Location: Visitor Center Theater
Part of: Lectures and Talks
Hillwood’s founder Marjorie Merriweather Post began collecting objects associated with Russian Orthodoxy when she first went to the Soviet Union in 1937-38. As she encountered religious objects for sale in commission shops, she saw an important part of Russian life disappearing, and decided to make them a part of her collecting interests. There are more than 200 such objects in Hillwood’s collection, including many icons, chalices and other objects on display throughout the Mansion, but the newly designed Russian Sacred Arts Gallery highlights the distinctive visual culture and spiritual tradition practiced in Russia’s majestic churches as well as in the intimacy of its homes.
Dr. Scott Ruby’s illustrated lecture discusses the development of the new gallery and traces the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Russia, how icons are used at churches and in homes, and religion in the Soviet Union. Before the lecture you can be among the first to see the new gallery, which features rarely seen icons, liturgical vessels and vestments.
5:30-6:45 pm Mansion, including the new Russian Sacred Arts Gallery, is open for touring.
7-8 pm Lecture
About the Speaker
Dr. Scott Ruby is the Associate Curator of Russian and Eastern European Art. He has worked at the Westminster Abbey Museum in London, as well as the Jewish Museum, the American Craft Museum, and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City prior to joining Hillwood in 2006. His recent publications include “A Toast to Vodka and Russia,” in The Art of Drinking and Masterpieces of Early Christian Art and Icons and “The Power of Porcelain: the Gardner Order Services for the Empress of Russia,” in Ars Ceramica. He holds a Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and he will participate in the prestigious 2014 Royal Studies program in the UK. In 2012, he curated the exhibition The Style that Ruled the Empires: Russia, Napoleon and 1812, and in 2014 he curated Passion of the Empress: Catherine the Great’s Art Patronage. Along with Dr. Wilfried Zeisler, Hillwood’s curator of 19th century art, he is working on an exhibition entitled Splendor and Surprise: Elegant Containers, Antique to Modern, which will open in February 2015.