Author Topic: Alexander Palace interiors  (Read 159169 times)

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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2004, 11:32:21 PM »
Hey, Joanna!
You are right, there were two other balconies. One was surounding the palace church and the other around Maria Feodorovna´s Blue boudoir. Both two were corner shaped with two flights of steps. Of course there was also the balcony of the Semi circular hall...

elisa_1872

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2004, 05:17:26 AM »
Hello!

I have just read in a book the following piece of information: -

!In the Alexander Palace today, a chair is placed in the window corner (of the Mauve Boudoir) and a selection of copy prints recalls the many groups that were posed there.."

Interesting!!! :)
Best wishes,
Elisa :)

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2004, 10:52:02 AM »
Antonio:

You are VERY, VERY observant - this railing was used in many places.  Yopu can see it used in some of the palaces at Peterhof, too - I believe the Belvedere.  In the Hermitage the railing is also used near the director's office.

The balconies were built at various times.  The one outside Maria's room (the chapel in Nicholas & Alexandra's Time) had a device for the lifting of blooming lemon and orange trees onto it.

The was a big metal awning outside the semi-cirular hall that had a greek-key pattern - it was removed and used elsewhere.

There may have been original pipes in different places.  Unfortunately the recent restoration of the roof destroyed much of the original.  When they restoration was under way I asked why the original roof line was not followed and things like the skylight in the corner of the upper corridor (the inside ceiling panels are there for it) were not restored, my question was simply brushed away.  As far as I know no survey of study of the roof was conducted in that roof replacement.  That was very sad.

Bob
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by BobAtchison »

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2004, 12:14:09 PM »
Quote
Hello!

I have just read in a book the following piece of information: -

!In the Alexander Palace today, a chair is placed in the window corner (of the Mauve Boudoir) and a selection of copy prints recalls the many groups that were posed there.."

Interesting!!! :)
Best wishes,
Elisa :)


I photographed this important family corner in the palace and will send the photo for posting. The curators more or less tried to recreate the old appearance ...also took a photograph of the authentic desk that Kuchumov saved and is now in the mauve boudoir.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2004, 12:30:28 PM »
In my personal opinion the way the current museum is showing the unrestored rooms is very bad.  People are visiting the palace and commenting on how boring or uninteresing it is.  People have very high expectations of what they are going to see in places like the Mauve Room and when they get there they see tacky things.

For example, if Alix's desk has not been restored properly it is not in a position to be shown to the public.  Kuchumov was only able to find part of it and he just had it fixed up for him to use personally as a desk.  This desk was an extremely well made custom piece of furniture designed by Meltzer.  It was very carefully painted and was a work-of-art.  perhspa they have restored since I last saw it - I hope so.

I realize the curators - who are paid next to nothing - are working VERY HARD with no money to do what they would like to do.  Unfortunately, I think it could be harming the future restoration of the palace if the Alexander Palace gets the reputation of being cheap or trival.  The original decoration was extremely luxurious , the finest fabrics, carpets, incredibly delicate carved furniture, etc... whatever one thinks about the style of living they were palace rooms.  All of this will need to be recreated.  It will be a difficult task and expensive.

For us who love the palace it doesn't matter as much, we just want to see the rooms - but I am thinking of the public and the press.

Bob


Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2004, 12:46:48 PM »
I´m of the same opinion Bob. The palace rooms are full of bad quality furniture, some original things seem nothing amidst the heavy and ungraceful armchairs so different to the exquisite pieces by Meltzer. I loved to see Alexandra´s original desk, no matter in what shape but i understand your point of view...

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2004, 01:09:56 PM »
Antonio:

It is hard to believe that that desk was really hers!  I remember when Kuchumov showed it to me many years ago.  I could simply not believe my ears and eyes.  I cried when I touched it.  It was as if I was right there with her in the Mauve Room - you will understand my feelings.

I wish you could have goine to Yekaterinburg with me to see the remains.  When I was in front of Alexandra I said to her, "Alix - all this way I have come to be with you, my spiritual mother and my friend and now finally I am with you." All of the workers in the morgue that were there and several other Orthodox pilgrims from New York  who were there that day, we all fell to our knees and we said prayers.  It was very moving.

She was in a plastic case with a round domed top, lying on a plain surface with the reamisn arranged as if she were there.  They had attached ikons to the front of the cases and flowers.  They were locked shut with lead seals.  I thought - "she's so small".

Around Alix were her children and husband as well as Botkin and the servants.  It was if they were all there present - very sad, very intense.

Bob

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2004, 02:43:17 PM »
Well Bob,
That experience of yours is a blessing. I will never see them this way, not to say touch Alix...But i´ve dreamt of it many times, what i would say, what i would feel...and can understand your feelings, specially the words "spiritual mother", it´s incredible but i´ve always think of her that way too.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2004, 02:48:14 PM »
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Antonio:

It is hard to believe that that desk was really hers!  I remember when Kuchumov showed it to me many years ago.  I could simply not believe my ears and eyes.  I cried when I touched it.  It was as if I was right there with her in the Mauve Room - you will understand my feelings.


I fi would have touched that desk i would have instantly thought of the moment she entered the boudoir crying, almost fainting, after knowing about Nicholas´abdication and leaned on it, so many memories...

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2004, 03:03:48 PM »
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In my personal opinion the way the current museum is showing the unrestored rooms is very bad.  People are visiting the palace and commenting on how boring or uninteresing it is.  People have very high expectations of what they are going to see in places like the Mauve Room and when they get there they see tacky things.


I don't think people are being very reasonable, then, I'm afraid. They should be aware of the state the Palace was in until recently; it would just take a glance at the rest of this to remind them of this. I think the Alexander Palace has bigger priorities than providing a perfectly restored Mauve Room for western tourists, unfortunately, and I'd rather see the rooms open with a few pieces of crude furniture in them than not open at all....and I should imagine too that opening it is helping towards raising the funds for further refurbishment. When I last saw it - and it was less than two years ago, so I am wondering how much has changed - there was little there - I did not leave with the impression that the place was stuffed with ugly or tasteless furniture (and I actually know a thing or two about Edwardian design)

Quote
For example, if Alix's desk has not been restored properly it is not in a position to be shown to the public.  Kuchumov was only able to find part of it and he just had it fixed up for him to use personally as a desk.  This desk was an extremely well made custom piece of furniture designed by Meltzer.  It was very carefully painted and was a work-of-art.  perhspa they have restored since I last saw it - I hope so.

I realize the curators - who are paid next to nothing - are working VERY HARD with no money to do what they would like to do.  Unfortunately, I think it could be harming the future restoration of the palace if the Alexander Palace gets the reputation of being cheap or trival.  The original decoration was extremely luxurious , the finest fabrics, carpets, incredibly delicate carved furniture, etc... whatever one thinks about the style of living they were palace rooms.  All of this will need to be recreated.  It will be a difficult task and expensive.

For us who love the palace it doesn't matter as much, we just want to see the rooms - but I am thinking of the public and the press.

Bob



I didn't feel that it was cheap or trivial at all. Everyone who worked there took great pains to show us things, with real pleasure in the place - a pleasure you just don't see in the larger palaces. They are aware that people go there mainly because of Nicholas II; at the same time the palace is an architectural monument with a longer history; they have to work on both aspects as you know.....I am sort of puzzled, because I feel that those who go there to see the Palace should not worry about not seeing N and A's furniture; whereas those who go there to see it as N and As home should appreciate being in the place at last and not worry that they don't get more....

Just thoughts.

Janet

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2004, 03:24:02 PM »
Having been involved in the raising of the $250,000 for the roof and with the WMF through their development of the master plan for the restoration I can tell you that  there is a real problem getting people and foundations interested in giving the money required when they see the rooms like this.

I have personally taken people through them that have decided not to be involved because they thought the restoration of these rooms unimportant and trivial in relation to the great gilded interiors of the Big Palace.  They see the cheap furnishings in the New Study and the stuff in the Mauve Room and they become completely turned off.

Groups no longer go to the AP because they have been told 'there's nothing there' and the guides won't go there.  I think there has been a significant decrease in interest in the restoration of the palace in the last couple of years, for the reason I have mentioned among other things.

As I said before this is no criticism of the curators, who are doing the best they can.  If I had a million I would give it to them for the restoration of the Mauve Room.

Bob

Offline Arleen

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2004, 03:34:13 PM »
Bob, Thank you for your sweet spiritual words about touching the desk and seeing the remains.....you simply cannot imagine what an experience it is to read when you are physiclly disabled and know that you will never be able to visit the place you most dream of. You make so much "come alive" for me with your beautiful words and the pictures that you post. I am totally grateful!!   ..Arleen  

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2004, 06:15:28 PM »
Bob,
I not being very religous, nor a fan of Alix by any means, was in any case very moved by your description of visiting her remains.  It would have affected me as well, I am sure.
However, the palace: so the prospects of a restoration look rather grim?  I am hoping to visit in the next year or two, perhaps by then something will have been accomplished?   A close friend of mine went 2 years ago & was extremely dissapointed, told me not to bother. But I think he was rather tired of palaces by the time he got there, he had been draged thorugh a couple of dozen  I think & had become bored anyway.
I suppose, under these circumstances, that it is best to leave the original furnishings where they are? [Pavlosk, etc.].
Although that era of furnishing is considered "way out of fashion" now, didn't someone mention there were plans to redesign their rooms to a more "moderne" style?  I wonder what that "style" would have been?  I can't see Alix going Deco !!  In looking through catalogues of pre-war furniture, light maple and pine seem to have been popular. Also pastel colours? Well, would have been, as war seems to cause detraction from such things.

Cheers & Happy Easter
Robert
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2004, 07:32:18 PM »
there are many things  i cannot understand,
I see all the palaces better and better each year, recreated furniture in Pavlovsk, resurrected pavillions in Tsarskoe and especially the restoration works that are taking place in so many places in Peterhof. I´m happy for that all. But what happens with those places related to Nicholas´reign? It seems as if all the money spent on that purpose goes directly to the other palaces...Strelna palace and park has  literally risen from the ashes just because Putin thought it could fit his summer residence.
Six millions are nothing to so many rich people in the world, including some russian bussinesmen...

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Alexander Palace interiors
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2004, 04:32:57 AM »
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In Big Trifles and Little People: Memoirs of a Russian Nobleman by Anatol Kotenev
http://books.iuniverse.com/viewbooks.asp?isbn=1583487220&page=fm3
In 1906 he visited the Alexander Palace to meet with Prince Vladimir Nikolaevich Orlov in his appartment on the first floor.

Bob do you know where this appartment is located? Is it opposite the corridor from the ladies-in-waiting suites and facing the children's pond?

Also is this Prince Orlov the person that Anna Vyrubova was said to be in love with?

Joanna



This Orlov was Major-General a la Suite to Nicholas II (as was his brother [?] Alexis); the Orlov Anna was said to be in love was Alexander Alexandrovich...

Janet