hermitage museum foundation

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For Immediate Release

The Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA) is a key supporter and organizer of the exhibition featuring the return of an extraordinary collection to its home palace. From England to Russia and back, this exbibition helps pave the way for a new concept in cultural collaboration between countries (Russia, the UK and the US), their leading museums and private collectors.


New York City, June 7, 2013 - From May 17 to September 29 2013, the magnificent art collection amassed by Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, will be reassembled in its original home of Houghton Hall for the first time in over 200 years. Thierry Morel, distinguished art curator and member of the Board of Directors of the Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA), envisioned the exhibit and spearheaded the project, gathering together the most celebrated British collection of the 18th century and reassembling it in its original home. In an unparalleled collaboration among many countries, their leading museums and private families, this remarkable exhibit was made possible by the State Hermitage Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the State Museum Pavlovsk, the Norwich Castle Museum, the British Museum, the Far East Museum of Fine Arts in Khabarovsk, the Perm State Art Gallery, and the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve.


In 1779, Catherine the Great acquired this collection in a landmark private sale negotiated by James Christie, the founder of Christie’s. The core of the collection adorned the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

The Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA) is proud to be a sponsor of Houghton Revisited. Paintings from the English, French, Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools, with works by Van Dyck, Poussin, Albani, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez and Murillo will be on view to the public. Because Lord Cholmondeley discovered Sir Robert’s original display instructions, these masterpieces will hang in exactly their original positions in the State Rooms, precisely recreating the collection’s splendor.

Houghton Hall, now the family seat of Sir Robert’s direct descendant, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, is considered one of the country’s finest Palladian houses preserved almost exactly as it was in the 18th century. The Houghton was designed essentially around Sir Robert’s prized collection of Old Master paintings. The magnificent interiors and furnishings designed by William Kent are also still intact.


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


Marquess of Cholmondeley: "What a joy to be able to see this great building with the original paintings on the wall. For a brief but great moment, our century can relive the artistic greatness of the 18th Century. I look forward to welcoming as many people as can come.” http://www.houghtonrevisited.com

Paul Rodzianko, Chairman - Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA): “The Houghton Revisited exhibition represents a remarkable convergence and a voyage through time. Due to the passion and perseverance of David Lord Cholmondeley, his family’s collection has finally been reassembled in its original home. The result of 20 years of work is a unique tripartite collaboration among Russia; England, and the United States and their leading museums as well as loans from private collectors. The Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA) has been especially proud to support the efforts of exhibition curator Dr. Thierry Morel, a member of our Board, since the very inception of this project.”


The HMF contributes to the preservation and promotion of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, its more than three million objects and the Museum’s historic buildings. The HMF is dedicated to celebrating the Hermitage as a universal institution worthy of world support. In addition, the HMF has a mission to bring American art to the Museum by helping to bring over exhibitions of contemporary American art and to secure long-term loans or outright gifts as part of its new Art from America© initiative.

The HMF’s full range of activities includes the raising of funds for restoration and conservation projects, special exhibitions, securing the donation of art and artifacts for the Museum, educational outreach programs, supporting exhibitions in the US, and organizing an annual White Nights tour to the Hermitage and other venues in St. Petersburg.

Under the direction of The Hermitage Museum Director, Dr. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky, and with support of the HMF, the Museum is experiencing great vitality and outreach worthy of this great world institution.



Lannyl Stephens Ossorguine, Director of Communications, Hermitage Museum Foundation
T. 917-716-3971, info@hermitagemuseumfoundation.org


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