Dr. Richard Brettell, founding director of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Hermitage Museum Foundation, which contributes to the preservation and promotion of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and its more than 3 million objects.
“The Hermitage Foundation is a distinguished group of philanthropists and museum professionals, all of whom have long histories with that fabled museum and are close friends of its distinguished honorary chairman, Mikhail Piotrovsky,” Brettell said. “It is an honor to be named to the Hermitage Foundation board of directors at this difficult moment in U.S.-Russian political and cultural relations.”
Brettell, who also holds the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair, has worked on projects with the Hermitage for years and is among the world’s foremost authorities on impressionism and French painting from 1830 to 1930. He has been an international museum consultant with projects in Europe, Asia and the U.S., including the Millennium Gift of the Sara Lee Corporation, the largest corporate gift to the arts in American history.
Torkom Demirjian, chairman of the board of the Hermitage Museum Foundation, said he was very pleased that Brettell had agreed to join the foundation board.
“Dr. Brettell is one of the great minds in our country and, in the field of culture and art, he is by far the best. I look forward to working with Dr. Brettell to help the Hermitage Museum as well as help bridge the wide political divide that we find ourselves in between our country and Russia,” he said.
The Hermitage Museum Foundation raises funds for restoration and conservation projects as well as securing the donation of art and artifacts for the museum. The foundation also hosts educational outreach programs and supports various exhibitions.