This year’s Fall Benefit Lecture and Reception was be a special evening featuring  Dr. Tessa Murdoch, FSA, ’01, RCS ’06, Deputy Keeper, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Department of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics, and Glass.

Tessa shared her experience of exploring the Russian country house through successive visits to Russia since 2011. Following her role as curator of an exchange of exhibitions in 2012 and 2013 between the V&A and the Moscow Kremlin Museums – The Golden Age of the English Court from Henry VIII to Charles I and Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars, and the accompanying publications in English and Russian – Tessa benefited from a Likhachev scholarship in May of 2014, studying in and around St. Petersburg visiting country houses and researching their rich history. Her presentation in October for the American Friends of Attingham illustrated houses belonging to the Russian Imperial Family, the aristocracy, and the homes of Russian artists and writers, drawing on collections in the V&A, at Hillwood in Washington DC, and in Russian museums. Following a lecture on this subject Tessa gave at the V&A to a full house in March of 2015, the micromosaic scene on a Russian jewel casket in the V&A’s Gilbert Collection originally thought to depict the Gothic Priory at Gatchina was re-identified as the Children’s House, a playhouse in the grounds of Alexander Palace, Tsarskoye Seloe. Tessa shared this and other discoveries as she revisited her Russian travels.

The evening included a festive reception with Tessa and friends.