Dining with the Tsars is the title of this catalogue and the exhibition organised to mark the occasion of the Hermitage Amsterdam’s fifth anniversary. Porcelain played a starring role in the lavish ball and banqueting culture of the Russian tsars. They commissioned ornate tableware from leading porcelain factories such as Wedgwood, Sèvres and Gardner, whose artistic achievements were astounding. The services made by the factories in Meissen and Berlin and given to the Russian rulers as diplomatic gifts were no less extraordinary. The beauty of porcelain is the important focal point of the exhibition “Dining with the Tsars” but there are also fascinating stories associated with the services and their owners. Especially for this festive celebration, fitting decorations and masterpieces in silver, bronze and glass will be displayed along with the tableware.
The Hermitage Amsterdam takes it as their mission to draw upon art and history to inspire, enrich, and offer the opportunity for reflection. By way of their exhibitions and activities, the museum presents world heritage from the collections of various museums in innovative ways. The museum also houses collections from other museums, including the Amsterdam Museum, the Rijksmuseum (the exhibition Portrait Gallery of the 17th Century), and Museum van de Geest | Dolhuys (Museum of the Mind | Outsider Art).
The museum is housed in the Amstelhof, a historical building that used to be a home for the elderly from the late 15th all the way to the early 21th century. Only in 2007, the last residents were moved out of the building, which was in dire need of renovation. Two years later, on 20 June 2009 the Hermitage Amsterdam was opened to the public with the launch of the exhibition At the Russian court.