September 8, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle D. Deveney,
Media Relations Manager
World Premiere Exhibition Of Legendary Jeweler And Goldsmith Peter Carl
Fabergé Opens September 9 in Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware -- FABERGÉ, the largest exhibition ever
presented of the legendary jeweler and goldsmith, Peter Carl Fabergé, makes its
world premiere at the Riverfront Arts Center in Wilmington, Delaware on September
9. This unprecedented Exhibition, a Broughton Masterpiece Presentation,
features over 1000 masterpieces from more than 30 of the world's most prestigious
private collections and museums.
The Exhibition features major loans from The FORBES Magazine Collection, New
York, which contains one of the largest Fabergé collections in the world, as well
as from other significant American collections. Most of the international loans
have never been seen in America, including many objects from the world-renowned
State Hermitage Museum and the Moscow Kremlin Museums of Russia. Also among the
international masterpieces are a number of loans from European Royal Families,
including His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden; Their Graces the Duke and
Duchess of Westminster and objects formerly in the collection of King Ferdinand
of Bulgaria. The Castle Howard Collection and The Khalili Family Trust of England,
and several German princely collections are lending to the Exhibition as well.
Several private and royal collections are lending to the Exhibition anonymously.
"Fabergé is a word that speaks volumes," says Broughton. "Perhaps best known
as official jeweler for Imperial Czarist Russia, Fabergé is the creator of exquisitely
designed masterpieces that have stood the test of time. He is a legend, and we
are pleased to have the opportunity to tell his story through this Exhibition."
Interestingly enough, Fabergé was first "discovered" in 1882 when Czar Alexander
III and his wife, Czarina Marie Feodorovna, bought one of his first creations
ever to be publicly displayed in Moscow. Ironically, it was a pair of gold cufflinks
shaped like cicadas, ancient Greek symbols of good luck. Three years later, it
was Fabergé who was commissioned to create the very first Imperial Easter Egg
as a gift for the Czarina - an annual tradition established by Czar Alexander
III that lasted until the fall of the Romanov Dynasty. Upon fleeing Russia in
1918, it was the Cross of St. George Egg (which is included in the Exhibition)
that the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna took with her… a last gift from her
loving son, Nicholas II, on Easter in 1916.
Noted author and leading international authority on Fabergé, Archduke Dr. Géza
von Habsburg is serving as Guest Exhibition Curator. Working with Broughton International
over the past year and a half, he has played a significant role in the development
of the overall exhibition concept and the procurement of the prestigious loans
that have been made available.
"We are excited about the breadth of Dr. von Habsburg's knowledge of Fabergé
and the perspective he brings to our international exchange program," says Broughton.
"Dr. von Habsburg is joined by his associate, Alexander von Solodkoff, also a
noted Fabergé scholar. Together with Dr. Robert Steven Bianchi, Broughton International's
Director of Academic and Curatorial Affairs, they form an unprecedented team for
this grand Exhibition."
According to von Habsburg, objects in the Exhibition range from the intricate
and lavish Imperial Easter Eggs to the delicate simplicity of decorative boxes
in gold and enamels. “We have a wide variety of what Fabergé and his master craftsmen
were best known for, creations that brought sheer enjoyment and pleasure to all
who received them,” says von Habsburg. “It has been said that the magic of Fabergé
lay within his ability to combine the novelty of aesthetic inspiration with functional
value… punctuated with a touch of whimsey and sheer delight.”
A stunning array of the legendary Fabergé Eggs highlights this Exhibition -
the largest collection of works by Fabergé anywhere in the world. These renowned
Eggs will be displayed in specially designed galleries that capture the luxurious
tastes of the Russian and European aristocracies throughout the late 19th and
early 20th centuries.
"FABERGÉ goes beyond the traditional display as it delves into
the impact of his creations in the world of jewelry design and fashion," says
Bianchi. "We're particularly excited about a unique dimension that we're introducing,
where through the juxtaposition of jewelry and objets d'art created by Russian
and European contemporaries of Fabergé such as Cartier, Boucheron, Lalique and
Tiffany, our Exhibition patrons will come to better understand the evolution of
these treasures that are still of keen interest to collectors today."
Additionally, audiences will learn that much of the success behind Fabergé
was the result of his business acumen. As the Imperial Family showered gifts created
by Fabergé upon visiting dignitaries, and as thank-you gifts throughout their
own travels, the rapid growth of his popularity in Europe became a lucrative source
of business. During his lifetime, the renowned Fabergé employed over 500 craftsmen
and operated business establishments in several cities including St. Petersburg,
Moscow, and London.
"The legend of Fabergé from his meager beginnings to the building of a business
empire, to his ultimate escape to Switzerland as Czarist Russia came to its tragic
ending, is a story worthy of telling," says Broughton.
Acknowledged today as the originator of some of the country’s finest international
cultural exchange programs, Broughton has organized quality exhibitions that have
been seen by over 12 million people in several American venues. Broughton International
organizes and produces major, grand-scale international exhibitions from the world’s
leading international art, scientific, historic and cultural institutions. The
company works with cities throughout the United States to develop international
cultural exchange programs for American audiences.
Among the ten Exhibitions presented by Broughton since 1987 are Nicholas
and Alexandra: The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia and Splendors
of Meiji: Treasures of Imperial Japan, both of which premiered at the
Riverfront Arts Center in Wilmington, Delaware.
Guests should allow a minimum of two hours to tour FABERGÉ. At
the start of the exhibition tour, all visitors are provided a personal audio guide
(at no extra cost), which allows them to proceed through the galleries at their
own pace. A student's version of the audio guide, which has become increasingly
popular among adults over the years, is also available.
Before entering the galleries, visitors are treated to a brief overview of
the legendary jeweler in the Exhibition Theater, which provides an historical
backdrop for what they are about to experience. At the conclusion of the 10-minute
orientation in the theater, the story begins to unfold as visitors walk through
a series of specially-designed galleries.
As with all Broughton Masterpiece Presentations, FABERGÉ offers
a number of significant outreach programs. These include a comprehensive Education
Program for public and private schools; a Speakers' Bureau program for adult groups;
and an extensive Volunteer Program.
Upon closing February 18, 2001 in Wilmington, FABERGÉ is scheduled
to travel to one other venue.
For further information about the Exhibition, or to purchase tickets, call
302/777-1600 locally or 1-888-395-0005 (toll free in the United States and Canada),
or visit the FABERGÉ Exhibition website at