Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
Mr. Teron, Mr. Kaszanits, President Putin and the Rt. Hon. Ramon J. Hnatyshyn
Russian President Putin met with Hermitage Foundation Chairman, the Rt. Hon. Ramon J. Hnatyshyn, President Robert Kaszanits and Vice-president William Teron for almost 40 minutes during his visit to Ottawa on December 18, 2000. The meeting also included Dr. Mikhail Piotrovski, Director of The State Hermitage Museum, Russia's Ambassador, Mr. Vitaly Churkin, and Canada's Ambassador to Moscow, Mr. Rod Irwin. The Foundation's main corporate sponsors were represented by Mr. Michael Novak, President, SNC Lavalin International Inc., and Mr. Milovan Bozovic, representative for Bombardier Inc.
During the lively exchange, President Putin gave his enthusiastic support for the Hermitage Collection Inventory Project, which he described as "very important" to ensuring the security of these treasures.
The President also agreed to open our exhibition, Land of Promise — The North in Canadian Art, at the Hermitage in June of 2002. We hope that Prime Minister Chrétien will join President Putin. This will be an opportunity to give official recognition to the sponsors of the Collection Inventory Project.
Our thanks to Ambassador Churkin for arranging for the meeting to be on the President's schedule.
FRIENDS OF THE STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM
We asked Svetlana Philippova of the Hermitage Museum to tell us about her job. This is what she wrote:
As Friends' coordinator in the Development Department of the State Hermitage Museum, I am involved in the activities of all the Friends' organizations. I am the one asked to provide whatever the Friends request, such as information, or to organize, or participate in, events or meetings both at the Hermitage or elsewhere. For instance, last January, I attended a party for the Friends in New Church, Amsterdam, during the joint exhibition entitled, "Art of Islam. Heavenly Art. Earthly Beauty". At that time, this group handed over a symbolic cheque for one million U.S. dollars for their next restoration project.
Here is a brief summary of the various Friends' organizations.
In 1994, the first Friends of the Hermitage organization was created in the Netherlands. The Hermitage Friends in the Netherlands Foundation, chaired by Dr. Ernst Veen, Director of the New Church in Amsterdam, arranges numerous activities to support the Hermitage Museum. Two of their biggest fundraising campaigns, the 1998 "New Roof and Lighting for the Rembrandt Room of the Hermitage Museum" and the 2000 "New Roof and Lighting for the Dutch Masters in the Hermitage Museum" each raised one million U.S. dollars and enabled the Hermitage to repair the roof over the Rembrandt Gallery and the Dutch Masters Galleries, to restore the galleries and to install new lighting.
The American Friends of the State Hermitage Museum, Inc. was founded in 1995 to sponsor public education and fundraising programs in the United States. They arrange benefit dinners and receptions, hold Hermitage Thursdays with Hermitage curators, organize an annual lecture by Prof. Piotrovsky, the Director of the Hermitage Museum, arrange trips to St. Petersburg with special programs at the Hermitage and raise money for development projects.
The Hermitage Development Trust in London, England, has just opened the Hermitage Rooms in Somerset House which will hold permanent rotating exhibits.
[Editor: The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada Inc. was formed in1998.
One of its major projects was covering the 2,213 windows of the Hermitage with a special film that prevents ultraviolet light from damaging art works and it has just started a five-year, U.S. $3.3 million Collection Cataloguing Project (some 3.8 million objects).
One of the results of its partnering Canadian art museums with the Hermitage in its exhibition and loan program is the major exhibition on Rubens and His Age (see article on page 4).
The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage is a volunteer group created in 2000 to support the work of the Foundation. Having only started their activities, most of the Canadian Friends are currently Ottawa members but work is ongoing to start a chapter in Toronto, to be followed by chapters in other major Canadian cities.]
Italy is currently organizing the Italian Friends.
The Hermitage Friends' Club started in 1997 to unite the efforts of all the Hermitage Friends' organizations. It has activities for Friends living in St. Petersburg and for all those visiting from other countries. They hold previews of major exhibitions, concerts and special events.
As experienced by the Canadian Friends in October, they receive groups of Friends at times when the museum is closed to the public for a very special view of both public galleries as well as the work of the restorers and others "behind the scenes".
With best regards,
CANADIAN FRIENDS OF THE HERMITAGE
On November 10, 2000, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Vitaly J. Churkin and The Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Honorary Chairman of The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada hosted a reception at the Embassy of the Russian Federation to launch the State Hermitage Museum Collection Cataloguing Project.
All members of the Canadian Friends were invited, and over 200 guests, including Friends, diplomats and representatives from business and government enjoyed the occasion.
Kathryn Mikoski and Friends at the Amber Garden
On December 5, 2000 the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage celebrated Hermitage Day with a Gala Russian Dinner. For the occasion seventy people filled the beautifully decorated Amber Garden Restaurant on a suitably wintry night. Attendees enjoyed a delicious four course meal of authentic Russian fare complete with a frozen vodka toast. Live Russian music provided by an accordionist added to the festive atmosphere. Several people went home with door prizes or items purchased by silent auction.
Our thanks to the Nowacki's for hosting this successful evening and to the many Friends who participated in the festivities. We look forward to our next social event.
THREE EVENTS OF SPECIAL INTEREST!
will give a talk, in French, about the
Saturday, January 27, 11 a.m.
Mr. Joly recently visited this extraordinary museum. He will discuss its origins, its troubled history during wars and revolutions, and will describe, with slides, its magnificent interiors and the great collections it contains.
Mr. Joly is Chairman of the National Gallery's francophone docents.
His talk will be complemented by two brief presentations: Tamara Galko will speak about the Friends' next trip to the Hermitage in the fall of 2001 and Doris Smith will say a few words about the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage.
Join us after the talk for brunch or coffee in the Cafeteria.
All are welcome.
will give a lecture on the upcoming exhibition at the A.G.O.,
Treasures from the Hermitage Museum, Russia: Rubens and His Age
Sunday, February 18, 2 p.m.
Admission: adults $5, seniors and full-time students $4, Friends of the Gallery and Friends of the Hermitage, $3.
Martha Kelleher is Assistant Curator, European Art, at the Art Gallery of Ontario and co-curator of this exhibition.
The lecture will provide an in-depth look at the history and renowned collections of the world's largest, and one of the world's oldest museums and will provide a frame-work for viewing Treasures from the Hermitage Museum, Russia: Rubens and His Age, the major loan exhibition coming to Canada in May.
See article on page 4.
will give a talk on
St. Petersburg: the history of its creation and the architects who built it
Monday, March 19, 7 p.m.
Mr. Schwartzman combines the two callings of artist and architect. He was professionally trained in Russia in both fields and now divides his time between painting and working as an architectural consultant. One of the major projects he was involved in in Ottawa was the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Mr. Schwartzman will concentrate on the 18th and 19th century city-scape of baroque and neo-classical buildings, with special emphasis on the work of Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, Carlo Rossi, Andrei Voronikhin and Auguste Ricard de Montferrand.
Mr. Schwartzman will include major outlying imperial summer palaces in his presentation.
Treasures from the Hermitage Museum, Russia:
Rubens and His Age
Presented in Association with The State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada
and The Canadian Friends of the Hermitage
May 5 to August 12, 2001 at the Art Gallery of Ontario
For the first time ever, the Art Gallery of Ontario joins forces with one of the world's greatest art institutions — The State Hermitage Museum. In May 2001, the AGO will be the only venue for this breathtaking exhibition.
Dennis Reid, the AGO's Chief Curator, states "we've created an exhibition which will give the public the opportunity to view rare works for the only time outside of Russia… We have, in selecting the works for this exhibition, created for the public the feeling of 17th century Flanders."
The exhibition will present more than 150 works by some of Europe's most renowned artists, including paintings by the three most important artists of the Flemish Baroque period: Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) and Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678).
Peter Paul Rubens
Rubens' great versatility as an artist is represented by 15 paintings, including two beautiful landscapes and two large oil sketches for altarpieces. Never before have Canadian audiences had the chance to view such an astonishing number of Rubens' works together.
The exhibition also features ten portraits by van Dyck, Rubens' contemporary and the most accomplished court painter of the day, and a selection of richly decorated objects that reflect the sophisticated collecting practices of 17th century Flanders, including goldsmiths' work, jewellery and cameos, arms and armour, ivory carvings, bronze sculptures, glass, enamels and scientific instruments. Among the works are several designed, commissioned or owned by Rubens himself.
In all, 90 paintings, 30 drawings and 57 art objects.
Among other artists represented in this exhibition are David Teniers the Younger, Adriaen Brouwer, Jan Fyt, Jan Brueghel the Elder and many more.
Annual General Meeting
Call for Nominations
The first annual general meeting of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage will be held on Saturday, April 28 at 11 a.m. in Room 156 at the National Library of Canada, 395 Wellington Street.
By-law 8.8 states that the term of office of the first members of the Chapter Executive shall continue until their successors are elected at the first duly constituted Friends' Annual General Meeting. At this meeting, the Chapter Executive members then elected shall replace the provisional members of Chapter Executive (By-law 8.9). Each member of the Canadian Friends of the Hermitage in good standing has one vote (By-law 13.6).
Please send in your nominations to "The Nominating Committee", Canadian Friends of the Hermitage, 280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7.
According to By-law 11.1, the Nominating Committee will consist of the Chairman, appointed each year by the Chapter Executive (this may be a past president), two members of the Chapter Executive and two members from the membership at-large. The Nominating Committee will bring its recommendations to the Chapter three weeks prior to the next Annual General Meeting. Additional nominations will be accepted two weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting. No nominations from the floor will be accepted (By-law 11.2).
According to By-law 8.5, the Chapter Executive will consist of the president, a vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer (or a secretary/treasurer), the past president and at least two members-at-large.
The term of office for members of the Chapter Executive shall be three years.
One-third of the Board will retire each year, e.g. in the first year, 1/3 is elected for one year, 1/3 is elected for two years, 1/3 is elected for three years (By-law 8.11).
Copies of by-laws are available on request.
PLEASE NOTE that our new office, under the wing of the Canadian Museums Association, opened on January 2nd. You are invited to drop in at Suite 400, 280 Metcalfe Street — but please call first!
We always welcome volunteers and invite you to join our team, either on a committee, on the executive or as an advisor.
A member survey is going out this month. Please take the time to complete and return it with your comments and suggestions.
We are now making preparations for our next trip to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and other cultural destinations.
This trip is scheduled for fall 2001, late September or early October. To enquire and be put on the travellers' roster, please call the office at 236-1116 or speak directly with Tamara Galko, tel. (613) 730-2206.