2015: Georgy Vilinbakhov Chairman of St Petersburg's English Club

St Petersburg’s English Assembly (the English Club) is the oldest public society in Russia, founded in March 1770. It ceased its existence after the revolution, in 1918, but was revived in the spring of 1998.  In keeping with historical tradition, the Club’s activities are aimed to professional circles – politicians, state officials, businessmen, leading scientists and people in the arts. There are more than fifty members of the Club at the present time, representing all levels of the St Petersburg elite. Its motto is ‘Concordia at laetitia’ – ‘Concord and joy’.

As the Club prepares to mark its eighteenth anniversary, a new Chairman of the administration was elected, on this occasion Georgy Vilinbakhov, Deputy Director of the Hermitage Museum and Chief Herald of the Russian Federation. He has contributed greatly over the years to the recreation of the Club and the development of its symbols and rituals. To mark the 250th anniversary of the Hermitage in 2015 the English Club presented the museum with a print by Adolphe Charlemagne, Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. Illustration to Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace (St Petersburg, 1887). Dr Vilinbakhov was instrumental in identifying and acquiring the print.


2015: Acclaim for Hermitage Foundation publication of Catalogue of Persian Paintings (2012)

‘A lifetime’s work and well worth it: Scholars will treasure this catalogue of the Hermitage’s Persian art.’

                                                                                      Jane Jakeman, The Art Newspaper, September 2014

Adel Adamova, Persian Manuscripts, Paintings and Drawings from the 15th to the Early 20th Century in the Hermitage Collection

Thanks to a Hermitage UK Friends initiative in 2012 the English-language version of Adel Adamova’s catalogue of Persian art in the Hermitage was published by Azimuth Editions (distributed by Thames & Hudson). It has proved both a popular and critical success. The Hermitage UK Friends not only proposed publishing Adel Adamova’s Russian-language catalogue for European scholars but we organised the translation and raised the money for publication.

This is not our first successful publishing project bringing knowledge about the Hermitage collections to scholars and art lovers across the world, nor will it be our last.