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Culture news, 19.05.2004 11:46

New Hermitage exhibition to mark the 225th anniversary of the Glass Factory

New Hermitage exhibition to mark the 225th anniversary of the Glass Factory Yesterday an exhibition opened in the Alexander Hall of the Winter Palace to mark the 225th anniversary of the Glass Factory. The approximately 500 exhibits on display come from the collections of the State Hermitage, State Museum-Park "Pavlovsk", State Museum-Park "Tsarskoye Selo", Russian State Historical Archive, State Museum of the History of St Petersburg, Elagin Palace-Museum of Russian Decorative and Applied Arts and Interior Design of the 18th-20th Centuries and other museums. The exhibits are glass works dating from the 18th to early 20th centuries, as well as a variety of archival materials and graphics relating to the activity of the Imperial Glass Factory.

In the mid-1730ís an English merchant named William Elmzel founded the St Petersburg Glassworks on the banks of the Fontanka River. In this factory he produced works for the Imperial Court and also goods for sale to the public. By an order of the Senate in 1755 the glass production was transferred out of the capital to the city of Yamburg, and in 1774 to the settlement Nazya, near Schlusselburg.

In 1777 Empress Catherine the Great gave the factory in Nazya to Prince Grigory Potemkin, who then moved it to the settlement of Ozerki on his private estate. The year 1777 is officially considered the date when the Potemkin factory was founded. After his death, it was renamed the Imperial Glass Factory in 1792.

Beginning in the 19th century, the Imperial Glass Factory produced glass objects for display in both domestic and international fairs, for charitable lotteries and for the museums attached to schools of art and industry. During the First World War and after the Revolution funds were insufficient to maintain production of elite goods and the factory closed its doors.

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