St. Petersburg: 300 Years

Thursday, October 23, 2008 - 10:00am to Saturday, October 25, 2008 - 4:00pm

Yale Center for British Art

Sterling Memorial Library

Law School Auditorium


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
10 AM TO 12 PM
British Art Center Auditorium

Chair: Paul Bushkovitch, Yale University

James Cracraft, University of Illinois at Chicago
St. Petersburg and the Petrine Revolution

Sergej Androsov, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Peter the Great's Sculptures: Realized and Not Realized

Lindsey Hughes, University College London
From Caftans into Corsets: Images of Women in the Time of Peter I


St. Petersburg as the Capital of Russia
2 PM TO 4:30 PM
British Art Center Auditorium

Chair: David Schimmelpenninck, Brock University

Paul Bushkovitch, Yale University
Peter the Founder

Alexander Shevyrev, Moscow State University
St. Petersburg as Representation of the Russian Empire

Dominic Lieven, London School of Economics
Court and Society in Old Regime St. Petersburg


St. Petersburg: A Portrait of a Great City

Vincent Giroud
curator of modern books and manuscripts
Exhibition Opening and Reception
5:30 PM
The Beinecke Library


Friday, October 24


Visual Arts after Peter the Great
10 AM TO 12 PM
British Art Center Auditorium

Chair: Suzanne Boorsch, Yale University

Alexander Schenker, Yale University
The "Miracles" of Falconet's Monument

Roman Grigoriev, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Recurrent Visual Motifs in Russian Eighteenth-Century Prints

John Bowlt, University of Southern California
There Was Once a Red-Haired Man: The Metamorphosis of the Russian Avant-Garde


Libraries and Treasures of St. Petersburg
2 PM TO 4 PM
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

Chair: Tatjana Lorkovic, Yale University

Ekaterina Genieva, Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow
St. Petersburg Libraries as Cultural Centers

Valerij Leonov, Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg
Selected Masterpieces from the Collections of the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg

Larisa Bardovskaya, State Museum-Park Tsarskoye Selo, St. Petersburg
Alexander's Palace in Tsarskoye Selo after the Romanovs, 1917-2003

Keynote Address
5:30 PM
Law School Auditorium

James Billington, The Librarian of Congress
St. Petersburg: The City as Theater

St. Petersburg: 300 Years
Tatjana Lorkovic, curator of Yale's Slavic and East European collections, and Fred Musto, curator of the map collection
Exhibition Opening and Reception
6:30 PM
Sterling Memorial Library


Saturday, October 25


The St. Petersburg Theme in Russian Literature
10 AM TO 12 PM
Law School Auditorium

Chair: Vladimir Alexandrov, Yale University

Renate Lachmann, Universität Konstanz
Urban Imagination in Gogol's Prose: St. Petersburg and Rome

Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
Peter the Great, St. Petersburg, and Russian Opera

Vyacheslav Ivanov, UCLA
"A Lonely House on Vasilyevski Island" and Pushkin's St. Petersburg Tales


The Flowering of Culture in St. Petersburg
2 PM TO 4 PM
Law School Auditorium

Chair: Laura Engelstein, Yale University

David Lloyd-Jones
Moguchaya Kuchka

Alexander Garvin, Yale University
St. Petersburg and Washington: The Evolution of Two Capital Cities

Boris Katz, European University at St. Petersburg
Russian Composers Listening to St. Petersburg: An Overview of the Petersburg Theme in Russian Music of XVIII-XX Centuries



50 Years of the Yale Russian Chorus
Sacred & Secular Russian Choral Program
Yale Russian Chorus Alumni
Yale Russian Chorus, 2003
7:30 PM
Woolsey Hall




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Tuesday-Thursday 9 am - 7 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 5 pm
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