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Alexander Caldwell, maker of replica Fabergé Egg for Ocean s Twelve to speak at Detroit Institute of Arts: Caldwell founded Vivian Alexander, online retailer of elite handmade evening purses

Thursday, December 20, 2012

(Detroit)—Alexander Caldwell, who made the replica Fabergé Coronation Egg used in the 2004 movie Ocean’s Twelve, will reflect on his artistic responses to Fabergé in a talk at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. His lecture will be followed by a showing of Ocean’s Twelve. The talk and movie are free with museum admission. The lecture is sponsored by the Bernard J. Reilly Fund.


Caldwell has spent the past 25 years studying Fabergé and his techniques, and 20 years ago he founded Vivian Alexander, the only online retailer of elegant handmade evening purses made in the United States. The company also makes works of art along the lines of the famous Fabergé Imperial Russian Easter Eggs. Like Carl Fabergé, Alexander personally trains his artists and must approve each piece before it becomes final.


Caldwell’s work attracted the attention of the Forbes family, until recently the keeper of the world’s finest and most extensive Fabergé collection, started by Malcolm Forbes. He was commissioned to create replicas of the most valuable works of art in the collection. For seven years, he worked with the Forbes Museum curator to master the ancient art of enameling and the use of guilloché on precious metals. His enameling work was noted by Christopher Forbes to be the best in the United States.


The program is in conjunction with the exhibition Fabergé: The Rise and Fall, The Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, on view through Jan. 21. The exhibition is organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the Detroit Institute of Arts. Educational programming is provided by the GM Foundation.


Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. For membership information call 313-833-7971.



The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.


Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Contact:       Pamela Marcil           313-833-7899