See Fabergé and Russian Decorative Arts Collection Like Never Before

After an international tour, VMFA’s renowned collection of Fabergé has returned to the museum. Five new galleries have been prepared to showcase 280 Fabergé objects and other Russian decorative arts. The galleries feature both innovative displays and a range of interactive components designed to inform, engage, and delight.

Since 1947, when Lillian Thomas Pratt donated a large selection of Fabergé objects to the museum, they have continued to enchant visitors. This spectacular Fabergé collection—the largest public collection outside of Russia—includes five of the 52 Russian imperial Easter eggs created by the St. Petersburg firm led by jeweler Karl Fabergé (1846–1920).

“The largest public collection outside of Russia…”


View The Collection Here

Organized by material, the galleries feature gold and silver objects, jewelry, enamels, hardstones, and icons. The central domed gallery showcases the imperial Easter eggs and is designed to allow visitors to view each egg from every angle.

Faberge Interactive

An exciting new aspect of the galleries is the addition of interactive components. These include a mobile app (iTunes and Google Play), in-gallery interactives, a new webpage, and new video footage of the imperial eggs. Large touchscreens now offer rich and informative background material with videos that reveal the intricate construction of the five imperial eggs as each opens to display their individual “surprise” inside.

Visitors can also explore the history of the collection from the perspectives of the Romanov family, Russian fairy tales, Lillian Pratt Thomas, and more using iPads available in the galleries or through a mobile app. Another interactive activity allows visitors to select features from miniature pendant eggs to design their own eggs, which they can save and share with others.


More activities can be found on the museum’s new Fabergé website, which features the recently digitized Lillian Thomas Pratt archives that includes her correspondence and invoices with object descriptions that will all be searchable online.

KARL FABERGÉ: Jeweler to the Imperial Court of Russia

Karl Faberge (1846–1920) transformed the small St. Petersburg jewelry firm begun by his father in 1842 into an international enterprise. Combining his early training as a goldsmith and jeweler with innovative business practices, Karl Fabergé attracted important clients, including Empress Maria Feodorovna (the wife of Tsar Alexander III), and was eventually appointed Supplier to the Imperial Court.

Although Karl Fabergé did not personally fabricate the objects he sold, he expertly ran a company with approximately 500 employees, who created more than 150,000 objects renowned for their superb craftsmanship.

Following the execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family by revolutionaries in 1918, Karl Fabergé fled to Switzerland, where he died in Lausanne in 1920. The large majority of objects by the Fabergé firm have since disappeared. Many were broken up, melted down, or destroyed—but those that remain offer a fascinating glimpse into a vanished era.


The Fabergé and Russian Decorative Arts Galleries
are made possible by generous support from


Eda Hofstead Cabaniss

Commonwealth of Virginia

The Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


Additional support has been provided by

Lilli and William Beyer

Mrs. Frances Massey Dulaney


Image Credit:

1. Imperial Tsesarevich Easter Egg Minature, 1912 Fabergé firm, Russian, 1842 – 1917 (Manufacturer) Henrik Wigström, 1862 – 1923 (Workmaster) platinum, lapis lazuli, diamonds, watercolor on ivory, rock crystal miniature, Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt

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Fabergé returns to VMFA

Russian treasures reinstalled in renovated galleries named for Eda Hofstead Cabaniss

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ renowned Fabergé collection is returning from an international tour, and will be displayed in a new suite of renovated galleries opening to the public on October 22, 2016. The new installation will feature 280 objects– composed of Fabergé and other Russian decorative arts– in a multi-layered interactive experience. VMFA will be the only American art museum with five galleries dedicated to Fabergé and other Russian objects. Read more…

Fabergé and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Lecture held on June 11, 2014 by Barry Shifman, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Decorative Arts 1890 to the Present, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.