The opening of the museum of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Orthodox Church in America) started with an exhibit, "Outlook on Life: Several Generations of the Russian Noble Family Golitsyn," which took place on July 15, 2018.

This exhibit became inaugural in the newly opened museum at the cathedral. Rector of the Cathedral Father Nazari Polataiko allocated one of the halls for the museum, where the display is held. The hall is quite spacious and gathered about 50 people for the opening of a unique exhibit.

Among the sponsors of the exhibit there were the Parish Council and public organizations, such as the Russian Children's Aid Society, Western American Department of the Russian Imperial Union and Russian Noble Assembly, as well as the Department of the Congress of Russian Americans.

The Golitsyn noble family is directly connected with the life of this parish, moreover this year there are two anniversaries: the 70th anniversary of the death of Princess Lyubov Vladimirovna Golitsyna and the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Russian Children Aid Society. It should be noted right away that the society was recently renamed and re-registered and is now called Russian Children's Aid Society in memory of Princess Golitsyna.

The Golitsyn noble family, descending from the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Gedimin, grew into more than 15 branches by the beginning of the 20th century. For many centuries representatives of this noble name distinguished themselves in many spheres of the public, political, military and charitable life of the Russian Empire. They made the history of Russia by faithfully and loyally serving the tsars and emperors.

The history of the Golitsyn noble family, which is told at the exhibition, began with Prince Vladimir Mikhailovich Golitsyn (1847-1932) who in 1887 became the governor of Moscow. The first telephone exchange appeared, the water supply system was improved, and the Moscow subway system was developed under his direction.

His son, Prince Alexander Golitsyn (1876-1951), entered the medical faculty and became a doctor, worked in city hospitals and opened a clinic in Petrovskoe Estate, which belonged to his family. Alexander married Lyubov Vladimirovna Glebova (1882-1948), from the old Russian family Glebovy Streshnevy.

Having survived the revolution, the civil war, and the horror of terror, the family of Alexander and Lyubov Golitsyn, with the children Olga, Marina, Natalia, Georgi and Alexander, were pushed out of Russia, first to China, and then in the 1920s with the help of the Red Cross, to the USA. The family settled in Los Angeles, where Lyubov Vladimirovna and Alexander Vladimirovich became founders of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Prince Alexander Vladimirovich, upon his arrival in Los Angeles, opened a medical office where many Russian emmigrants were treated, among them the famous composer Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninov.

Their son Alexander (1908-2005), having graduated from University of Washington, arrived in Los Angeles, where a friend of the Golitsyn family and the first warden of Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral, famous cinema artist Alexander Tolubeyev helped him with work at Universal Studios. From this moment and for several decades, Prince Alexander A. Golitsyn is a significant figure in the Hollywood beau monde, for his work he was awarded an "Oscar" three times, twice he was elected to serve on the board of directors of the American Film Academy. In 1965, he was appointed to design a stage for the 38th Oscar awards ceremony, his name was included in the Cinema Artists’ Guild, he took part in more than 340 movies. His sister Natalia also became a star of the movie screen, starring in movies with such stars as Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin.

The exhibit allows the audience to draw parallels; while the movie star Alexander Golitsyn ascended the Hollywood sky, in the Soviet Union the movie star Pyotr Petrovich Glebov, his cousin, one of the most famous actors of our time, also ascended. A paradox, but fate lifted two cousins ​​in different parts of the world to the cinematic Olympus almost simultaneously.

The organizers invited the grandson of Alexander and Lyubov Golitsyna, His Eminence Archbishop Alexander (Golitsyn), primate of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America.  His Grace kindly accepted the invitation and attended the opening of the exhibit.

Visitors to the exhibit had an opportunity to listen to Vladyka before the opening. Vladyka noted that he was grateful for the invitation, and he asked all to remember his grandmother Lubov Golitsyna as a Christian, as a founder of this parish. Thanks to her, his family strengthened in the Orthodox faith living in a foreign country. Vladyka said that in many respects the efforts of women, in particular, women in our parishes, are not noticed, and he reminded everyone of the importance of what women do, giving the example of his grandmother.

The rector of the parish, Father Nazari Polataiko, brought to mind the importance of remembering our history. There is no future without history, that’s why what is happening today is important, and the history of remarkable people whom we must remember returns to us. Father Nazari expressed hope that the museum would become a cultural center and would be a unique place where the history and the work of immigrants from the Russian Empire would be collected and presented; immigrants who have made a great contribution to the formation of the cultural, scientific, political and educational life of Los Angeles.

In his speech, a member of the Congress of Russian Americans and a representative of the Russian Imperial Union of the Order Ivan Podvalov, spoke about the process of preparing the exhibit, about the use of materials from private archives, such as the archives of Alexandra's granddaughter Lyubov Golitsyna, Marina Vasilievna, the daughter of the Prince of Imperial Blood Vasily Alexandrovich and Natalia Golitsyna. These photos are displayed publicly for the first time. Also, in his speech, Mr. Podvalov, a member of a Russian Children's Aid Fund in memory of Princess Lyubov Golitsyna, reported that throughout the years the Golitsyn family supported the foundation.  After the death of Lyubov Vladimirovna, her business was kept by her daughter Marina Daksergof, then by granddaughter Marina Bidelstin (Romanova), who is regularly interested in what is happening in the foundation. Ivan Podvalov said that the exhibition is a gift to the church, in memory of those women parishioners who for many years were members of society and helped needy children around the world.

After the opening of the exhibit, guests (university professors among them) had the opportunity to communicate with Vladyka Alexander (Golitsyn), and Fr. Nazari received a greeting on behalf of the President of the Congress of Russian Americans, Mrs. Natalia Sabelnik, in which she noted the significance of the museum's opening as an important link in the chain preserving history between generations.

The exhibit will be open to the public for several months at: 650 Micheltorena St, Los Angeles, CA 90026, tel.: (323) 661-7000

In the picture:

Special guests: His Eminence Archbishop Alexander (Golitsyn) with his sister Catherine.

Vladyka Alexander (Golitsyn) with his sister Catherine (left) and ladies trustees of Russian Children's Aid Foundation.

One of the exhibits of the museum.

Fr. Nazari Polataiko welcomes visitors to the museum.