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Hermitage Museum Foundation & Phillips de Pury to Honor Jeff Koons, Erik Bulatov & Neil K. Rector – Press Releases

September 26, 2012 No Comments »

NEW YORK and ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – American Contemporary Art icon Jeff Koons and Erik Bulatov, one of Russia's and Eastern Europe's most important living artists, will be honored at the Hermitage Museum Foundation's (HMF) 3rd Annual Gala co-hosted with Phillips de Pury & Company on Saturday, November 10th, in New York.  Hermitage Museum Director Dr. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky will present Foundation Awards to Koons and Bulatov for their lifelong artistic achievements and contributions to contemporary art.  Philanthropist and collector Neil K. Rector will be recognized for his gift of Russian artist Oleg Vassiliev's “Artistic Vision 2009” to the Hermitage Museum's Contemporary art collection in St. Petersburg.  The gift inaugurates the Hermitage Museum Foundation's Art from America© Program. 

Simon de Pury, the legendary Chairman and Chief Auctioneer of Phillips de Pury & Company, will co-host the event and conduct an auction of works donated especially for the gala by artists including Damien Hirst, Michal Rovner, Martin Mull, Ingrid Dee Magidson.  Actor, comedian, painter, satirist and filmmaker Martin Mull will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

Eli Broad will serve as the Honorary Chairman of the Gala Host Committee.

“As we build our Post-War and Contemporary art collections, the Hermitage Museum welcomes the Hermitage Museum Foundation's Art from America© program which is designed to expand the Museum's holdings into the 21st century and beyond,” said Dr. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage Museum.  “The Hermitage has collections of great masterpieces from our 21 Rembrandts to many of the most significant and beautiful works of Matisse and Picasso.  We welcome the opportunity to display the works of the great American artists of this period permanently in our new General Staff Building facilities.  Art from America© will allow us to curate new art that will become the history of tomorrow.”

The Hermitage Museum's expansive renovation and redesign of St. Petersburg's General Staff Building for the Museum's 250th birthday in 2014 will open robust new state-of-the-art exhibition spaces to house the Museum's prominent 19th, 20th and 21st Century collections, including Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art holdings while expanding exhibitions, acquisitions and loan programs with the world's leading museums. 

Hermitage Museum Foundation Chairman Paul Rodzianko said, “Many of the world's most eminent artists, photographers and designers since the latter half of the 20th century have lived and worked in the United States and represent all manner of national origins.  Many have special links with the Hermitage Museum and Russia and represent celebrated icons of artistic endeavor in both countries.  We are thrilled that the HMF Art from America© gifts will enhance Post-War Contemporary art collections in Russia and feature in the new state-of-the-art facilities to be unveiled in 2014.”  He added, “Art from America© will help complete that missing history of certain major global American artists and allow the Hermitage to curate new art that will become the history of tomorrow.”

Honoree Neil K. Rector commented, “Oleg Vassiliev is one of the most important artists of his generation.  He should be represented in the collections of the great museums of the world, especially the Hermitage.  As a board member of the Hermitage Museum Foundation, I am presenting this gift, the first gift to the Art From America© program, with the hope that it might persuade others to donate to this extremely important and groundbreaking endeavor.”

The Hermitage Gala Host Committee includes: Eli Broad, Honorary Chair; Len Blavatnik, Sergei Bugaev Afrika, Torkom Demirjian, Mrs. Norton Dodge, Kira & Neil Flanzraich, Leonid Friedland, Marvin Ross Friedman, Larry Gagosian, Alexis Gregory, Ian Hague, Lyndsay Howard, Nicolas Iljine, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Mark Kelner, Michelle Kelner, Vitaly Komar, Sofia Lewitt, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Brad Place, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Neil Rector, Chauncie & Paul Rodzianko, Donald Rosenfeld & Juliana Overmeer, James Rosenquist, Peter L. Schaffer, Robert Storr and Julie Sylvester.

Each year the Hermitage Museum Foundation Award is presented to a major Russian and American artist, or significant philanthropist who has contributed to the Hermitage Museum as a unique cultural institution and one of the world's greatest repositories for our common human heritage.  The HMF Award for lifelong artistic achievements represents an opportunity to exercise cultural diplomacy by recognizing the many links between Russia's and the United States' artistic communities, museum, research and collecting traditions.  Honorees will receive the Hermitage Museum Foundation Award folios, each a rare handcrafted original work of art created by the Book Arts Conservatory of Washington (

Past Hermitage Museum Foundation Award recipients include artists James Rosenquist, Cy Twombly, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Vitaly Komar, Sergei Bugaev Afrika as well as philanthropist Torkom Demirjian. In 2011, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov presented the Hermitage with their iconic installation, The Red Wagon, now on view in the General Staff Building.  In 2010 Mr. Demirjian presented the Museum with a collection of artifacts of the ancient Urartu civilization, in memory of former Hermitage Museum Director and Archeologist Dr. Boris Piotrovsky.


The Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA), Inc. (a 501 (c) 3) corporation contributes to the preservation and promotion of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, its more than three million objects and the Museum's historic buildings. The HMF raises funds for restoration and conservation projects as well as securing the donation of art and artifacts for the Museum. The Foundation hosts educational outreach programs, supports exhibitions throughout the US, and organizes an annual White Nights tour to the Museum in St. Petersburg. Among the Foundation's objectives are to bring major exhibitions of contemporary American art to the Hermitage and to help secure long-term loans or outright gifts of art to the Museum as part of its new Art from America© Program. The unique resources of the Hermitage, its Director, Dr. Piotrovsky, and the leadership of the HMF provide an exceptional opportunity to support the full spectrum of Russian-American cultural diplomacy.


Phillips de Pury & Company, founded in 1796, is one of the world's leading art companies and the only international auction house to concentrate exclusively on contemporary culture.  With its innovative exhibitions and auctions, Phillips de Pury & Company has established a commanding position in the sale of Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions and Jewelry. With offices and representatives on four continents in twelve cities, including New York, London, Paris, Geneva, Munich and Berlin, Phillips has continued to outperform the market and was the first auction house to offer Russian art in its main Contemporary sales, setting a precedent that has been followed industry wide. For more information, please visit:


Lannyl Stephens Ossorguine, Communications Director, Hermitage Museum Foundation
Lyndsay Howard, Communications Counsel, Pangaeia Group LLC
T. 917-716-3971,

Tiana Webb Evans, Director of Communications, New York, Phillips de Pury & Company
T. 212-940-1207,


Annie Foresman, Hermitage Museum Foundation
T. 212-826-7034,

SOURCE Hermitage Museum Foundation

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