ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America

Category: News (page 3 of 32)

The Lillian Thomas Pratt Archives and Fabergé at VMFA

The Lillian Thomas Pratt ArchivesThe Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is happy to announce the launch of its first digital archive, which documents the formation of the museum’s world-renowned Fabergé and Russian decorative arts collection at This project was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence.

Bequeathed to the museum upon her death in 1947, Lillian Thomas Pratt’s Fabergé collection consistently remains one of the highlights of the museum’s permanent collection. In 1917, Pratt married her second husband, John Lee Pratt, a self-made millionaire engineer and businessman with General Motors. She began purchasing her collection of over 500 items, while accompanying her husband on business trips to New York City in the 1930s and 1940s. She eventually bought five of the 52 Russian Imperial Easter Eggs created by the Fabergé firm. Comprised of correspondence, invoices, price tags, and detailed item descriptions, the archive illuminates Pratt’s mind as a collector, as well as the close relationship she formed with New York based art dealers Alexander and Ray Schaffer, owners of the prominent art and antiques gallery A La Vieille Russie.

sc07_02_2_020_v1_tf_201512_o2In all, over 700 items have been digitized, resulting in 1,500 downloadable image files, all of which are available to the public via a new online portal dedicated to digital resources about Fabergé and Russian decorative arts. The website provides access to the digitized Pratt archive, newly filmed videos of the Imperial Easter Eggs opening, new 360° views of the Imperial Easter Eggs, and downloadable resources for educators. The website also links to the new free Fabergé at VMFA mobile application that allows users to explore the collection through five different historical perspectives and design and share a Fabergé mini egg.

Powered by Piction, the museum’s digital asset management system, the launch of the portal coincides with the highly anticipated return of the Fabergé collection, which will be displayed in a new suite of renovated galleries opening to the public on October 22.

Courtney Yevich Tkacz
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library
200 N. Boulevard / Richmond, VA 23220-4007
T 804.340.1497 / F 804.340.1431

“Beneath the Covers: The Art of the Imperial Russian Book” Web Exhibition

I am pleased to announce the launch of the web exhibition: “Beneath the Covers: The Art of the Imperial Russian Book.” The majority of the books in this exhibition present a visual survey of publications that received official and elite sponsorship during the reigns of Peter the Great  (r. 1696–1725)  to Nicholas II (r. 1894-1917). Often printed for special occasions, these titles mirror the major cultural events and movements in tsarist Russia.

The exhibition presents examples of middle of the nineteenth century printing and illustration technologies—primarily chromolithography—which allowed for oversized, illustrated volumes and large print runs.

The viewer is invited to explore these works through eight categories, including secularization of Russian society, travel and exploration of Russia and its empire, architecture, antiquities, royalty, and the military. The exhibition features a chronological overview, bibliography, and information about the printing techniques used. The categories emerged from the common themes featured in the selections, which are drawn mainly from art libraries in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region.

“Beneath the Covers: The Art of the Imperial Russian Book” was made possible by the American Association of Museums’ International Partnerships Among Museums (IPAM) and the Washington Art Library Resources Committee (WALRC) and is hosted by Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens.

Kristen Regina
Arcadia Director of the Library and Archives
t 215-684-7651
f 215-236-0534
Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646, Philadelphia, PA 19101-7646

President, ARLIS/NA

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