The new Broughton Masterpiece Presentation at the Riverfront Arts Center in Wilmington is a stunner. It brings together more than 1000 works of art from over 30 private collections and museums around the world, including the Royal families of Sweden, Britain, Bulgaria and several German princes. The FORBES Magazine Collection of New York, and the State Hermitage and Moscow Kremlin Museums of Russia also made major loans to this exhibition.
Peter Carl Faberge was the legendary jeweler and goldsmith who created the famous Faberge eggs for the Czars of Russia. A stunning array of these fabulous treasures provides the focal point of the Broughton exhibition. Among the eggs on display is the first egg created for the Romanovs by Faberge in 1885, as well as the Orange Tree Egg of 1911 and the Cross of St. George Egg of 1916, which was brought from Russia by the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna at the time of the Revolution.
The exhibit tells the story of Faberge's rise from humble beginnings to head an international business empire, until his ultimate escape from Russia and tragic death in Switzerland. His influence on jewelry design and fashion of the day is also explored. Master works created by Faberge's contemporaries - Lalique, Cartier, Tiffany and Boucheron - are included in the exhibit for contrast.
Besides eggs, many other precious objects created by the Faberge workshops are on display in Wilmington, including a delightful menagerie of animals and exquisite miniature floral arrangements made of gemstones.
The Faberge exhibit continues through February 18, 2001 at the Riverfront Arts Center. Admission is $14.50 for adults, $13 for seniors, $5 for K-12 and $9 for college students. Family and group rates are available. The exhibition is open daily from 9am to 7pm, except Mondays. Ticket prices include a 10-minute orientation film and a 45-minute audio recorded tour. Both adult and student versions of the tour are available that touch on different aspects of the exhibition, and many adults like the student tour. Call 1-888-395-0005 for advance reservations.
Many area hotels offer a Faberge package that includes tickets to the exhibition, a night's lodging and various other perks. The most prestigious of these is the four-star Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. Even if you don't stay at the du Pont, your ticket stub from the Faberge exhibition will get you a 15% discount on lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch in the hotel's famous Green or Brandywine rooms (reservations required). More information can be found at www.faberge-exhibition.com/ In addition, Amtrak offers a special discount on rail fare to those traveling to the Faberge exhibition. Ask for Fare Code X-81N-966.