This exhibition is dedicated to the work of the museum Conservation Studios over the last five years. The collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums comprises unique historical and cultural art pieces. It would be impossible to preserve and put them on display without regular painstaking work of the conservators which is now an essential part of the museum life.
On display will be unique pieces — state regalia, objects which belonged to the monarchs, ceremonial arms, ancient icons and magnificent jewels made by Russian and West-European masters. Those items were restored by highly professional conservators specializing in metal, fabric, paper, tempera and oil art. Their work made it possible not just to remove patina from a museum piece, but also give it a second life, return almost completely lost appearance, discover its author’s name, put an item into a historical context — associate it with an eminent personality or a significant historical event.
In the Exhibition Hall of the Assumption Belfry, visitors will be able to see exhibits related to state ceremonies, as well as arms, horse harness and various items from the treasury of the Moscow sovereigns, made by the best West-European masters. Among the most remarkable works of conservators are splendid diamond crowns of brothers and co-rulers Ivan and Peter (future Peter the Great), sons of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, Renaissance Italian helmet, French tapestry from the series ‘Muses’ and other objects, fully incorporating images of the Russian and West-European court lives of various epochs. In the Exhibition Hall of the Patriarch’s Palace, we are presenting exceptional artifacts from the Kremlin churches and monasteries, i.e. icons, church embroidery and precious household from vestries. Visitors will have an opportunity to appraise the result of a long-term and extremely complex restoration of the gem in the museum collection of icons—‘Sophia the Divine Wisdom’ which dates back to the first half of the 15th century.
The display consisting of the best samples of the museum collection, restored by high-skill professionals, will be of interest both to specialists and the wider audience. A multimedia program will help to immerse into the specific subject presenting processes of different museum conservation studios. Without any exaggeration, professional conservation being an art which overcomes time is an essential factor in preserving national cultural heritage. The exhibition ‘Guardians of Time. Conservation at the Moscow Kremlin Museums’ will uncover various aspects of this complex workmanship and hopefully become a notable event not just in the museum life but also in Moscow cultural agenda.
The Moscow Kremlin Museums have launched a theme-based satellite site about the exhibition conservation.kreml.ru
Conservation experts, who bring back to life irreplaceable items of lasting artistic and historical significance, can rightly be called 'guardians of time'. The catalogue contains information about artistic features of the eighty-seven exhibits, written by its curator, and a description of the conservation process, compiled by the conservator. Many works are published for the first time, and a number of unique objects are thus being introduced into scientific and historical circulation. The catalogue concludes with information about the conservators of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, forming a 'collective portrait' of the modern Kremlin restoration school. Price - 2300 RUB.
GUARDIANS OF TIME
CONSERVATION AT THE MOSCOW KREMLIN MUSEUMS
- Costumes of Emperor Peter II
- Icon of St Elizabeth. Conservation
- Paramandyas of Fotius the Metropolitan. Conservation
- Mannequin doll in a dress of a Dame of the Order of St CatherineвЂ™s Big Cross. Conservation
- Bodice and train of the coronation dress of Empress Maria Feodorovna. Conservation
- Ceremonial helmet. Conservation
- Archangel Raphael (Archangel Uriel before conservation). Conservation
- Our Lady of Jerusalem (Gethsemane). Conservation
- Snaphance rifle. Conservation
- Waistcoat of Emperor Peter II from hunting outfit. Conservation
- Flintlock pistols. Conservation
- Icon 'Holy Wisdom'. Conservation
- Icon of SS Boris and Gleb. Conservation
- Tapestry 'Clio, The Muse of History'. Conservation
- Miniature car. Conservation
- Miniature carriages. Conservation
- Hat of Empress Catherine I. Conservation
- 'Guardians of Time'. Broadcast, 27.07.2019
- Crown of Empress Anna Ioannovna. Conservation
- Goblets by the firm of P. Ovchinnikov. Conservation
- Icon of Patriarch Abraham. Conservation
- Diamond Cap of Tsar Ivan Alexeyevich. Conservation
- Diamond Cap of Tsar Peter Alexeyevich. Conservation
- Altar Gospel in cover. Conservation
- Wine Cooler. Conservation
- Profession - Art Conservator
- The Reappearance
- 'Guardians of Time'. 1 TV Channel
- 'Guardians of Time'. Interview
- 'Guardians of Time'. REN TV Channel
- 'Guardians of Time'. Rossia 1 TV Channel
- 'Guardians of Time'. Rossia 24 TV Channel
- 'Guardians of Time'. Rossia-Kultura TV Channel
- Inkstand with Clock. Conservation
- 'Guardians of Time. Conservation at the Moscow Kremlin Museums' exhibition trailer
This display is dedicated to a very rare profession—the profession of a conserver. Those who took this way, do a painstaking and inconspicuous work, sometimes it takes them several years to renew a historic memory. It’s a pleasure that we can see the results of their labours and see the conservers personally. They, as I often say, are like secret service agents—not much people know them and almost no one has seen them.
The foundation of the Conservation Studios in the Moscow Kremlin in 1963 was a significant mark of the time. The conserver is a very temperate person and he is unfamiliar to the general public. Russian specialists have got a particular school, they now history excellently, and they do not perform thair works as 'beautiful', but as they used to be—and they are unique in this regard. I’m sure that the guests at the exhibition verify that.
I'd like to express my admiration to the Moscow Kremlin Museums! I liked the exhibition very much, I'm impressed. The conservers' mastery is amazing—the skill is that we don’t see it. At some time it's beginning to seem that no one touched these items, they came down to us as they are, they preserved by a miracle.
I enjoyed the display experience. Been a man who can embroider and loves it—I often embroidered my stage outfits and dresses of my pupils—here I got interested in the work of conservators on textile. I’ve observed a lot the process of working with stage costumes—many outfits are made from the old ones, we can say, restored. I’m aware of how much time, diligence and professionalism is needed for each thing—that always arouses admiration! Seven years ago I had an excursion in the Conservation Studios of the Kremlin Museums—it must have been one of the best days in my life. It is the Kremlin, which you explore from inside, and, again, you meet people, whose work must be hardly noticed by most of people. Everyone looks at the exhibit—but it is the combination of professionalism and passion. I think that this show is a kind of acknowledgement of the craftsmanship of people who preserve the valuables.
I'm speechless! First, the time that has revived in each of these rarities is connected with the history of great Russia; second—this is just an unearthly beauty. There are many names for conservators—they are both guardians of time and unique archaeologists, but actually, they are real doctors, who restore items with love thus bringing back to life pieces of virtue that were almost lost. And certainly, the conservators of the Kremlin Museums are excellent specialists, hats off to them. Every show at the Moscow Kremlin Museums is real rejoicing. I hope people come here again and again.
This is a unique display of magnificent exhibits, with the fact that most of these works have never been showcased. Here one can see overwhelming objects; it’s very difficult for non-specialists to understand the amount of restoration work made on each item, and these works are exceptional. I’m heartily glad for my colleagues and ask them to organize such exhibitions more often—the Moscow Kremlin Museums does have what to show.
The conservation that is presented at the exhibition 'Guardians of Time' makes a deep impression. It's a pleasure to recognize that the Kremlin Museums keep very rare traditions of conservation. The display at the Museums is of great importance with relation to the popularization of the profession, and, in particular, such niche as working with bone. Restoration of bone works is not popular; good specialists in our country they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Congratulations to the Moscow Kremlin Museums and especially to the conservators. We understand what this work is, and what job-related injuries can there be. And we know that it's difficult to imagine all the complicated way that each object undergoes in the hands of a specialist from the initial state to a fine demonstration article.
I'd like to congratulate the conservators first of all. This is a magnificent work, which is wonderfully presented at the exhibition. Here are many unique and interesting pieces that we have never seen before. An excellent exhibition, great restoration work and a well-coordinated exposition!
I always admired conservator's work; I think that objects, like people, can fall thick deadly and decease, and the restoration is a reanimation. Objects inherently moulder, but it’s possible to revive them, and it's just what the conservators do. It's an impressive craft—the display shows what conservation is. It must be talent first of all, but it's also studies and many years of experience.
I liked the exhibition very much. In addition to the showcased items I enriched my mind when talking to the conservators. They told me about technologies and challenges when conserving old articles. It was interesting to learn about the problems that were created by previous restorers; about attempts of modern conservators not to cause problems to future specialists; and what is really hiding under a bushel of beauty we see. It was very informative for me, as it is in my nature to feast eyes upon beauty as well as learn something new, which I got here in full.