Andrey Punin and Veronica Gareeva Create Design Concept for Exhibition at National Museum of Serbia
Andrey Punin, the main curator of the track 'Environment and Interior', and graduate Veronica Gareeva developed a design concept for an exposition titled 'Porcelain of the Tsars', which opened in the National Museum in Belgrade as part of the Hermitage Days event in Serbia.
The first Hermitage Days in Serbia event was held in Belgrade from October 24 to 29, 2023. The world-class cultural event was supported by the Hermitage, the Serbian Ministry of Culture, and Gazprom Neft.
In cooperation with the National Museum of Serbia, on October 24, the Hermitage opened an exhibition titled 'Porcelain of the Tsars', which tells the history of the Russian imperial Romanov dynasty through some indispensable members of courtly life and family routine—luxurious palace porcelain sets.
The concept of the exhibition was created by Andrey Punin, the main curator of the track 'Environment and Interior', and Veronica Gareeva, a 2023 graduate of the HSE Art and Design School, who is continuing her studies in Italy in the Master's programme 'Interior and Spatial Design' at Politecnico di Milanо.
Architect, Artist, main curator of the track 'Environment and Interior'
Our work with the State Hermitage Museum is probably the highest bar and professional test for an architect who works with exhibition projects in our country. 'Porcelain of the Tsars' is not only a simple exhibition of decorative art objects—it was created as something bigger. The task was to present the Hermitage to a Serbian audience as a unique phenomenon in world culture, immersing them in the context of Russian history through the change of eras, styles and artistic techniques. It is nice to see that the exhibition has aroused great interest among the Serbian audience, as many people had doubted it. Our exhibition concept—the unusual practice of a total installation—was in fact a huge experiment for the National Museum.
For me, the success of the project 'Hermitage Days in Serbia' is something to be proud of. I invited Veroniva Gareeva, graduate of the track 'Environment and Interior', to join our team. On this difficult project, she proved herself to be a qualified professional who can cope with novel tasks with flying colours. I am sure that her work on 'Porcelain of the Tsars' will be a very significant step in her career.
Graduate of the track 'Environment and Interior'
The concept of the exhibition is built around the objects in the context of the history of the imperial Russian court and the size of the exhibition space in the museum. Across seven halls, we have created a chronological history where visitors can go through various eras of the Russian emperors' reign and explore their habits and preferences through the porcelain collection. We connected the collection with different spaces in the Hermitage as well. For instance, the first hall refers to the Jordan Gallery, with its black and white chess tiles on the floor. The hall corresponding to the period of Nicholas I was made to look like that of the Romanov's Gallery in the Winter Palace where the portraits of the Russian emperors are displayed. In the last hall, which reflects the times of Alexander III–Nicholas II, we created a chamber room with the Gothic Library of Nicholas II, where he spent time with his family. The heart of the exhibition was the Guriev set located in the central hall, where we reproduced the atmosphere of a large festive feast of Alexander II's time.
The multimedia part of the exposition was created by Nikolai Nikolenko, co-founder of the 'Junk Reality' visual content factory. Portraits of monarchs, St Petersburg views, pictures of residences and palace feasts help visitors to feel the zeitgeist and immerse themselves in the unique atmosphere of the Hermitage.
The exhibition at the National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade is open until November 24, 2023.