The Kyiv Caves Monastery's Royal Doors:
Context, Function and Displacement

Lecture by Edward Kasinec, Sep. 19, 2015, 3:00

Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St. Clinton MA

Co-presented by BRAI and the Museum of Russian Icons
$8 MoRI Members, $12 General Admission, WOO card $1 discount.

Ticket includes Museum admission. Pre-registration: (978) 598-5000 x21.

The Kyiv (Kiev) Caves Monastery underwent many depredations at the hands of Soviet authorities in the 1920-1930s, after having been revered for centuries as one of the great sacred spaces of Rus’-Ukraine, Muscovy and the Russian Empire. One of these was the confiscation and sale of many of its religious and artistic treasures, to raise foreign currency for the cash-strapped regime. Among the items thus dispersed were a pair of monumental silver-gilt 18th century royal iconostasis doors from two of the Monastery’s best-known churches.

Edward Kasinec’s richly illustrated lecture traces the history and tortuous movements of these royal doors over five decades. During this time they passed through the hands of Baron Von Goldschmidt-Rothschild, the collector William R. Hearst (“Citizen Kane”) , and the dealer S.J. Phillips, among others. Both magnificent doors were eventually purchased by Sir Arthur Gilbert and since then divided once more, between the galleries of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The path through the twentieth century of these two masterworks also serves as a prism for examining broader questions of cultural heritage and the displacement of art.

Edward Kasinec presently holds an appointment as a Research Scholar and Staff Associate, Harriman Institute, Columbia University and has also served as Staff Advisor to the Exhibitions Program of the NYPL. His distinguished professional career includes service as Reference Librarian/Archivist for the Harvard University Library and the Ukrainian Research Institute Library (1973-80); Librarian for Slavic Collections, University of California, Berkeley, Library (1980-84); and Curator, Slavic and Baltic Division, The New York Public Library (1984-2009).

Kasinec has published more than two hundred refereed articles and books and has been acknowledged in as many academic publications. He lectures and consults widely on issues of bibliography and librarianship throughout the world, including many North American and Eastern European institutions, as well as in Japan and Israel. He has organized numerous symposia, conferences, and exhibits and serves on a number of editorial and advisory committees in the disciplines of area studies. Additionally, he has done extensive development work on behalf of cultural institutions and is the author of twelve successful grant proposals to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Kasinec holds graduate degrees from Columbia University (M.A., 1968, M.Phil., 1979), and Simmons College (M.L.S., 1976), as well as Certificate in Archival Studies from American University ( l971), and a Certificate in Appraisal Studies (2010) from New York University.

The Museum of Russian Icons inspires the appreciation and study of Russian culture by collecting and exhibiting icons and related objects; igniting the interest of national and international audiences; and offering interactive educational programs. The Museum serves as a leading center for research and scholarship through the Center for Icon Studies and other institutional collaborations. Read more.

Royal Doors, c 1784, Gilbert Collection V&A, on loan to LACMA

Cantata Singers

Edward Kasinec, Columbia U

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