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The Arthur Ross Terrace will be closed this morning, Tuesday, October 21, for a private cultural observance. You many observe smoke and/or fire coming from the Terrace at that time. The FDNY has been notified in advance, and all safety precautions are in place. The Terrace will reopen at 1 pm.

Russia and Its Pearls

A Long History of Opulence

In contrast to much of Western Europe, Russia carried on many Byzantine traditions well into the 18th century--particularly the lavish use of freshwater pearls. At the same time, Russia was influenced by Western styles, particularly from the reign of Peter the Great (ruled 1682-1725) through the end of the Romanov dynasty in 1917. Both the Russian aristocracy and the gentry owned pearl jewelry and clothing decorated with the gems. Russian noblewomen often wore large headdresses, or kokoshniki, decorated with pearls, lace and colored gemstones.

Royal workshops created a wide range of luxurious pearl objects, often adding pearl embroidery to rich textiles. On many of the pieces, the designers used pearls to create floral designs and scroll-like patterns, with the pearls serving as borders.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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