hermitage museum foundation

Press Releases

Mar 13 2015


Posted by admin22 on Mar 13 2015

The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts in East Anglia has collaborated with the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to develop a landmark exhibition bringing together works by Francis Bacon alongside masterpieces from the Hermitage Collection.


The exhibition focuses on Bacon’s known influences and sources of inspiration, exploring the artist’s fascination with ancient art as well as artists such as Velázquez, Rembrandt, Titian, Michelangelo, Rodin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne and Matisse, whose iconic masterpieces will join the works by Bacon in the exhibition.



Such an ambitious large-scale exhibition has never been attempted before. The key to the success of this project is a unique partnership with the State Hermitage Museum, one of a handful of museums in the world whose collections encompass artistic holdings ranging from ancient art to the Impressionists.

The inspiration for the exhibit came through Anna Pavlova and Mark Kelner (Board member of HMF) to Peter Schaffer (President of the HMF) who presented the idea to the Sainsbury Centre and Curator Dr. Thierry Morel (Board member of HMF).

This exhibition is open to the public from April 18, 2015—through July 2015. This unique collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg sees paintings by Francis Bacon shown alongside works by old and modern masters. To find out more click here.

Feb 20 2014


Posted by admin22 on Feb 20 2014

Portrait_of_Sainsbury.jpeg On February 14th, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts located in Norwich, UK, announced its collaboration with the Hermitage Museum on a Bacon exhibition, as per their release below. The Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA) has supported this initiative from its very beginning in partnership with the Hermitage Foundation (UK). Our Director, Dr. Thierry Morel, will serve as the curator of this exhibition, following up his recent success with the award-winning and immensely popular exhibition, Houghton Revisited.

“The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is working in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum to develop a landmark exhibition bringing together works by Francis Bacon alongside masterpieces from the Hermitage Collection. The exhibition will focus on known influences and inspirations and explore the artist’s fascination with artists such as Rembrandt, Velázquez, Titian, Michelangelo, Rodin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne and Degas. The thirteen paintings by Bacon in the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection will form the core group by the artist and a small number of additional works by Bacon from public and private collections that particularly extend themes developed in the exhibition. The project forms part of the celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the Hermitage and the closing of the UK/Russia year of culture. The ground-breaking exhibition will then be shown in the UK at the Sainsbury Centre. The exhibition will be curated by Dr. Thierry Morel working with colleagues from the Sainsbury Centre and State Hermitage Museum. The exhibition will open in St Petersburg in December 2014 and return to the Sainsbury Centre in the summer of 2015.”

For more details about the exhibition, please contact:
lannyl@hermitagemuseumfoundation.org or


Sep 17 2013


Posted by admin22 on Sep 17 2013

For Immediate Release




New York, London and St. Petersburg, 17 September 2013 – The “Houghton Miracle” exhibition that engineered the return of crown jewels of the State Hermitage Museum in Russia for the first time in over 200 years to its original home at Houghton Hall, in Norfolk, England, has broken all records and expectations for attendance outside London. While early estimates anticipated 30-40,000 visitors, attendance has nearly surpassed 100,000 and will likely top 150,000 thanks to the 24 November extension by overwhelming popular demand.

Houghton Revisited represents one of the most important art exhibitions Britain has ever seen and a feat of curatorial collaboration between Russia, the UK and the US, that the art world thought impossible. BBC4 has produced a special film on the exhibition with detailed footage of major Russian museum treasures. The exhibition reassembles in its original setting for the first time the magnificent art collection created by Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole (1721-1742). The collection, one of Europe’s most celebrated, was later sold by his heirs to Empress Catherine the Great of Russia to pay estate debts in a deal engineered by Christie’s Founder, James Christie, and closed by Russia’s Ambassador in 1779.

The art world has three visionaries to thank for the Houghton Miracle, the Marquess of Cholmondeley, State Hermitage Museum Director Dr. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky and Curator Thierry Morel. Both logistics and fund-raising for the exhibit were immense and the coordination and efforts of these three made the exhibition possible. The genesis of the exhibition came from French-born curator Dr. Thierry Morel. Morel proposed the idea three years ago to Houghton Hall resident and Walpole’s direct descendent, David George Philip Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley and Lord Great Chamberlain of England, who gave Morel his blessing to approach the Hermitage. To the absolute astonishment of the art world, State Hermitage Museum Director, Dr. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky not only agreed to allow the core of its collection to return to the UK but also recently extended the loan to 24 November in a magnanimous gesture given the Hermitage Museum’s imminent 250th Anniversary in 2014. Among other firsts, major Russian museums collections and curatorial staffs joined with UK curators to complete the undertaking.

The collection involved a massive international security operation and unparalleled logistics to transport the treasures and transform the private residence temporarily into a public museum. UK curators were dumbstruck when the Hermitage Museum paintings arrived flawlessly from their Russian curators in original boxes complete with the original family seals from 1779 in tact. Exhibition Curator Thierry Morel noted the paintings “seemed to fly back onto the walls” according to the original architectural plans preserved at Houghton Hall.

“It was always a thought at the back of my mind to do this, but I never dreamed it would be possible. I am deeply grateful for the extraordinary generosity, courage and trust extended to us by State Hermitage Museum Director Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky,” said the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. “I hope that everyone will come to see the exhibition as it is unlikely to happen again,” added the marquess.

“The Houghton ‘Miracle’ is in my opinion, the single most important exhibit anyone can see, anywhere!” said Peter L. Schaffer, President of the Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA). “We are very pleased to have been able to help reunite Catherine the Great with Sir Robert Walpole and to celebrate their shared love of this collection of masterpieces.”

“The Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA) is thrilled to have supported Houghton Revisited and exhibition curator Dr. Thierry Morel, a member of our board, since the earliest inception of the project. The exhibition is a truly monumental achievement and a fitting prelude to the Hermitage Museum’s 250th anniversary in 2014,” said Foundation Chairman Paul Rodzianko.

The show includes over 70 paintings, drawings and magnificent silver from the collections of the Hermitage, Pushkin Museum, Moscow and other Russian museums; the V&A and the British Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and loans from private collections from a total of 17 institutions.


Houghton Hall is the family seat of Sir Robert Walpole’s direct descendent, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. It was designed by the most gifted architects of the day, Colen Campbell and James Gibbs, to house Walpole’s renowned art collection. Houghton is one of the best-preserved historic houses in the world and the magnificent interiors and furnishings designed by William Kent are still intact. Such a reconstruction of a legendary collection within its original setting has never been attempted before and has captivated the critics and public alike.

The exhibition’s lead sponsor is BP. Other major sponsors of the Houghton Revisited exhibition include BP, Christie's, the Oracle Capital Group and the Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA), among others.

The Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA):

Lyndsay Howard, Communications Counsel
Lannyl Stephens Ossorguine, Director of Communications
Tel: +1 212 826-3074

Houghton Revisited Press Enquiries:

Erica Bolton
Bolton and Quinn Ltd
Tel: +44 207 221 5000
Mobile: +44 7711 698 186
Email: erica@boltonquinn.com

For tickets: http://www.houghtonrevisited.com

To download the stunning, 3D high definition Houghton Revisited App visit iTunes:

For further background on Houghton Revisted:



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