THE TSARS' CABINET
TWO-HUNDRED YEARS OF DECORATIVE ARTS UNDER THE ROMANOVS
The Tsars' Cabinet is the finest private collection of Imperial Russian Porcelain and Russian decorative arts to travel the United States in the past two decades. Organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary, the exhibit features the private collection of major works highlighting over 200 years of decorative arts under the Romanovs during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Most of the works were designed for use by the Tsars and other Romanovs. Other works illustrate the styles that were prominent during the reigns of the Romanovs.
The exhibition includes the finest, significant examples of most of the major porcelain services commissioned by and used by the Romanovs. Also featured are imperial pieces from the Imperial Glass Factory. Designers of enamel and other pieces include craftsmen from the Faberge and Ovchinnikov firms. With objects ranging from porcelain services, glassware, enamel, silver gilt, and supporting correspondence and documents, the exhibition is a comprehensive and inclusive collection demonstrating the majesty and luxury of the Romanov reign.
Russian decorative style during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries provides a cultural context of an evolving nation. A time of transition in the imperial court, the pieces featured in this exhibition demonstrate the surfacing tension between an historical Russia culture and a growing awareness of the European tradition. Works featured in the collection highlight these issues from the Enlightenment under Catherine the Great to the Militarism of Nicholas I.