Russian artifacts to make U.S. debut

TRENTON, N.J. -- More than 300 artifacts from Russia's State Historical Museum and the State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow will begin their American tour at the New Jersey State Museum here this fall.

"Unseen Treasures: Imperial Russia and the New World," which runs from Sept. 26 through Jan. 16, will be presented by the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation to mark the 200th anniversary of the Russian America Company.

The exhibition also marks the first time the artifacts have been seen outside the Russian Museum since its decade-long renovation was completed.

The exhibit will be divided into five sections and will include personal belongings of Russian emperors, art objects, icons from Russian churches, ship equipment, costumes, official portraits and other paintings.

Among the highlights of the display will be the Tula steel armchair of Alexander I, Faberge cigarette cases, American historical documents such as original letters from President Thomas Jefferson and author Leo Tolstoy and the baroque coronation sleigh of Catherine the Great.

The exhibit also will feature recreated historical settings, such as the 1698 oak-paneled study of Peter the Great, the interior of a Siberian wooden house in winter, the map room of an early 19th century sailing vessel, the interior of an Orthodox mission church in Sitka, Alaska, and a 19th century scene from the Kremlin.

The museum show will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

The exhibit will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for senior citizens, students and groups of 10 or more and $6 for children younger than 12.

Tickets will be distributed on an hourly basis from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays. New Jersey State Museum, Phone: (609) 984-5687

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