St. Petersburg: 300 Years
Yale Center for British Art
Sterling Memorial Library
Law School Auditorium
CELEBRATING A GREAT CITY
Yale salutes St. Petersburg in 2003
This October, Yale University is joining the city of St. Petersburg in the celebration of its 300th anniversary and its remarkable literary, artistic, and musical heritage with a three-day international conference, exhibitions at the Beinecke and Sterling Memorial Libraries, and a concert by the Yale Russian Chorus.
The conference, entitled St. Petersburg: 300 Years, will take place on October 23-25, 2003. Scholars from around the world will convene in sessions devoted to the visual arts in the time of Peter the Great and after, to St. Petersburg as the capital of Russia (which it was between 1712 and 1918), to St. Petersburg as a theme in Russian literature, and to the flowering of culture in the city. Participants will include speakers from the State Hermitage Museum and the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, from the All-Russian State Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow, the Moscow State University, as well as several European and American universities. Other institutions represented at the symposium will include the State Museum-Park Tsarskoye Selo, and the National Library of Russia. The Yale Russian Chorus concert, which marks the group's 50th anniversary, will take place on Saturday, October 25, at Yale's Woolsey Hall.
In conjunction with the St. Petersburg celebration, Tatjana Lorkovic, curator of Yale's Slavic and East European Collections, and Fred Musto, curator of the Map Collection, will present an exhibition drawn from Yale's rich collection of maps, coins, and medals at Sterling Memorial Library. At the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Vincent Giroud, curator of modern books and manuscripts, will mount an exhibition of books, manuscripts, prints, and photographs documenting the role of St. Petersburg as a cultural, artistic, and literary center from its founding through the Second World War.
While the theme of the Beinecke exhibition, mirroring the strength of the library's collections, will be St. Petersburg seen through the eyes of non-Russian travelers, the show will also include Russian artifacts of extraordinary interest. The library's renowned Romanov albums, for instance, will be on display, as will the recently acquired manuscript of Anna Akhmatova's Poema bez geroja (Poem Without a Hero), a work of the writer's later years describing the Stalinist era. Though her poetry was suppressed by the Soviet government, Akhmatova faithfully remained Petersburg's unwavering voice. The Beinecke Library will publish a fully illustrated catalog of its exhibition, entitled St. Petersburg: Portrait of a Great City. The Beinecke exhibition will continue through December 2003.
Sponsors of Yale's St. Petersburg celebration are the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Sterling Memorial Library, and the Yale departments of History and of Slavic Languages & Literatures. The celebration of St. Petersburg at Yale is especially appropriate because of the presence at the Beinecke Library of a large collection of travel books about Russia assembled and donated to the library by Valerian and Laura K. ("Polly") Lada-Mocarski.
Construction of St. Petersburg, now the second largest city in Russia, began under Peter the Great in 1703. Renamed Petrograd in 1914, it became Leningrad upon the death of Lenin in 1924. In 1991, Leningrad became St. Petersburg again. A center of culture and education, the city is home to the Hermitage and the Russian Museum, the Winter Palace, the Alexander Nevsky monastery, the Academy of Sciences, and several prominent libraries and universities. St. Petersburg, designed by Peter the Great to be his window onto Europe, lies in northwest Russia on the Gulf of Finland at the mouth of the Neva River. This "Northern Venice," combining its Russian heritage with a distinctly European outlook, is one of the great cities of Europe.
For more information, please contact Una Belau at beinecke.conferences or 203.432.2956.
Thursday, October 23
Visual Arts in the Time of Peter the Great
Chair: Paul Bushkovitch, Yale University
St. Petersburg as the Capital of Russia
Chair: David Schimmelpenninck, Brock University
St. Petersburg: A Portrait of a Great City
Friday, October 24
Visual Arts after Peter the Great
Chair: Suzanne Boorsch, Yale University
Libraries and Treasures of St. Petersburg
Chair: Tatjana Lorkovic, Yale University
Law School Auditorium
St. Petersburg: 300 Years
Saturday, October 25
The St. Petersburg Theme in Russian Literature
Chair: Vladimir Alexandrov, Yale University
The Flowering of Culture in St. Petersburg
Chair: Laura Engelstein, Yale University
The exhibition gallery is closed while the library's building is under renovation.
Temporary Reading Room Hours
Monday - Friday: 9 am to 4:45 pm
The temporary reading room is located in Yale's Sterling Memorial Library, across Wall Street from the Beinecke.