25 April to 30 December 2017 a display room near the Third Antechamber of the Catherine Palace hosts the architect Silvio Dagnini’s 150th anniversary exhibition titled Silvio Dagnini: the Architect, the Artist, the Builder (click pictures to enlarge them).
Silvio Dagnini (1867–1942) was the last court architect of the Romanovs. His work at Tsarskoye Selo included renovations of Nicholas’ and Alexandra’s rooms in the Alexander Palace, a tunnel connecting the palace and the Kitchen Building, and the surviving wrought-iron gate to the palace from Dvortsovaya Street.
The exhibition presents over fifty objects from the Dagnini family holdings such as a card table by the architect’s design and his personal arm chair, writing accessories, photographs (see top right picture, click to enlarge) and mandolin (above right). A rare exhibit is the Red Cross badge, instituted in 1899 by the Red Cross Community for those who showed exceptional service to the Community, and awarded to Dagnini on 14 November 1914.
Supplemented from the collection of Tsarskoye Selo are Dagnini’s designs marking the main periods of his professional life. His technical drawings of the building for the Red Cross Sister Community of Tsarskoye Selo are especially noteworthy, as well as a chair (see left) from the furniture set of the Alexander Palace’s Semi-Circular Hall. Its design was personally approved by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. The chair was produced by Fyodor Meltzer’s factory, whose craftsmen created most of the furniture for the palace.