On September 18th, Dr. Nancy Kovaleff-Baker presented “Elite Education in Pre-Revolutionary Russia: The Imperial Educational Society of Noble Maidens” as a part of the Russian History Museum’s Second Saturday lecture series.

In this presentation, Dr. Baker outlined different eras of and experiences within The Imperial Educational Society of Noble Maidens. Using visual accompaniments from a rare family photo album belonging to Baker’s grandmother or great aunt, the presentation guided viewers through the famed institute’s history and halls. In addition to its examination of the school’s pedagogical practices and cultural impact, Baker’s lecture describes her family’s paths from the Smolny to New York City.

This presentation concluded with the importance of learning our forebears’ stories and our heritage from the past, inviting participants to move forward on their own journeys of discovering family history.

To purchase a copy of A Smolny Album, visit here.

About the Speaker

Nancy Kovaleff Baker attended The Spence School, Smith College, and Yale University, where she earned an M.A, M.Phil., and a Ph.D. in music history. She taught music history at Yale and Columbia Universities, and worked as an administrator at Yale, Princeton, Brown, and Boston Universities. She has published translations with commentary of an eighteenth-century German theoretical music treatise, co-edited a Festschrift, and written a number of articles, including one on Abel Meeropol, composer of the song “Strange Fruit,” an eloquent condemnation of lynching. Her most recent publication is A Smolny Album: Glimpses into Life at the Imperial Educational Society of Noble Maidens, which is Dr. Baker’s tribute to the Russian side of her family.