25 October 2016 — 06 March 2017
Photos for the exhibition catalogue have been brilliantly executed a member of the Photographers’ Guild
A scholarly illustrated catalogue has been prepared with the same title as the exhibition.
The exhibition includes around one hundred timepieces – table and wall clocks and mechanical pocket watches, as well as their forerunners – sundials, lunar and stellar devices for measuring time.
The creation of timepieces is a field of applied art that combines several types of activity: making the mechanism– the “heart” of the device – and an appropriate case. Early in their history, clocks and watches were especially highly prized; they were made from rare and expensive materials and destined for use, primarily, by the leading figures in the state, influential people and the nobility. In Russia, mechanical timepieces came into use in the sixteenth century. Later, those no longer in daily use became collectors’ items. The exhibition features a whole variety of timepieces, different in shape, technical and artistic approaches, that were acquired by Peter the Great, his daughter, Empress Elizabeth, Catherine II and members of the St Petersburg nobility.
The appearance of the first clockwork timepieces was preceded by other devices for measuring the passage of time: water clocks, hourglasses, sundials and star clocks. The display includes Russia’s oldest sundial, made by the Augsburg craftsman Klieber in 1556 and a highly complex astronomical device made in 1584 by two other Augsburg craftsmen, Georg Roll and Johannes Reinhold – an astronomical clock incorporating celestial and terrestrial globes, a sort of model of the world in the understanding of the time. A special place is occupied by the universal equatorial sundial created by the craftsmen of Peter the Great’s turnery.
The curator and author of the concept for the exhibition is Olga Grigoryevna Kostiuk, Candidate of Art Studies, deputy head of the Department of Western European Applied Art.
The scholarly editor of the catalogues is Olga Kostiuk, the introductory texts are by Leonid Raigorodsky and Olga Kostiuk, the catalogue descriptions by Anna Geiko, Olga Kostiuk, Olga Lokalova and Grigory Yastrebinsky.