Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
November 2003 - Volume IV, Number 4

http://www.hermitagemuseum.ca/ - ISSN 1479-8865

[Friend's Logo]


The Stroganoffs: Art Patrons and Collectors 14 Oct, 2003 to 25 Jan, 2004

In the Anteroom and the Nicholas Hall of the Winter Palace is an exhibition devoted to the Stroganoffs, a family that played a key role in the political, economic and cultural life of Russia from the mid-15th century to the end of the 19th century. The exhibition showcases 370 objects, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and applied art and coins representing a span of time from antiquity to the 19th century. The collection was started by Baron Sergey Grigoryevich Stroganoff (1707-1756) who, in 1754, commissioned F.B. Rastrelli to build his magnificent residence on Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg, to display his acquisitions.

Chinese Export Art: 10 Oct, 2003 - to be determined

The exhibition, housed in the Menshikov Palace, explores cultural contacts between China and the West. It showcases over 200 exhibits, including jewelry, metalware, carved bone, porcelain, wallpapers, fabrics, drawings and “applied” paintings. Chinese export art was created by Chinese masters expressly for foreign customers. The popularity of Chinese art reached its peak in the second half of the18th century. The exhibition explores various production centres and techniques used by Chinese masters. Creations of the 17th and 18th centuries show the succession of European styles, from baroque to rococo to classicism. “Chinese” cabinets became popular during the reign of Peter I in Russia via the Dutch and English East India companies and as diplomatic gifts, such as the blue-silk schlafrock belonging to Peter I and silver filigree boxes from a dresser set of Catherine II, which are part of the exhibition.

The Treasure Gallery: 18 May, 2002 - ongoing

This exhibition of jewelry introduces the visitor to the collection of works dating from the 3rd millenium BC to the early 20th century AD. The first and second rooms show works of primitive and ancient art. The largest collection of objects made from precious metals comes from the Maikop barrow; its richness may be rivaled only by the famous Micenean burials in Greece. The third room contains Byzantine and post-Byzantine applied arts of the 6th-18th centuries and West European applied arts of the Middle ages. One of the outstanding artifacts in both the Hermitage collection and Gothic art as a whole is the Freiburg Cross (13th century). The fourth room introduces collections of rock crystal and stone vessels of European masters of the 16th and 17th centuries, fanciful pendants from pearls and precious stones of Renaissance masters and watches of the 17th century. Gifts from diplomats, luxury weapons and walking sticks once owned by members of the Imperial Family are shown separately. The fifth room shows the 18th-20th century jewelry with most of the exhibits coming from the Jewelry Gallery of the Winter Palace. The late 19th-early 20th century section shows works of René-Jules Lalique and the atelier of Carl Fabergé whose name is associated with the new golden age of the St. Petersburg jewelry school. Fabergé's models of the Imperial regalia won grand prix at the Paris International Exhibition of 1900.

More information on the permanent collections and current exhibits of the State Hermitage Museum available at www.hermitagemuseum.org

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The Royal Collection of works by Carl Fabergé, the greatest Russian jeweller and goldsmith of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is unparalleled in size, range and quality. Much of it was acquired through the exchange of personal gifts between the Russian, Danish and British royal families. There is an exciting exhibition to be shown at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, U.K. from November 21, 2003 to March 7, 2004. This exhibition, which incorporates the results of extensive new research in Russian archives, charts the royal passion for Fabergé through over 300 of his finest pieces. Fabergé revived traditional techniques of enamelling, multi-coloured gold decoration and the use of carved semi-precious hardstones, but he applied them with unsurpassed skill and great originality. He sought inspiration in many sources, from antiquity and Oriental art to the contemporary Art Nouveau movement. The assimilation of these different styles, using raw materials of supreme quality and craftsmanship of the highest standard, gives Fabergé's work its unique character. Czar Alexander III of Russia appointed Fabergé “Supplier to the Imperial Court” in 1885. King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra's enthusiasm for Fabergé's work encouraged the jeweller to open a London branch in 1903.

Queen Mary, consort of King George V, acquired four of the celebrated Easter Eggs of Fabergé, three of which had been made for the Russian Imperial family. These are the greatest expression of Fabergé's ingenuity, and their year-long production was carried out in great secrecy. The collecting of Fabergé continued with Queen Elizabeth —the Queen mother — who added a number of significant pieces to the British Royal Collection. Fabergé could turn even the most routine practical object into a miniature work of art. Many sought to emulate him and the exhibition includes pieces by his competitors and imitators, including Cartier.

The exhibition is accompanied by Fabergé in the Royal Collection, a 272 page catalogue featuring over 220 illustrations. Available for approximately $84.00 Cdn. in hardback with a $54.00 Cdn. softcover version.

See the artnet article by N. F. Karlins titled Royal Treasures for a large photo of the Fabergé Mosaic Egg.

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News from Toronto Chapter

November 28th, 2003

Coming up on Friday, November the 28th at the Faculty Club at the University of Toronto, the Toronto Chapter is hosting a dinner to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg. Great Russian food, music and prizes will be featured. Members and one guest per member $65.00 each. Non-members $75.00. To Reserve: please call (416) 979-0932 or send your cheque to The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, 50 Baldwin Street, Toronto, Ontario. M5T 1L4.


The Toronto Chapter announces its Winter 2004 Lecture Series
19th & 20th century Russian Literature

All lectures will be held at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature University of Toronto 121 St. Joseph Street — 4th floor
Tuesday, February 10, 2004 7:00 p.m. Donna Orwin Professor of Russian Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures University of Toronto The Coming of Age of Russian Psychological prose 19th century
Tuesay, March 2, 2004 7:00 p.m. Leonard Livak Associate Professor Slavic languages & Literatures University of Toronto Russian Modernism and the Avant-Garde
Tuesday, March 23, 2004 7:00 p.m. Kenneth Lantz Professor in Russian Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures University of Toronto Writers in Prison Literature of the Gulag

FOR THE SERIES: Members $55.00 — Non-Members $60.00
To Reserve: please call (416) 979-0932 or send your cheque to The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, 50 Baldwin Street, Toronto, Ontario. M5T 1L4.

Community Outreach

Over the summer 3,000 brochures were printed and widely distributed to educational institutions, arts organizations and libraries, promoting both the series of Fall lectures and awareness of The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada Inc.

The Toronto Chapter has been establishing links with the Centre of Russian and East European Studies (CREES) and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto. As a result we have been invited to a syposium “Soviet and Kosher”, to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the birth of Tolstoy.

In the New Year, the Friends are planning some introductory Russian lessons for those who are planning to travel to Russia.

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The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage invite art and opera lovers to join them on a four-day escorted coach journey to New York City for a unique opportunity to enjoy two special performances at “The Met”. Valery Gergiev conducts the sumptuous Zeffirelli production of La Traviata starring Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Renée Fleming. Hvorostovsky stars again in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades with Plácido Domingo and Nikolai Putilin.

See the Forbes Collection, known for its exquisite objets d‘art and the Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs. Marvel at the contrasts during our Architectural Sightseeing Tour. Enjoy a Guided Tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Museum collections are always growing and we will have a docent-guided tour — Highlights of the Collections. In your personal time, feel free to explore the Museum on your own. You might enjoy a special exhibit currently there called Playing with Fire — European Terracotta Models — 1740-1840 — sketches to finished models that demonstrate the dash and erudition of modelers across Europe during the Neoclassical age. At the elegant FireBird Restaurant, we will have lunch in the 1912 ambience of a Pre-Revolutionary Russian home. It was a dream of Baroness Irina von der Launitz, grand-daughter of Vladimir von der Launitz — who was the mayor of St. Petersburg until his death in 1907 — and her husband — J. William Holt, famed for his knowledge of Russian art, literature and cuisine — to create this ambience. After our taste of delectable Russian cuisine, we will rejoin the coach for a shuttle to upper 5th Avenue and Museum Mile. There will be free time to shop, perhaps at La Vieille Russie with its stunning jewellry, antiques and Russian memorabilia, or a visit to the world-renowned shops on 5th Avenue. If you are a dedicated museum buff, you will have time to yourself to wander through the Frick, the Guggenheim, or the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt on Museum Mile.

Delight in the comfort of the Mayflower Hotel on Central Park, within easy walking distance of the Lincoln Centre, Broadway theatres and the New York's finest shops. Cost: in Canadian Dollars Twin Share Accommodation — $1,430.00 Single Supplement — $ 450.00

For further information contact: Mrs. Jean Sheikh, C.T.C. Executive Worldwide Travel, 60 Queen Street, Suite 202, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1P 5Y7 (613) 236-5555. Toll free (800) 267-5552. e-mail: jsheikh@executive-trvl.com

Saturday, December 6th, 2003

The Ottawa Chapter's Hermitage Day Dinner and Silent Auction, will be held in the International Restaurant on the Woodroffe Campus of Algonquin College. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with hors d‘oeuvres and a preview of the items in the Silent Auction, followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. The four course dinner includes 1 alcoholic beverage.

hors d‘oeuvres
to tweak your taste buds a sampling of blinis, salmon caviar, and assorted tidbits
first course
assortment of herring cakes with sour cream, smoked sturgeon with salad, chanterelles/potato soup cabbage rolls (savoury cabbage, goose meat, sour cream)
beet and vodka sorbet
main course
Escalope of fallow deer with potatos and grape must on goose crackling with vegetables
Crème Caramel with birch syrup, candied walnuts and brandied prunes
tea and coffee

Members and one guest per member $50.00 each. Non-members $60.00. Reserve by sending your cheque to Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, 280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7. Please indicate if you have a preference for table seating.

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[Happy Group Shot]

News of the Friends' tours is reaching farther and farther afield. On our fourth annual trip to Russia, Canadians from Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Calgary were joined by some American friends from New Jersey and Washington D.C. We were all enchanted both by Moscow — a vibrant and warm city with a soul where one truly felt the embrace of Mother Russia — and by St. Petersburg, that beautiful, elegant city steeped in Imperial history.

We had wonderful accommodations in Moscow at the Art Nouveau Metropol Hotel — a five minute walk to the Bolshoi Theatre — and in St. Petersburg at the historic Hotel Angleterre. Breakfasts were a delight with a lavish menu and courteous service, giving us a bracing start to each of our action packed days.

Each day in visually spectacular Moscow revealed new wonders. Our guide — a university professor with a Ph.D in art history — shared her wealth of information on matters of art, politics and Russian history. She led us with great enthusisam through the Kremlim gardens, The Armoury (where we saw the fantastic Orlov diamond) and to Red Square. We visited the Pushkin Museum following which we had a most interesting visit to the House of the great Russian basso, Shalyapin. In the evenings some of us chose to see performances at the Bolshoi Theatre. The following day we had a fascinating visit to Sergei Posad, the heart of Russian Orthodoxy. It was as if we were in another world. Our stay in Moscow passed all too quickly but we knew that the treasures of St. Petersburg awaited us.

We took the 5 hour train ride to St. Petersburg and enjoyed the countryside as well as the opportunity to share compartments with some very interesting Russians.

Once again our St. Petersburg guide was extraordinary, leading us to the Menshikov Palace with its delft blue tiled rooms such as the Varvara apartment, and the imposing Peter and Paul Fortress which was the Court Cathedral and burial place of the Russian Czars around 1858, but for more than two hundred years was also an infamous prison. The following day was spent at Peterhof, the majestic summer Palace of Peter the Great. Its hundreds of fountains sparkling in the autumn sun was a breathtaking sight, as is the massive Palace set in 500 landscaped acres. Interesting to note that Peter used the Palace for ceremonial events only and he actually lived in the tiny, modest home he dubbed “Mon Plaisir” perched on the edge of the Gulf of Finland. The Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo was a great favourite of the group, as we went from the Great Hall, through the White Dining Room to the incomparable Amber Room, built in 1755 by Bartolomeo Rastrelli and restored over the last quarter century to its original glory. Close by is the Pavlosk Palace, home to Paul I and Maria Fiodorovna in the late eighteen century.

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Of course, the pièce de résistance in St. Petersburg was our full-day visit to the incredible riches of The Hermitage. What a special privilege to have this magnificent museum virtually to ourselves, exploring the Rembrandt Gallery, the Leonardo da Vinci Hall, the Golden Drawing Room, the Flanders Collection housing some of the most famous works of Peter Paul Rubens, rooms full of the Impressionists, the 2nd century B.C. Scythian Gold collection and much too much more to list. The Hermitage guides, who have encyclopaedic knowledge of the collections, added insight and depth to our appreciation of the paintings and artifacts.

As in Moscow, our evenings were filled with theatre and concert performances. Hearing Russian music played by a Russian symphony orchestra for example was a fantastic experience.

On the morning of our departure, our reluctance to leave was mitigated somewhat by a private boat tour of some of the picturesque canals of St. Petersburg — it is after all called the “Venice of the North” — offering us a chance to see many of the monuments and notable architecture from a completely different perspective.

This excellent tour will forever etch the fall of 2003 in our minds. It is entirely due to months of meticulous planning by the Friends' tour committee ably led by Pat Simmermon and Anne Duncker.

I think a quote from one of our number summarizes the opinion of all who had the good fortune to participate in the Moscow-St. Petersburg trip this year.

“I expected a lot from this trip. I got a lot more!”

Save your pennies and consider the upcoming tour - like this one, it will be the trip of a lifetime.

NOTE: The Bulletin printing format cannot due justice to photos of Moscow and St. Petersburg - please visit the Friends' website archives at http://www.hermitagemuseum.ca/HermitageFriends/Archives/20030914.html for a selection.


Moscow to St. Petersburg
September 1st to 15th, 2004

Experience the history and culture of old Russia along the vast network of waterways linking both imperial capitals of the Czars, with their vast repositories of Russian art, Old Masters and unique architecture. From the comfort of a river cruise ship, our floating hotel, our tour includes diverse sightseeing excursions. We will explore the heart of Moscow — the mysterious Kremlin. You'll be dazzled by the treasures of the Czars in the Armory, the views from Red Square of the landmark St. Basil's Cathedral and the new fashionable GUM store. Feel the soul of this city — gateway to the Orient — along with its many treasures and pleasures.

The scenic Volga River takes us to Uglich where we explore, on foot, one of the oldest towns in Russia, founded in 1148. Legendary tales of Ivan the Terrible and his murdered 9 year old son Dimitry abound here amidst its remarkable churches. A jewel in the band of the Golden Ring cities, Kostroma was home to the noble Godunov and Romanov families. At the heart of Kostroma is the majestic Ipatyevsky Monastery. In Yaroslavl, founded in 1010, we will tour the city and view the 12th century Transfiguration Monastery with its murals depicting the apocalyptic visions of St. John. Your cruise next stops at the peaceful farming community of Goritsy where you will visit the fortress- like Kirillo-Belozersky monastery. Then a very special treat — a stop at Kizhi Island, located at the northern end of Lake Onega. Kizhi is renowned for its open-air museum of wooden architecture featuring the Transfiguration Cathedral, the ultimate in Russian fairy-tale architecture. There is a delightful picnic stop at Mandrogi before we arrive in “The Venice of the North” St. Petersburg.

Enjoy the sun deck and relaxed atmosphere aboard our ship. Our junior suites feature large windows, so you won't miss a thing on our 12 day cruise. Savour international and Russian traditional cuisine and entertainment. Learn about the history and culture of this fascinating land. The sightseeing is all included, but optional theatre is offered in the two capitals.

As always, the special feature of the Friends' tour is the private full day visit to the Hermitage — explore the world famous collections with expert guides on Monday when the museum is closed to the general public.

Revisit the Hermitage or other famous imperial palaces and museums during an additional two night stay at the historic Angleterre hotel.

Cost: in Canadian Dollars is $5339.00. per person, double occupancy.

Space is limited, so indicate your interest, and request a brochure from Jean Sheikh, Executive Worldwide Travel, 60 Queen Street, Suite 303, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. K1P 5Y7 (613) 236-5555 Toll free (800) 267-5552 or e-mail: jsheikh@executive-trvl.com

New Hermitage Pass Card now available to Members

If you are planning a trip to St. Petersburg, the Friends will provide you a special pass card that will give you free and unlimited access to the Hermitage for the duration of your visit. And — no standing in line! Please contact the Friends office in Otawa at (613) 236-1116 or Toll free at 1-866-380-6945, to arrange for your card. We recommend that you allow at least three weeks for delivery of your card.

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[Presentation to Doris from Svetlana at The Hermitage]
Left: S. Philippova Right: D. Smith — Photo by H. & D. MacKenzie

On the fourth annual Friends tour to Russia, Doris Smith received a lifelong membership card to The Hermitage. The well deserved award was presented by Svetlana Philippova who is the Co-ordinator of the International Hermitage Friends' Club for Doris' tireless efforts to bring about the founding of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage.


With the retirement of our Past President, Doris Smith, we appealed to our membership through a nomination process to find a new leader for the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage. The last Bulletin outlined the process and relevant dates and included a nomination form. We also advised that we had a fall 2003 meeting planned to choose and confirm the new head of the Friends. The deadline date passed, however, without receiving any nominations, so we are moving on!

We have undertaken a review of the Friends' programmes and services to make sure we are delivering good value for money and that we are providing the services our members want. The review will be a consultative process with discussions in our Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal Chapters. If you have ideas, suggestions or comments please call the Friends' National Office at (613) 236-1116 or toll free 1- 866-380-6945 or e-mail at friends@hermitagemuseum.ca. We will give your response our personal attention because your opinion is valuable to us.

We have a strong commitment to the success of the Friends and we very much appreciate your continued support in making the Friends a dynamic organization. More news in upcoming Bulletins.

The National Executive
(see back page for names of current transition team)

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in Canada

Rubens and His Age was the first in a series of exhibitions from the Hermitage Museum collections to come to Canada.

In 2002-2003, a combined total of 377,000 people visited the Voyage into Myth — French Painting from Gauguin to Matisse exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AG0) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). The exhibition was a big boost to the hospitality industry in Toronto which suffered severely from the SARS outbreak this past year. A 25 year attendance record in Montreal was broken as over 200,000 people lined up to see the exhibit.

Treasures of Catherine the Great — from the Hermitage Museum, Russia is the next in the series and it is scheduled to open at the AGO in the fall of 2005. It will move on to Montreal in the Spring of 2006. Curators of both museums are in St. Petersburg this fall developing the final list of objects, and preparing articles for the catalogue. The Catherine show promises to be one of the most elaborate displays of decorative arts — porcelain, textiles, jewellery and jewelled objects — ever to travel outside Russia.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will feature one of the finest Arms and Armour shows in 2007 with a second venue not yet announced and also in 2007 Toronto's Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, will feature European Porcelain in Russian History, a show that will dazzle the visitor.


The University of Ottawa will have a showing of the Russian Ark December 5th, 2003. It will be held in the Lamoureux Building - Room 122, which is at 145 Jean Jacques Lussier Street.

Admittance is free but space is limited and it is first come first served.

Don't miss this opportunity to see a remarkable film.


On Saturday November 22nd, Nancy Scarth will present her personal experiences on the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways, a presentation with slides. (English)

On Saturday November 29th, Monique Michaud will speak on “La Danse: Le Kirov et le Théâtre Mariinsky”

The cost is $10.00 for members, $12.00 for Friends of the National Library and $15.00 for non-members.

Both lectures will be held in Room 156 of the National Library and Archives, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa. Lecture time is 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Volume IV, No. 4, Fall/Winter 2003
ISSN 1497-8865
Published quarterly in English and French.
Distributed free to Canadian Friends of the Hermitage.
Editor: R. Young
Contributors: P. Simmermon, A. Duncker, Kae Fogden, C. Viets, R. Young, D & H MacKenzie
Technical Assistance: Alex Smith, Quintin Wight, Seán Kelly

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

Toronto Chapter:
50 Baldwin Street
Toronto, ON  M5T 1L4
Telephone: (416) 979-0932
Fax: (416) 348-0438
e-mail: toronto@hermitagemuseum.ca

National Executive:
Bob Kaszanits, Interim Executive Director
Robin Young, Vice President
David Wait, Treasurer
Nancy Scarth, Secretary
Susan Marcus, President - Toronto Chapter
TBA, President - Montreal Chapter
Members at large: Judith Parkes, Pat Simmermon, Anne Duncker, Catherine Lane, John Skeggs, Paule Sirois

The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada Inc.
can be reached at:
P.O. Box 539 — Station B,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5P6

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