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Topics - BobAtchison

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The Imperial Family / Icons of the Feodovorski Mother of God
« on: October 02, 2012, 01:20:24 PM »
I'll post a bunch of them as I have time.  I have a lot.


Olga Nicholaievna / New Icon of the Grand Duchesses
« on: August 29, 2012, 11:09:08 AM »
Does anyone know where the original of this icon came from?  I had my friend Zefir paint me a copy.  He made a few changes to the original for me.  I added the Virgin of the Sign (the specific icon they were given in Pskov a few months before the Revolution)  and angels to the top, as well as added the engraved border.  Someone told me they saw this ikon in Yekaterinburg.  I found the image I used to copy this on the web.  It seems to have been around for a while, but I never saw it until a month or so ago. - Bob

The way the forum works when you insert an image into a posting you are create a link to an image that is on another server somewhere on the web.  Your image does not upload to the forum - it is simply a link.  We have no idea what the origin or any image is or who owns it.  We received several emails today from Geoffrey Munn of Wartski complaining about links to images or content from his book on Tiaras appearing in postings in the forum without his permission.

We do not know where these are and which images are specifically a problem.  We have asked Mr. Munn to give us links to the offending image links. We have written about copyright issues before and any posters who have links to Warski images must remove them immediately.  We ask all members to let us know if they see any Wartski image links in the forum so we can remove them.

Thank you
Bob Atchison

Today I was shocked to read in the New York Times of the passing of Mark Goldweber.  He had been a friend of mine for many years.  We met though our common interest in Russian and ballet history about ten years ago.  He found the forum and the Alexander Palace sites and contacted me.  We were instant friends and spent hours and hours on the phone.  I don't think we ever had a call that lasted less than 3 hours! Not only did we share an interest in Russian history, but he was specifically fascinated by Nicholas II and his era.  Mark and I found we had common friends from the past, he knew my old ballet instructor from the University of Washington, Ruthanna Boris and he also knew Ronn Guidi, former director of the Oakland Ballet.  We also knew many dancers in common.  Our conversations were amazing, Mark could talk in depth on such a wide range of subjects and had so many experiences and interests that we could share.  He was handsome, gentle, warm and kind. We were going to do a website on Russian Imperial Ballet at the turn of the 20th century and another on some of the early Diaghilev ballets, but his illness obviously stopped this.  He died of cancer.  I will miss him; what a shame we have lost such a wonderful human being and artist.


The following is from the New York Times:
Mark Goldweber, who was a leading classical dancer with the Joffrey Ballet in the 1970s and ’80s and who won wide acclaim as the Blue Skater in Frederick Ashton’s ballet “Patineurs,” died on Dec. 9 in Salt Lake City. He was 53.

The cause was lymphoma, said Adam Sklute, the artistic director of Ballet West in Salt Lake City, where Mr. Goldweber was the ballet master.

Mr. Goldweber established himself in his late teens as an impressive performer whose dancing was rooted in pure classical ballet form and style and informed by it. His compact body was not that of the ideal elegant male classical dancer, but he brought to ballet a vivid intelligence and a gift for seemingly effortless razzle-dazzle technical feats.

He was at home in the wide-ranging Joffrey Ballet repertory, dancing Ruthanna Boris’s “Cakewalk,” Laura Dean’s hypnotic spinning piece “Fire” and the fast-moving youth-culture ballets of Gerald Arpino, the resident choreographer and later artistic director of the Joffrey.

Mr. Goldweber was celebrated above all for his dancing of the Blue Skater, also known as the boy in blue, the lead role in Ashton’s “Patineurs” (“Skaters”). The work, a giddy, snowy holiday greeting card of a ballet, was in reality a demanding test of virtuoso classical dancing. Mr. Goldweber first danced the role in 1977, his first year with the Joffrey after two years with the company’s junior troupe. He was only 19, but his future was clear.

“He’s in the growing-pains stage of elfhood, but his phrasing is already compelling,” Arlene Croce, writing in The New Yorker, said of his debut performance. “He shines with innocence and talent, and the audience eats him up.”

Nine years later Anna Kisselgoff, writing of “Les Patineurs” in The New York Times, said of Mr. Goldweber, “No degree of virtuosity could faze him — the changes in direction, the multiple turns, the butterfly jumps were all superb.”

His performing never suggested the effort of the choreography, but he felt the strain. “I dread ‘Patineurs’ every time, and I’ve probably done it a hundred times,” he admitted in a 1982 interview in The Times. “The ‘butterflies,’ for instance — a kind of aerial cartwheel that goes straight into pirouettes onto the knee, with your head pretty close to the ground — make you dizzy. And Mr. Joffrey likes the pace brisk in the ballet. There are times in it when I’m so out of breath I wonder why I’m dancing.”

He retired from performing in 1988 but remained in the Joffrey family, moving on to become a founding ballet master with the Oregon Ballet Theater, whose artistic director was James Canfield, a former Joffrey dancer. Mr. Goldweber returned to the Joffrey in 1996 to become a ballet master and the director of the company’s junior troupe.

He joined Ballet West, whose staff was largely drawn from the Joffrey, in 2007.

Mr. Goldweber danced the Blue Skater in the public television series “Dance in America.” He also appeared in “The Company,” a 2003 Robert Altman film about a ballet troupe, in which he played himself.

Mr. Goldweber was born on April 8, 1958, in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami. He trained with Thomas Armour and at the Washington School of Ballet and the New York City Ballet-affiliated School of American Ballet.

He is survived by his father, Morton; his brother, Adam; and his sister, Ruth.

I just put up a new book by Janet McKenzie Hill with loads of household servant tips focusing on serving at the table.  This book was issued several times over the years from around 1890 until 1926 - it is FULL of great things about life at the time.  You will love it!  Here's the link:


Forum Announcements / New Additions to the Palace Website
« on: December 26, 2007, 09:55:55 PM »
I have just added some new things to the palace site:

A 1923 Interview with Patriarch Tikhon by an American who worked with the YMCA at  There are some very wise comments about Evangelicals and the Orthodox church that apply to today.  It is interesting to read about his meeting with the new Patriarch, who lived for 9 years in the USA and was the Bishop of San Francisco and was later posted in New York.  As you probably know he was killed by the Bolshevik regime and has been made a saint in the Orthodox church.

There are four new biographies by Meriel Buchannan, the daughter of the British Ambassador in Darmstadt and St. Petersburg.  I have put up her profiles of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig at, Grand Duchess Elizabeth at, Grand Duchess Cyril (Victoria Melita) at Grand Duchess Olga Nicholaievna at  Meriel knew the first three personally and saw the GD Olga on several occasions.

There is a translation of an interview with Geli Ryabov on his discovery of the Imperial Remains at

There is also an excellent character sketch of Nicholas and Alexandra by Dominic Lieven from his great book Nicholas II at

There are also new ZOOMs of palace rooms on the right side of all of the pages.


Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Now Online - Pavlovsk Palace and Park by Kuchumov
« on: October 25, 2006, 11:55:59 PM »
Whew - am I tired - I just put up Kuchumov's book - I still have to put the park in and that's another huge job.  All the rooms are in with lots of pictures - scroll down for the images.  Kuchumov wrote this in 1973 and he told me how much he wished this book could get out to more people, and now I have done this for him.  I hope he knows somehow.

It's an old Soviet publication - the images are glorious. Kuchumov's text is really, really good.

I will tell you a story.  I have had my Russian language version for decades.  I hate to say it, but I bought mine new in 1975 in the Leningrad Hotel on the opposite side of the Neva (man, I am sure dating myself).  Well, anyway, I have wanted to put this book up since 1995 but I didn't have the English version and English copies were $300.00 - $750.00.  About two months ago I stumbled upon an English version for $8.00 - yes - eight dollars.  I bought it.  So, I now am ready to put up the palace rooms and the history.  If you enjoy the book be sure to thank Kuchumov in spirit for the book.  It's at:

Palace plans will come later - there were none in the book.


Forum Announcements / New Design for
« on: October 20, 2006, 02:54:51 PM »
This isn't a design for the palace site - it's for the top level page for the domain - it's not finished but if you would like to look...


I just redesigned My Name is Anastasia at:

There are a lot more pictures in the site which went online in 1997 for kids to learn about Anastasia.  There is a new comments page where people can post their thoughts about Anastasia and a new Anastasia Photo Gallery.  We hope to add some videos of Anastasia in a few weeks.  I apologize for using a picture of a Japanese chin that is not as dark as Jimmy was - I couldn't find an image to use - if anyone can find one please send it to me...

There are a number of Solomko images in the pages - Alexandra had several of his works in the Maple Room and Anastasia liked Solomko's work.  He and Samokish gave the Grand Duchesses art lessons.  I have a collection of his postcards.


As many of you know I was involved with the WMF - World Monuments Fund - to get the Alexander Palace on the list of 100 endangered sites for 1995.  This lead to a major effort by myself, the WMF, the museums of Tsarskoe Selo and others to get the palace reopened and raise fiunds for urgent repairs and other research work.  American Express and the Kress Foundation gave $250,000 for urent repairs to the roof over the Imperial wing.  Well it has been 10 years since the WMF issued its report on the palace - and it is still waiting to be implemented.  I have just put the report online at:

Many thanks to Preston and Scott for their pictures - I have placed three ZOOMs with the report and hope to add 2 more tomorrow.

For those who are interested in aviation in Russian prior to 1917 - Aerial Russia is now online:


Forum Announcements / Romanov Photo Albums are back up
« on: October 09, 2006, 10:24:59 AM »

After many requests we've put back up the Romanov Albums in the site in new software ....There are five albums to pick from - Alexander Palace, Peterhof, Standart, Livadia and Darmstadt.

Bob Atchison

Aerial Russia - it's up - a new book from 1916 by Lieut.-Colonel Rostam Bek - all about aviation in Russia before the revolution.  160 pages to scan and OCR - 20 images - whoah - I am tired!  I hope you find it interesting.  Read about the Scotsman Chessborough Mackenzie-Kennedy,  Ace Russian pilots and Sikorsky's giant planes.  Few people realize how advanced Russian avaiation was before Revolution.  Read all about it in Aerial Russia.



Here is a new video of a service in the Feodorovski Sobor held in memory of the Imperial Family on July 17th.  It starts outside, goes inside the cathedral and then down to the Saint Serigim of Sarov Crypt.  The crypt was, unfortunately, closed at the time.  If you look inside the church you will see the ikonostasis is being restored.  Ikons in the upper tier are already in place and the silver-encrusted Royal Doors are already mounted.

This video was supplied to us by Virtual Pushkin - THANK YOU Vlad and THANK YOU to whomever filmed this!

Helen's Feodorovski video is coming soon.



Helen Azar took this video and I just put it up on the site at the link above.  She was walking when she took this - she will tell us the full stolry in her own words.  Next I'll put up video of the back of the palace and the Children's Island.  After that another of the Feodorovski.  All of these wwere taken by Helen - Thank you, Helen!

If YOU have any video of the palace - or of Tsarskoe Selo please contact me so we can put it up...


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