On the evening of February 25, the Russian Nobility Association in America presented “The Alexander Palace: Last Home of the Imperial Family,” the most recent in its series of lectures in support of the Prince Alexis P. Scherbatow Scholarship Fund. Dr. Cyril E. Geacintov, president of the Nobility Association was also presented with an award of recognition by the Cultural Arts Council of the City of Penza for his charitable and cultural support for the Penza Province during the anniversary celebrations of the poet Lermontov.
Nicholas Nicholson, a former Christie’s specialist and curator of Russian Works of Art, spoke in his capacity as Museum Liaison for the Friends of the Alexander Palace. The Friends are an international organization dedicated to assisting the staff and curators of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo outside of St. Petersburg in their mission to restore the palace and collections of the last Tsar and his family to their pre-revolutionary condition.
Presenting recent scholarly information made available to him by the curatorial staff of the Alexander Palace, Nicholson gave an informative survey of the history of the palace, from its creation in the reign of Catherine II “The Great,” to its subsequent decoration and modernizations during the reigns of later emperors. Particular emphasis was given to the creation of the suite of private rooms of the last Emperor Nicholas II and his wife the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Nicholson also recounted the losses to the palace’s collection under communism, and the devastating damage to the palace during the Second World War.
The Alexander Palace gave Nicholson special permission to show the rooms of the palace in as they existed in 1918 by showing the valuable color autochromes only recently discovered abroad and returned to the palace by the Friends. This was the first time these images had been seen in the US. The lecture ended with images of the newly restored Parade Rooms of the palace, and updates on the many projects currently underway at the Alexander Palace.
Attended by a crowd of over one hundred that filled the Great Hall of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the lecture was hailed a success by members of the Association and guests alike.