For Service and Courage. 250th Anniversary of the Order of St. George

State Historical Museum Exhibitions

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07.12.2019 - 16.03.2020

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State Historical Museum


State Historical Museum

From December 7, 2019 to March 16, 2020

On December 6, 2019 the State Historical Museum will host the opening of the exhibition "For Service and Courage. 250th Anniversary of the Order of St. George". That is dedicated to the anniversary of the most honorable military award of the Russian Empire.

The Military Order of St. George was established by decree of Empress Catherine II on November 26 (December 7), 1769. The Order of St. George was the first Russian award that could be awarded not only to members of the upper class, but also to all military men who showed special courage in the service. The choice of St. Great Martyr and Victorious George as the patron of the order, his laconic appearance and principles of rewarding had a great influence on the entire Russian award system.

The history of awarding this order became the history of the victories of Russian weapons, and the order itself, hardened in the fire of battles, stained with blood that was a symbol of courage and stamina of the Russian army. The St. George cross on the chest of an officer or soldier is a special award, which testifies to the fact that its owner has no higher value than serving the Fatherland: "Neither a high breed, nor wounds received before the enemy" gave the right to be granted this order, it was given only by that who "corrected his position in everything by oath, honor and duty."

The exhibition "For Service and Courage" in the Historical Museum is a kind of tribute to those whose courage and courage, military genius and feats of arms determined the course of history.

The first section of the exhibition tells the story of the creation of the order. There are military orders of Europe among the exhibits. They are served as prototypes for the highest military award as well as Russian award—winning predecessors dating back to the reign of Anna Ioannovna and Catherine II. One of the central exhibits of this section is a ceremonial portrait of Empress Catherine II by the famous court artist F. S. Rokotov.

A separate section of the exhibition is devoted to the development of the St. George awards system which gradually began to include insignia for lower ranks, award medals on St. George ribbons, St. George silver trumpets, award weapons, banners and standards. The St. George Service is also unique one of the first sets of utensils of the Imperial Porcelain Factory dedicated to Russian orders.

The center of the exposition is a gallery of heroes of the military campaigns of the 19th century and the First World War, awarded the highest military award.

The exhibition will also feature samples of awards from the Civil War: the St. George Crosses of the Provisional Government, the White Movement awards on St. George ribbons, resembling the order.

Despite the abolition of the imperial award system, many of its elements were borrowed by the Soviet government. So, the Order of Glory is a direct analogue of the St. George Cross, and the guards ribbon looks almost the same as the St. George.

The modern history of the award is represented by items from private collections, including the award of the Hero of the Russian Federation General V. A. Shamanov, who is one of the first gentlemen of the order awarded in the Russian Federation.

At the exhibition "For service and courage. 250 years of the Order of St. George", visitors will get acquainted with unique items from the collections of the Historical Museum, Moscow Kremlin Museums, Ryazan Historical and Architectural Museum–Reserve, and private collections. Specifically for display at the Historical Museum, by order of the Government of the Russian Federation, exhibits from the funds of the Gokhran of Russia will be issued.