After the success of the Picasso, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be opening its doors to the public this Saturday to another breath-taking exhibit, Fabergé Revealed.
Peter Karl Fabergé was a master goldsmith who resided in Saint Petersburg during the 19th century. Fabergé is best known for his Easter eggs, fashioned by precious metals and gemstones. In 1885, Czar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé and his company to create an Easter egg for Empress Maria. From then on out; Fabergé was granted permission to create whatever he pleased.
The exhibit showcases four collections: the Lillian Thomas Pratt collection of Russian Imperial Jewels, the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation collection, the Arthur and Dorothy McFerrin Foundation collection and the local Hodges’ Family collection. These collections combined total more than 500 objects of Fabergé work.
The museum’s personal collection is one of the largest Fabergé collections in the United States, with 323 objects either created by or attributed to the artist. The exhibit also has five out of the 13 Imperial Easter eggs in the nation. Most of the items were obtained by the bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt in 1947.
Each room sparkles and gleams from corner to corner, ceiling to floor. Display lights point to various objects in cases, allowing visitors to adore the artwork properly. Each Fabergé object has small, delicate and superb details which outline the dedication used to create every piece of work.
The enamel room includes items such as picture frames, cigarette cases and large women’s brooches. While the Fabergé pieces look simple, they are most complex in their design. Made of enamel, gold or silver and gilding, the art work shines behind glass cases.
Featured pieces of the exhibit can be found in standalone cases, giving visitors a 360° view of each item. Peter the Great Imperial Easter egg (Pratt collection), Coiling Serpent paperweight (Hodges’ collection) and Lily of the Valley Basket (Gray Foundation collection) are just a few of the featured pieces.
Visitors have the chance to purchase Fabergé-inspired items from the gifts store or also purchase the Fabergé Revealed catalogue for $65 or the limited edition catalogue for $100.
The Fabergé Revealed special exhibition will be on display from July 9 to Oct. 2, 2011 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more and children under 6 years old are free. For more information, please visit http://www.VMFA.museum.