The name Fabergé is synonymous with refined craftsmanship, jeweled luxury, and the last days of the doomed Russian imperial family. The array of enameled picture frames and clocks, gold cigarette cases and cane tops, hardstone animals and flowers in rock crystal vases, and ruby encrusted brooches and boxes continue to fascinate viewers as they did when first displayed in the windows of Fabergé’s stores in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and London.
Thanks to the generosity of Lillian Thomas Pratt and other donors, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts owns one of the finest Fabergé collections in existence. The Russian jeweler Karl Fabergé crafted objects for the Russian imperial family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including specially commissioned Easter eggs. VMFA’s collection, the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, includes five of the thirteen Russian imperial Easter eggs that are in the United States. In parallel with the redesign of the permanent galleries, the museum has organized a major exhibition presenting the entire collection, accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue incorporating the latest scholarship and research. Fabergé Revealed — the title of both exhibition and catalogue — dazzled VMFA visitors during the summer of 2011, and is now traveling while the permanent galleries are renovated.