«Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars» at OKCMOA

From dazzling Imperial Easter eggs to delicate flower ornaments and from enchanting animal sculptures to cigarette cases.

The Luxonomist. 05/06/2015
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Peter Carl Fabergé (Russian, 1846–1920). Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg, 1903. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. Photo: Katherine Wetzel. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

More than 230 rare and storied treasures created by the House of Faberge will be celebrated in a new exhibition at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. «Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars» will be on view from June 20 through September 27, 2015.

«This exhibition represents a double honor for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art—the opportunity to collaborate with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and to showcase the largest Faberge collection outside of Russia said E. Michael Whittington, OKCMOA President and CEO. «We are proud to present such an extraordinary collection of treasures to our community.»

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Peter Carl Fabergé (Russian, 1846-1920). Imperial Tsesarevich Easter Egg, 1912. / Peter Carl Fabergé (Russian, 1846-1920). Imperial Red Cross Easter Egg with Portraits, 1915. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. Photo: Katherine Wetzel.

From dazzling Imperial Easter eggs to delicate flower ornaments and from enchanting animal sculptures to cigarette cases, photograph frames and desk clocks, Faberge often turned the most mundane objects into miniature works of art. The success of his business was inextricably linked to the patronage of the Romanov dynasty and the close ties among the British, Danish and Russian royal families.

The «Imperial Tsesarevich Easter Egg» of 1912, which will be on view at OKCMOA, was a gift to Empress Alexandra from her husband, Emperor Nicholas II. The egg commemorates their son, Alexsei, who nearly died the previous year of hemophilia. For the shell, craftsmen joined six wedges of highly prized lapis lazuli and hid the seams with an elaborate gold filigree encasement. Inside the egg, a diamond encrusted Romanov family crest frames a two-sided portrait of the young child.

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Russian. Crown Brooch, 1890–1910. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. Photo: Travis Fullerton.

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art serves over 135,000 visitors annually from all 50 states and over 30 foreign countries and presents exhibitions drawn from throughout the world.

The Museum’s collection covers a period of five centuries with highlights in European and American art from the 19th and 20th centuries, a growing collection of contemporary art, and a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly.

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