Romanov Extravaganza Arrives in St. Petersburg
Published: February 19, 2014 (Issue # 1798)
On Feb. 16, 2014 an interactive exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the legendary Romanov dynasty opened at the LenExpo conference center. Originating in Moscow, “The Romanovs. My History” was seen by over 300,000 visitors, according to the organizers, when it was on view there late last year. Initiated by the Patriarchal Council for Culture and organized under the auspices of the Russian Presidential Administration and the Ministry of Culture, the exhibition employs the latest 3D technology, animated collages, lightboxes and touch-screen panels to tell the story of the country’s last royal family.
St. Petersburg is intimately connected with the history of the Romanovs, being founded as it was by Peter the Great. The family continued to have an impact on the urban fabric of the city until the revolution with Catherine the Great establishing the art collection that would become the State Hermitage Museum; the Mariinsky Theater being named after Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Alexander II; the Admiralty being built according to the plans of Peter I; and Emperor Nicholas overseeing the construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
At the heart of the exhibition is a giant screen where all the rulers of the Romanov dynasty appear before the eyes of visitors. The screen is twice the size of the Thunder Stone, as the boulder that forms the base of The Bronze Horseman sculpture in Senate Square is known. The exhibition also provides visitors a unique opportunity to look through the diary of Nicholas II, a privilege previously reserved for museum workers.
Organizers claim that 800 man-hours were spent on expanding and augmenting the exhibition following its Moscow debut in preparation for its unveiling in St. Petersburg, including the addition of a multimedia performance of Pushkin’s poem “The Bronze Horseman.”
“The Romanovs. My History” is on view until Mar. 2 at the LenExpo congress center, 103 Bolshoi Prospekt, Vasilevsky Ostrov. The exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is free. Shuttles are provided to and from the exhibition from Vasilyeostrovskaya metro station.