Imperiia: a spatial history of the Russian EmpireMain MenuAboutDashboardsData CatalogMapStoriesGamesWho said history was boring?Map ShelfTeach Our ContentCiting the ProjectKelly O'Neilldc20b45f1d74122ba0d654d19961d826c5a557f5The Imperiia Project // Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
Peacock Clock, State Hermitage Museum
12020-04-04T15:48:19-04:00Kelly O'Neilldc20b45f1d74122ba0d654d19961d826c5a557f592A mechanical clock made of gilded bronze and silver by James Cox (an English jeweller) in the 1770s. It was a gift to Catherine II from Grigory Potemkin.plain2020-04-09T18:15:21-04:00Kelly O'Neilldc20b45f1d74122ba0d654d19961d826c5a557f5
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12018-11-18T01:22:38-05:00Timelines36image_header2020-09-06T11:43:19-04:00The building blocks of history are events. In a way, events are like shells on a beach: tens of thousands wash up on the sand with every tide. The historian's task is to collect: to recognize a pattern or thread of order in the chaos of colors and shapes. Once we have collected enough, we determine a sequence. We arrange them so that others can see what we see. In so doing we build narratives. We uncover insights. We build the middle ground between remembering and discovering.
Despite our obsession with place, we are historians at heart. And we know, deep down, that time matters as much as space.
And so we build timelines. Ours are nowhere near as monumental as Sebastian Adams' Illustrated Panorama of History (above) or as ornate as James Cox's Peacock Clock (which Empress Catherine would have described as Empress Catherine II's Peacock Clock), but we very much appreciate the ambition of the former and the playful - even ironic - message of the latter.
The Peacock Clock celebrates the idea that even something as "simple" as linear time can take a surprisingly complex form.