badminton and Racket Club, 25 St. Clair Avenue West. An authentic Russian buffet menu is being planned.

Full details, cost and order forms will be sent to Toronto Chapter members in the fall.

[Diamond Dots]

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Help Wanted

The National Office of the Friends has three immediate openings for volunteers at the management level.

* Volunteer coordinator. Maximum weekly involvement, three hours at home or at our office. Flexible hours. Bilingualism an asset. This is for you if you like meeting people.

* Coordinator of francophone programming: We need to provide first-class programming to our francophone members and supporters. This is for you if you believe in lifelong learning and care about exploring the past and present of the Hermitage Museum and its collections, and pursuing studies in Russian culture. Flexible hours. Bilingualism required.

* Marketing director: Volunteer needed to work with the Friends' Executive and membership to market the organisation to the cultural community and to develop more effective communication with local and national media. Bilingualism an asset.

If you are interested, or know of someone who might be interested, please call Doris Smith at 613-236-1116, toll-free at 1-866-380-6945 or E-mail us at friends@hermitagemuseum.ca to set up an appointment.

[Diamond Dots]

Free copies of the Bulletin

Do you know of someone who might be interested in reading our Bulletin? We will gladly send a free copy of the latest issue to your friends if you send us their name and address.

A card naming you as the donor will be included, unless you wish otherwise. Please contact us about this offer by giving us a call at 613-236-1116, toll-free at 1-866-380-6945 or contact us by E-mail at friends@hermitagemuseum.ca.

Editor John Skeggs welcomes your comments and contributions! Why not get in touch with him and tell him what you would like to know about the Hermitage Museum, its Canadian Friends and our parent organization, The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada.


Volume III, No. 3, Autumn 2002
ISSN 1497-8865
Published quarterly in English and French.
Distributed free to Canadian Friends of the Hermitage.
Editor: John Skeggs

The Bulletin is on line at:

National Office:
Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7

Telephone: (613) 236-1116;
Toll-free: 1-866-380-6945
Fax: (613) 233-5438

e-mail: friends@hermitagemuseum.ca

National Executive:
Doris M. Smith, President
Gerald Glavin, Vice-President
Nancy Scarth, Secretary
David Wait, Treasurer
Ethel Kesler, President, Montreal Chapter
Joan McNabb, President, Toronto Chapter

Members-at-large: Catherine Lane, Judith Parkes, John Skeggs, Pat Simmermon

Charitable Registration of The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada:
No. 878799865 RR0001