On a very cold wintry Minnesota morning, BOND women were taken on a tour of the Museum of Russian Art by BOND member Rochelle Hoffman, a docent for the museum. We experienced landscapes, farm scenes and portraits by Vasili Nechitailo, a master of 20th century Russian art. We marveled at the portrayal of the collective farms of the southern Russian steppe, which were mainly farmed by Soviet women. Vasili, awed by his father’s revolutionary Red Army experience, masterfully portrayed the communist ideals in his painting throughout his life.
The second part of our tour was to view Dinner with the Tsars, an exhibit of Russian royal porcelain dating back to Empress Elizabeth, who founded the Imperial Porcelain Factory in 1744. Catherine the Great, when she came to power in 1762, turned the factory into a world-class porcelain manufacturer that catered to the needs of the Russian court and Imperial family. We viewed beautiful dinner plates, porcelain eggs, serving dishes and porcelain figurines. With the assassination of the Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1918, the Imperial families disappeared, but their porcelain treasures remained to give us a glimpse into the lives of the sovereigns and guests of the House of Romanov.