Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Hermitage - HD Live

detail from the Peacock Clock
I was ambivalent about going to the HD Live production of “The Hermitage” and had decided maybe my Sunday could be spent more profitably at home.

Tonia and I had discussed going. She reminded me that she has not been to St. Petersburg. She said maybe this would be her virtual chance and that she was going.

She called a few hours before the performance and said that she had been reading Wyona’s five pound (weight not money) The Hermitage: The History of the Buildings and Collections. V. Dobrowvolsky et al. 2007. I pulled out my own copy of that book and began to read while enjoying my breakfast and soon I decided that I couldn’t think of anything more important than joining Tonia at the show.

Luckily Charise came along and sat by me.

 If I closed my eyes for just a second to recover for the splendor on the screen, or from my lack of an afternoon nap, she nudged my arm to keep me awake.

 Our theatre had the biggest audience of all of the events we have gone to. We slipped in late, but there were a few more theatre-goers who came in later than we. One was a family who sat in front of us: a mother, a teen-ager who sat apart from them and a younger boy and a girl. Now there is a commitment to the art of the world, I thought, adding in my mind what it must have cost their budget to come to the performance that day.

Michaelangelo's Crouching Boy
The curator of the The Hermitage (rhymes with massage) was the voice-over for part of the time. His father was the curator before him and he says that he walked the halls of the museum as a child – it was the place of his childhood. That theme carried us through the museum.

Tonia told me that she skimmed the book, trying to get a broad idea of what the film would be about since she had no idea what to expect.

 I went straight to the details, reading about the initial mass acquisitions by Catherine the Great who gathered so much of the initial collection. 

Both Tonia and I were semi-prepared for the film event.

Eighty-three minutes of film for $15. A splendid afternoon.

Now I am going again Tuesday night – not only to see what I missed when my eyes gently closed, but because I have gone back to the text and read the first four chapters – The History of the Hermitage’s Development; The History of the Winter Palace; 15th to 20th Century French Collections; and now I am on the English Collections. I am already at page 106.  Not bad for a person who wasn’t even going to go.



  1. missed it. I want to go! I went there a few years ago. I LOVED it! here is one of my blogposts:


  2. I went to the film with Arta. We bought a ticket for Zoe to go to Big Hero 6 while we went into the Hermitage.