On 13 April 2019, the Hermitage Theatre was the venue for the 14th Patron’s Day – a traditional annual celebration of benefactors and socially responsible companies organized by the State Hermitage in conjunction with the Russky Metsenat (Russian Maecenas) almanac of social partnership and the Journalistic Centre for International Collaboration, a St Petersburg-based public organization.
Prof. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky “We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your contribution to the Hermitage collection over the past years and hope to keep enjoying our collaboration”.
The Foyer of the theatre was used to display gifts made to the Hermitage: a table-screen, a card table and a box for firewood donated by Mikhail Karisalov; a billiard table given by Yury Abramov. Nikolai Tsiskaridze presented the museum with the stage costume in which he danced the role of Count Albert in a production of Giselle at the Bolshoi Theatre. Two sketches in oils for Vladimir Sterligov’s unrealized painting The Restoration of the Hermitage were a gift from Amir Gross Kabiri, head of the Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel.
After the now-traditional winding of the Peacock Clock, the guests moved through to the Hermitage Theatre, where the ceremony was opened by Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage: “Patron’s Day is our invention. Let me remind you that the year of Maecenas’ birth is not known, but the day is and that is why in the middle of April we gather together in the Hermitage those to whom people in the city would like to say thank you. The celebration was devised so as to correct a great shortcoming in our national character – our people find it hard to express their gratitude. We are trying to change that. So far with success in one city and region. We are very pleased that the museum has the opportunity to welcome you, to welcome people to whom we want to say thank you in this wonderful setting of Catherine the Great’s theatre.”