“PETROPOLIS! St. Petersburg Days at Vassar,” is a celebration of the Russian city with an exhibition, lecture, and film screening. Nov. 19 – Dec. 19, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — In November and December, the Russian Studies Department at Vassar will present a series of events, including a lecture, film screening, and an exhibition, around the theme: “PETROPOLIS! St. Petersburg Days at Vassar.” Please note that all the events, organized in conjunction with Vassar’s Study Away Program in St. Petersburg, are free and open to the public.

Exhibition: Reflections of Petropolis

November 19 – December 19
The multi-media exhibition, Reflections of Petropolis, will open on Wednesday, November 19, and continue on view through Friday, December 19, in the James W. Palmer ’90. Bringing together various aspects of images of St. Petersburg, the exhibition will feature book illustrations, photography, and video, to original works by St. Petersburg artists, including Pavel Kondratyev (1902–85), Boris Kalaushin (1929–99), Vladimir Zhukov (b. 1933), Ivan Govorkov (b. 1948), Elena Gubanova (b. 1960), Nikolai Firtich (b. 1961), Aleksei Kulbin (b. 1961). A reception will be held in the gallery on Wednesday, November 19, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The gallery hours are Mondays through Fridays, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 to 6:00 pm.

Lecture: The Spell of St. Petersburg: The City and its Metaphysics in Art and Culture

November 19 at 3:30 pm
The series will open with the lecture, “The Spell of St. Petersburg: The City and its Metaphysics in Art and Culture,” on Wednesday, November 19, at 3:30 pm in Taylor Hall (room 203). Nikolai Firtich, assistant professor of Russian studies and director of the Vassar Program in St. Petersburg, will examine the dazzling cultural mythology associated with St. Petersburg.

Film screening: The Russian Ark

November 20 at 8:00 pm
On Thursday, November 20, there will be a screening of the film, The Russian Ark (2003). Director: Alexander Sokurov (Russia), Camera: Tilman Büttner (Germany). A cinematic reflection on Russian history, The Russian Ark was shot in a single take lasting 97 minutes and involving some 1,200 actors as the camera moved through the splendid rooms of the Hermitage and the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Dan Ungurianu, associate professor and director of the Russian Studies Department will introduce Russian Ark, which will begin at 8:00 pm in Blodgett Auditorium.

Please note that a concert, originally scheduled for November 21, will be postponed to a future date.


The St. Petersburg program, an innovative one-semester-long study abroad program, is designed to take advantage of the fabulously rich collections of art held in the museums of St. Petersburg. The program is unique in allowing Vassar students virtually unlimited access to the Hermitage Museum with its collection of Western art that is rivaled only by such famous sites as the British Museum or the Louvre. The students are granted equally unrestricted access to the Russian Museum, a treasure-trove of Russian art ranging from medieval icons to Malevich and beyond. Classes are held under the tutelage of Hermitage curators and professors of the city’s European University.

The program offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity both for Russian majors and students interested in art history. No previous knowledge of Russian language is required. Though designed primarily for Vassar Office of International Programs students, the program is also open to seniors, undergraduate students from other institutions as well as to graduate and special students. The program will be offered every fall semester. (


Situated between the North Atrium and the Retreat cafeteria, the James W. Palmer III Gallery is at the heart of the College Center. Constructed in 1996, the gallery was named and endowed by the Palmer family in 2000 in memory of their son James, a member of the class of 1990. Serving as an exhibition space for artwork created within and beyond the Vassar community, the gallery displays art of diverse mediums, themes, and origins.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, November 12, 2008