On Saturday, October 1st, Marilyn Swezey presented “The Tsar and the President: Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln” as a part of the Russian History Museum’s Second Saturday online lecture series.

Tsar Alexander II of Russia and President Abraham Lincoln both profoundly influenced the destinies of their respective nations. What were relations like between the autocratic ruler of a centuries-old empire and the elected president of a young democracy?

Marilyn Swezey examined the relationship of these two national leaders, their cordial correspondence, their parallel endeavors (the emancipation of serfs in Russia and the end of slavery in the U.S.) and their common tragic fate. Swezey spoke about the visit of Russian imperial naval squadrons to New York and San Francisco during the Civil War as a demonstration of Russia’s support of the Union.

About the Speaker

Marilyn Swezey is an independent research scholar, writer and curator specializing in Russian cultural history and decorative arts. She was curator of The Tsar and the President: Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln, an exhibition in the US and Russia in 2008-2009 for the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation based in Washington, DC. She has also curated additional exhibitions on the art of Faberge and the life of Nicholas II and his family. Swezey is the editor and contributing author of Faberge Flowers, The Romanov Family Album, and Masterpieces of the House of Faberge, and co-author of The Romanovs Under House Arrest: From the Diary of a Palace Priest. A graduate of Manhattanville College, she received her MA in Russian Studies from Harvard University.