Exposition Celebrating Petersburg's 300th Anniversary Opens in Washington

The Myths of St. Petersburg exposition celebrating the 300th anniversary of Russia's northern capital has been inaugurated at Hillwood Museum, Washington. The exhibition to run through December 31st, 2003, is the first large-scale event within the programme of celebrating St. Petersburg's anniversary in Washington and Baltimore.

While speaking at the opening of the exposition, Hillwood Executive Director Frederick Fisher said that Hillwood was inaugurating a conceptual exposition of decorative arts to explore the culture, traditions and history of the city.

The exposition is called to show visitors the uniqueness of the city on the Neva and the multi-layer nature of its cultural and historical heritage - from Peter the Great's ambition to hack open "a window to Europe" to the Russophils of the latter half of the 19th-early 20th century.

St. Petersburg evolution is revealed through a variety of jewellery items and applied arts, both Russian- and West-European-made.

The first visitors to the exhibition took close interest in the film shot by Marjorie Merriweather Post, the founder of the museum and the wife of US ambassador to the USSR in 1937-1938 Joseph Davis. The unique film made by the family of the US diplomat with the use of one of the world's first colour video cameras plunges visitors into the atmosphere of the 1930s in Russia.

Karen Kettering, the curator of the exhibition, said in a RIA Novosti interview that she was especially grateful to Russian colleagues, mostly from the State Hermitage Museum, for assistance in arranging the exposition and, in particular, for attributing a few exhibits.

Hillwood Museum is known for the largest collection of items of Russian decorative and applied arts abroad.

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