Brochure: Textile Collections in Russia, 29 May – 6 June 2020
An aim of any HALI Tour is to show visitors the best and most important rugs and textiles in the world. Therefore this new tour to Russia should come as no surprise, since its museums are home to unparalleled riches. The unique character of these collections allied with special curatorial tours, access to museum reserves and visits to private collections will make this one of our most exciting tours to date.
In summer 2020, in association with Martin Randall Travel, HALI Tours will offer the opportunity to gain unprecedented access to textile collections in Russia during the White Nights festival. The focus is on its two great capitals, St Petersburg and Moscow, whose museums are of interest not only in terms of the importance and quality of their world-class holdings, but also due to the ways in which these vast collections have been assembled, thereby providing insights into Russian history and culture.
Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, St Petersburg is both grand and beautiful. Built on a virgin site, on a monumental scale, its magniﬁcent buildings reﬂect classical 18th- to 19th-century styles and little of the fabric of the city has changed. Its ﬁrst museum, the Kunstkamera—founded in 1714—opens the tour programme with a selection of ikats from the Royal Collections and rugs made by nomads of Central Asia. These parallel but widely varied art forms are indicative of the broad scope of textiles that will be encountered throughout the tour; a result of the systematic, methodical approach to collecting practised both at the height of the Russian Empire and later by academic researchers in the Soviet era. Textiles continue to demonstrate the accomplished output of the many cultures that have fallen under the wide sphere of Russian inﬂuence, as well as those that have enjoyed long-lasting diplomatic relations with this powerful nation. Nowhere is this more obvious than at the Hermitage, which ﬁlls the enormous Winter Palace of the Romanov tsars.
The theme continues in Moscow—the spiritual and artistic centre of Russia—which by comparison feels more modern, having regained its status as capital in 1918.
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