Past Exhibitions

The Tsars' Cabinet: Two Hundred Years of Decorative Arts Under The Romanovs

June 8, 2013 - September 1, 2013

The Bowers Museum is pleased to host The Tsars' Cabinet, which highlights two hundred years of decorative arts under the Romanovs, from the time of Peter the Great in the early eighteenth century to that of Nicholas II in the early twentieth century.

Many of the more than 200 objects in the exhibition were designed for public or private use of the tsars or other Romanovs, others illustrate the styles that were prominent during their reigns. The exhibition includes many pieces from significant porcelain services made by the Imperial Porcelain Factory, from the reign of Empress Elizabeth and Catherine the Great to Nicholas and Alexandra.

Visitors will see items featured at state banquets at the Kremlin and other Imperial Palaces, as well as items designed for the tsars' private use aboard the Imperial yachts. The objects exhibited provide a rare, intimate glimpse into the everyday lives of the tsars. The collection brings together a political and social timeline tied to an understanding of Russian culture. In viewing The Tsars' Cabinet, one is transported to a majestic era of progressive politics and dynamic social change.

Most of the objects in the exhibition were designed for use by the tsars and members of their families including personal service items commissioned by Catherine the Great and Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra. Porcelain services, glassware, enamel, silver gilt, and decorated eggs exemplify the majesty and luxury of the Romanov reign and demonstrate the surfacing tension between historical Russian culture and awareness of the European tradition.

Tsars' Cabinet was developed by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary, and tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

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