Tsar Peter the Great (1672–1725), of the celebrated Romanov dynasty ruled Russia from 1613 until the abdication of Tsar Nicolas II in 1917, amassing fine art collections that are the pride of the Hermitage and neighboring palaces. He established the autocratic imperial rule and played a major role in introducing his country to the Western state system and to European art. Saint Petersburg was named after him. French porcelain, German furniture and many other high quality objets d’art furnished their residences and attest to the truly international style the Russian Imperial family are known for.
In an attempt to study the meticulously executed artefacts and rich material culture of a gilded age, our tour of the exhibition will offer a glimpse of the opulence of the Russian court and the familial bonds exploited during the acquisition and commissioning of the finest art treasures and luxurious fashion of all times. Our event will commence with an introductory lecture and continue with a guided tour of the exhibition. The visit will conclude with an optional lunch on share-cost basis at a restaurant nearby.
A scholar of Western European art, Dr. Knothe is the Director of the University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG). He received his PhD with a thesis on the royal manufacture and production of art and propaganda in 17th century France. From 2005-2008, he worked as research fellow and associate in European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. During his appointment in 2009 as curator of European glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, he devoted time to research his long-established interests in cross-cultural influences in art and workshop practices in Western Europe and East Asia. This work culminated in his East Meets West exhibition in 2010, and related lectures and conference papers that were presented in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. In his role as Director, Dr. Knothe aims to connect UMAG internationally so that future collection-oriented research and programming reflect the university’s unique geographic and cultural position between East and West.