The 6th International Charity Gala Reception in the State Hermitage
On 24 June, 2011 the State Hermitage hold the 6th International Charity Gala Reception. The collected money traditionally will go to finance the project of reconstruction of the East Wing of the General Staff Building and establishment in it of the Museum of Arts of the 19th-21st Centuries - one of the major projects being implemented by the Hermitage by its 250th anniversary.
Co-chairmen of the Committee of Honor of the International Charity Gala Reception are Governor of St Petersburg Valentina Matvienko, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Alexander Avdeyev, Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Alexey Kudrin, Prince Dmitry Romanov, President of Interros Company Vladimir Potanin, Director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky.
That night the reception started with a welcome cocktail in newly reconstructed halls of the General Staff Building. Guests could see new museum spaces, amazing with heir sizes - a grand staircase and halls, created in the 4th and 5th courtyards of the building of Carlo Rossi. The impression à solemnity and special high spirits from the theatrical opening ceremony was increased by the performance of the Admiralty Orchestra of the Leningrad Naval Base. A display of installation Red Wagon giving as a gift to the Hermitage in the presence of its authors, distinguished artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov became a surprise.
Palace Square, combining in itself the memory of the war and secular history, which embodiment is the General Staff Building and the Winter Palace, inspired the title for the reception 2011- War and Peace. Throughout the evening the whole diversity of elements reminded of the epoch of the great novel by Leo Tolstoy.
From the General Staff Building guests moved t the Winter Palace where in the Grand Court Yard against the background of garden verdure the sculptures of one of the largest artists of the 20th century Henry Moore appeared before them.
The Jordan Gallery of the Winter Palace and recently reconstructed Ambassadorial Staircase met guests with new, spectacular lighting. In the halls of the Winter Palace a wide range of temporary exhibitions was offered to the public mind. Painting and Sculpture in Rome in the second part of the 18th century acquainted with works of painters Pompeo Batoni, Raphael Mengs, Hubert Robert and sculptors Antonio Canova, Antuan Houdon and many other European masters, working in the Eternal City in the epoch of neoclassicism establishment and development. There was a great contrast between this exposition of classical art from the Hermitage collection, the Russian Museum, Museum-Preserves "Gatchina" and "Pavlovsk" and works of one of the most talented photographers of our time Annie Leibovitz. About 100 most interesting photos of different years, selected especially for the Hermitage, placed in the palace interiors, have changed the exhibition into a unique space installation.
40 unusual works of Alexander Benois, related to the cinematography from private galleries were brought specially for this evening and exhibited in the Picket Room. The show of sketches of costumes for the film Napoleon shot in 1927by Abel Gance was accompanied with demonstration of the film itself.
To continue the theme of the Patriotic War of 1812 first since pre-revolutionary time the ball in the Armorial Hall of the Winter Palace was opened with the polonaise from opera Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in which actors of a famous Mariinsky Theater took part along with the guests. The State Hermitage Orchestra was conducted by Captain Alexey Karabanov.
This year special guests of the reception were Laureates of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, restorers of the Laboratory of Scientific Restoration of Clocks and Musical Mechanisms Mikhail Gurjev, Valentin Molotkov and Oleg Zinatullin. Among numerous complicated restoration works, accomplished by these great master there is a tower clock of the Winter Palace, Big Mechanical Orchestra by Strasser, and a unique clock Peacock.
Peacock clock in particular chimed midnight, announcing the final part of the evening. From the Pavilion Hall of the Small Hermitage guests went down the Council Staircase into the Hermitage Courtyard where works of modern sculptor Lorenzo Quinn were exhibited and the farewell cocktail was waiting.
The reception is supported by JT International, Gazprombank, INTARSIA,
Hennessy Cultural Foundation and Blavatnik Family Foundation.