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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Opens Faberge Revealed Exhibition

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts presents Faberge Revealed an exhibition on view July 9 – October 2, 2011.

The Russian jeweler Karl Fabergé, arguably the most famous jeweler of all time, crafted objects for the families of the last two tsars of Russia and for most of Europe’s nobility. He is best known for his Imperial Easter eggs.

VMFA’s collection is the largest public collection of Fabergé in this country and includes five Russian Imperial Easter eggs. Only 50 were created by this world-renowned jeweler. Most Fabergé works are made from gold, platinum, diamonds and rubies, among other precious metals and gemstones.

Coiling Serpent Paperweight, 1899-1908 Persian turquoise,sterling silver The Hodges Family Collection

The dazzling artistry of Fabergé has been a longtime favorite of visitors to our art museum,” Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director Alex Nyerges said. “To see the Easter eggs is a treat itself, but to see them accompanied by hundreds of other Fabergé works of art is just incredible. We are pleased to have Dr. Géza von Habsburg, a preeminent Fabergé scholar, to curate this exhibition and provide fascinating new scholarship on the Virginia Museum’s most popular collection.”

The name Fabergé is synonymous with refined craftsmanship, glittering luxury and the last days of the doomed Russian imperial family. The array of enameled picture frames and clocks, gold cigarette cases and cane tops, hardstone animals and flowers in rock crystal vases, and ruby encrusted brooches and boxes continue to fascinate viewers as they did when first displayed in the windows of Fabergé’s stores in St Petersburg, Moscow and London.

In addition to showcasing VMFA’s extensive Fabergé collection, the exhibition will feature loans from distinguished private collections. The collection of Matilda Geddings Gray of Louisiana has loaned its rare Napoleonic Egg and Lilies of the Valley Basket. Noteworthy loans from the Arthur and Dorothy McFerrin Foundation Collection include the Nobel Ice Egg and the Empress Josephine Tiara. Additionally, in a complementary exhibition, more than 100 pieces will come from the family collection of Virginia-born Daniel Hodges, including the Bismark Box and the Coiled Serpent Paperweight.

Alongside these loans, Fabergé Revealed will present VMFA’s entire collection to the public and will create a rare opportunity to view more than 500 objects by the celebrated jeweler to Russian Tsars Alexander III and his son and successor Nicholas II. The exhibition will be separated into six sections, showcasing works with precious metals, gemstones, enamels, miniature Easter eggs and hardstone carvings. The installation will also allow for a 360-degree view of each Imperial
Easter egg.

About Fabergé-related programs
Throughout the exhibition a wide variety of educational programs will provide scholarship and deeper understanding of the Russian jeweler and his work. Designed to engage audience of all ages, programs range from continuing education classes to introductory Russian language classes and jewelry design and fabrication, On July 14, Dr. von Habsburg will speak about Karl Fabergé and the Russian Imperial Family.

About VMFA’s Fabergé collection
The largest Fabergé collection in the United States, VMFA has 323 objects by and attributed to the great Russian master and five of the 13 imperial Easter eggs that are in the United States. A large majority of these treasures are from the bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt that was made in 1947. The museum has added approximately 50 objects of Russian decorative arts during the last 10 years, including 18 significant pieces by Fabergé.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
With a collection of art that spans the globe and more than 5,000 years, plus a wide array of special exhibitions, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is recognized as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. The museum’s permanent collection encompasses more than 23,000 works of art, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside Russia and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. VMFA is home to acclaimed collections of English Silver and Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British Sporting and Modern & Contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its 75-year history. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus fun after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond VA 23220-4007

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