Our very successful Visiting Curators Scheme welcomes curators from the Hermitage who want to use Britain's great wealth of museums and libraries to further their research. It is an exceptionally important source of ongoing professional development and costs approximately £20-30,000 annually to maintain.
Your help is invaluable. All contributions, however small, are greatly welcomed.
Hermitage curators research the Museum's collections but they also spread information about them, enabling museums in Britain to include works from St Petersburg in their own exhibitions. Research undertaken by Visiting Curators contributes to publications and exhibitions. Lisa Renne (pictured) produced her fundamental catalogue of the British paintings in the Hermitage in 2011 and in 2014-15 was joint curator of the Francis Bacon show seen in St Petersburg and at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
Some more Hermitage staff who have benefited from our hugely successful Visiting Curators Scheme
Anna Trofimova, now head of the museum’s Greek and Roman Department, used her time in London’s libraries to develop the exhibition Alexander the Great: The Road to the East, tracing how artistic influence travelled down the ‘silk road’ in the wake of Alexander’s conquests. This major exhibition was shown at the Hermitage, the Hermitage Amsterdam and in Australia.
Jan Vilensky, curator of French porcelain, has produced a number of key articles and exhibition catalogues thanks to his research in London's museums and libraries.
Elena Shishkova, head of the Laboratory for the Conservation of Oriental Paintings, has been to London twice to participate in a collaborative project between the British Museum’s Hirayama Studio and the Association for the Conservation of National Treasures from Japan. She has studied techniques for the restoration of Japanese scrolls in the Hermitage collection with top Japanese conservators and has been looking at design requirements for her Laboratory.
Anastasia Bukina and Anna Petrakova with their book in the room specially designed to house vases in 1852.
Anastasia Bukina and Anna Petrakova of the Department of the Ancient World conducted research into the Ancient Greek vases in the Hermitage collection. Their numerous publications include Greek Vases in the Imperial Hermitage Museum: the History of the Collection 1814–69, with Addenda et corrigenda to Ludolf Stephani, Die Vasensammlung der Kaiserlichen Ermitage (1869), Oxford: The Beazley Archive and Archaeopress, in the series Studies in the History of Collections, 2013
Lydia Liackhova, curator of British and German porcelain, worked in the Wedgwood archives (recently saved for the nation by generous public and private sponsorship) during preparation of her 2012 exhibition A Sentimental Journey. Wedgwood in Russia. This assessed how Russians made a ‘sentimental journey’ to Britain in their imagination through the medium of British ceramics, not least the views of Britain on Wedgwood’s Green Frog Service, made specially for Catherine the Great.
Julia Kagan in her office, surrounded by Catherine the Great's English-made cabinets to store her engraved gems
Julia Kagan, curator of post-Classical engraved gems came to London to put the last touches to her book Gem Engraving in Britain from Antiquity to the Present: With a Catalogue of the British Engraved Gems in the State Hermitage Museum (2010). Catherine the Great was a passionate collector of gems and today the Hermitage has the world’s most outstanding collection of British gems. This is a fundamental book in its field.
Mikhail Dedinkin, curator of drawings of the modern period, arrived in London with a photocopy of an anonymous album of garden drawings purchased by Catherine the Great. With the help of the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum he identified the artist as a draughtsman for Capability Brown, Britain’s most famous landscape gardener, and the gardens as those of Hampton Court, which he remodelled. The drawings were exhibited at Hampton Court in 2016.