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19 October 2022 – 15 January 2023

Chelyabinsk, State Historical Museum of the South Urals


Organized by

The Moscow Kremlin Museums

Participants:

The Moscow Kremlin Museums 

 

PendantThe exhibition in the State Historical Museum of the South Uralspresents Russian jewellery art beginning from the epoch of historicism and Art Nouveau to the present days, unveiling the unique world of Russian jewellery.

There are about 400 pieces on display – female and male jewellery, accessories, art pieces designs, as well as garments and textiles.

The Moscow Kremlin Museums' collection of Russian jewellery of the 19th-21th is one of the most significant in our country. Some pieces are well-known all over the world, i.e. jewels which became part of the collection in 1990 being a hidden treasure found in a house on Solyanka Street in Moscow. Many of the items will be on display for the first time. Among them are: a lighter in the shape of a miniature samovar made of silver, its details are well thought out – from filigree neck and burner to carved wooden handles. This masterpiece made by Vassily Soloviev has enriched the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums not long ago along with many other pieces like a rhodonite box with Tsarina Maria Fyodorovna's monogram, which was made by jewellers of the Yekaterinburg Imperial Lapidary Manufactory. Visitors of the exhibition in Chelyabinsk will be the first to discover those.

Creations of the famous Fabergé Firm – the Supplier to the Court of His Imperial Majesty – comprise the core of the jewellery collection. Some of them bear marks of Mikhail Perkhin and Henrik Wigström – Chief Masters of the Petersburg workshop, where the orders of the Royal family members, for example, Imperial Easter eggs, were executed. They also made jewellery, watches, frames and boxes decorated with transparent guilloché enamel. A wide diversity of other objects was made at Karl Fabergé Firm's branches in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London. Those are works by the leading jewellers August Wilhelm Holmström, August Frederik Hollming, Johan Victor Aarne, Alfred Thielemann, Anders Mickelson, Oskar Woldemar Pihl and others.

The exhibition features works by contemporaries of the Royal supplier. Among them are the jewellers of the Bolin family, the only ones in the Russian Empire who were awarded nobility for the quality of their work and their service to the imperial court and the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty. 'Cabinet pieces' – precious gifts given on behalf of the monarchs – were made by Friedrich Köchli's firm, which held the high title of supplier to the court of Empress Maria Fyodorovna, and the workshop of Karl Blank and St. Petersburg firm of Alexander Tillander. Museum specialists have been able to attribute works by once equally famous but later forgotten masters. Due to circumstances, Andreas Spiegel, teacher of Gustav Fabergé – founder of the famous dynasty, Ivan Chichelev, supplier to King Victor Emmanuel of Italy and Emperor Franz Joseph II of Austria, Carl and Eduard Schubert, Sophia Schwen, Vladimir Finikov, Moscow, Kiev and Kostroma jewellers, and Ural stone cutters had been overshadowed by their great contemporaries. Visitors have an opportunity to see their works on display. The samples of the Ural and Siberian gems – symbols of wealth of Russia's mineral resources – both in jewellery and in stone works, are striking in their broad palette, excellent quality and skill in cutting and carving.

The exhibited contemporary jewellery pieces were made between 1970 and 2018. These are stylistically diverse sets of decorations that mark the development of jewellery-making over fifty years. Each group reflects the realities of their time, the aesthetic preferences of authors from different regions, and the development of tradition and innovation. In particular, Nadia Léger's unique jewellery created in France in 1970 give a chance to show Suprematism movement in high jewellery art. Works from another thematic collection, 'Diamond in the Russian Avant-garde', made in Moscow in 1999-2001, show the artistic reinterpretation of the modernist tendencies in 20th-century art.

The use of non-traditional materials, such as titanium, a new approach to work with well-known materials, for example, rock crystal, and a philosophical interpretation of the image is characteristic of the jewellery pieces by Novosibirsk designer Mark Baldin. At the same time, the enamel jewellery made by Moscow artist Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, who favours Art Nouveau and Art Deco aesthetics, embodies the European tradition.

Exclusive factory products made in Moscow, Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg) and Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in the 1970s-2000s, preserved only in the Moscow Kremlin Museums' collection, demonstrate the artists' and jewellers' work with high-quality Russian diamonds, mined in Yakutia, as well as with Urals emeralds, natural rubies, amethysts, and corals.

Many artists who worked at the Sverdlovsk Jewellery Factory created original art pieces. Significant models made by famous masters of the Ural school – Vladislav Khramtsov, Leonid Ustiantsev, Vladimir Ustyuzhanin – are presented together with compositions by the Moscow and Leningrad schools, which emphasizes the identity of each piece.

The exhibition arranged by the Moscow Kremlin Museums reveals the past and present of Russian jewellery art, the diversity of artistic trends, the breadth of creative interests and the craftsmanship of Russian jewellers.

 
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