The State Hermitage Museum received collection of costumes and accessories of the great operatic mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova (1939-2015) as a gift. 34 items were donated to the museum by the singer’s daughter Elena Makarova. The collection mainly consists of the works of Russian designers. "All the dresses are associated with a certain history, a certain stage of her life,” Makarova said. “She was never a pompous lady, she loved new clothes, liked choosing it, but left them just as easy," she said.
"Obraztsova was friends with the Hermitage Museum, she was very sensitive to the museum, and we to her,” General Director of the museum Mikhail Piotrovski said. “She was our great friend, a great person, an example of the wonderful taste, and it is perfectly evident in those dresses that are presented here," he added.
The costumes and accessories of Elena Obraztsova will become a part of a collection of modern costume in the Department of History of Russian Culture of the Hermitage and will be stored in the premises of Restoration and Storage Centre "Old Village". The collection features a costume from designer Klaudia Zavyalova from St. Petersburg, concert dresses from Vyacheslav Zaitsev, as well as from the famous Moscow fashion designer Igor Chapurin, costume, made by the masters of the St. Petersburg Fashion House "Tanya Kotegova". The apparent rarity, according to museum staff, is a stage costume, used by Elena Obraztsova during the performance at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1970, where she won the first prize. Interesting exhibits are five pairs of concert shoes, made in the most famous studios of France and Italy.
According to Piotrovski, the fact that the Hermitage received Obraztsova costumes as a gift is "not just a nice gesture, it is a choice of the museum path for the Hermitage". He recalled that the museum already has a collection of old costumes, and now the Hermitage will once again begin collecting costumes of famous performers.
Elena Makarova admitted she considers giving the costumes to the Hermitage a great honor. "The museum is visited by many people. My mother taught that we live for the people," she said. According to her, in the future it is planned to organize an auction for the sale of some of the things that belonged Obraztsova, and part of the proceeds from the sale will be allocated to the Fund for fighting leukemia.