By Edward Kasinec
The 6th annual Fort Ross Dialogue took place in San Francisco Presidio Club on October 14−16, and featured a panel of Hoover speakers convened and organized by Visiting Fellow Edward Kasinec, co-curator of the current Library & Archives exhibition The Crown under the Hammer: Russia, Romanovs, Revolution. This day-long Russia-US conference is named after the historical settlement of Russian pioneers in what today is California. The Dialogue took place on the 150th Anniversary of the sale of Russian America to the United States. The event was attended by a Russian delegation that included leaders of the Vologda and Tiumen regions, the Federal Archival Agency, and officials from Transneft, Sovkomflot and Renova, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in the US.
Invoking the history of extensive and positive Russian-US cooperation, forum participants discussed prospects for improving bilateral relations in the current circumstances. Opportunities for international cooperation and developing closer ties in the economic, energy, environmental, cultural and humanitarian, scientific and educational areas were also discussed.
The Hoover Institution was represented by Senior Fellow William Perry, Archivist Emerita Elena S. Danielson, Robert Conquest Curator Anatol Shmelev, and Visiting Fellow Edward Kasinec. A small display of reproduction images of rarities from the Hoover Library vault collections as well as literature on the Hoover Library and Archives was on display for participants. In the course of luncheon break, Dr. Shmelev presented California Governor Jerry Brown with a copy of the newly published exhibition catalog, The Crown Under the Hammer: Russia, Romanovs, Revolution. The catalog accompanies the Hoover-Cantor Arts Center joint exhibition which will run until March 4. The exhibition marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution by examining the political, social, and cultural upheavals that transformed Russia in the final decades of the Romanov dynasty and the first years of Soviet Communism. The dual-site exhibition features a wide variety of art objects and documentary materials, including oil paintings by Russian masters of the 18th and 19th centuries, books from Russian Imperial libraries, early Soviet graphics, posters, photographs, film, and rare archival documents.