Hermitage Rooms

Hermitage Rooms

The Hermitage Rooms are a collection of rooms, at Somerset House in London, England, which are used as a gallery and museum space. Their name derives from their being a venue for temporary exhibitions of items from the collections of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. [ [http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/europe/britain/england/london/attraction-detail.html?vid=1154654610311 Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House — Reviews and Ratings of Sights in London] , "New York Times Travel".]

History and construction

The project was established in the 1990s under the direction of Lord Rothschild, and is funded by individual and corporate donors and admission fees. Several rooms in the south wing of Somerset House were redecorated in a style reminiscent of the interiors of the Winter Palace and opened to the public in 2000.

In 2003, a new Somerset House Learning Centre opened, which is used in conjunction with the Hermitage Rooms and the other visitor attractions in the building. It was funded from the proceeds of the July 2002 Somerset House gala, "An Evening with Elton John". Also in 2003 the Courtauld Institute of Art, housed nearby in the Strand block of Somerset House, assumed responsibility for the Hermitage Rooms. [http://swapherm.adaptivetechnologies.com/about_us/press_release_may2003.html]

The first exhibition at the Hermitage Rooms was called "Treasures of Catherine the Great". Subsequent exhibitions have featured not only Western painting, but also themes such as photography, ceramics, and Islamic art. In some cases the Hermitage's works have been supplemented by items from other collections, including (as in the case of "Peter Paul Rubens: A Touch of Brilliance") from the Courtauld Institute Gallery.

In 2005 the future of the Hermitage Rooms became uncertain after the Hermitage announced its plans to withdraw its loans of artworks overseas. This was the result of an international loan crisis prompted by the seizure in November of paintings belonging to the Pushkin Museum in Moscow as hostages in a trade dispute between a Geneva-based company and the Russian state (owners of both the Hermitage and the Pushkin). [ [http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article01.asp?id=104 The Art Newspaper article] .]

The rooms were closed until June 2007 when a new exhibition was put into place. This ran until November 2007 and was titled "France in Russia: Empress Josephine's Malmaison Collection". [ [http://www.hermitagerooms.com/exhibitions/ Hermitage Rooms exhibitions] .] Since then, the museum has been closed.


ee also

There are two other art collections in Somerset House:
*Courtauld Gallery
*Gilbert Collection

External links

* [http://www.hermitagerooms.com/ Hermitage Rooms official website]

[Category:Museums established in 2000]

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