Stroganov, S. G.

A scion of one of Russia’s most distinguished families, Sergei Grigorevich began his career in service to the state fighting against Napoleon and rode into Paris in victory. An adjutant to Tsars Alexander I and Nicholas I, he then distinguished himself in the Russo-Turkish Wars of 1828. His interest in archeology began as chairman of the Moscow Society of History and Antiquities in 1836, which directed his focus toward the Greek and Scythian finds in Crimea and New Russia. When Alexander II decided to found an Archeological Commission, he named Stroganov to head it, so the latter moved from Moscow to the imperial capital, where he also took up the education of the heirs to the throne. The Uvarovs often found themselves at loggerheads with Stroganov, and Alexei made Moscow his home base after the former moved to Petersburg. Much of their differences can be epitomized by their archeological museums: Stroganov at the Hermitage, which displayed aesthetic elegance, and Uvarov at his Historical Museum, which featured artefacts for their cultural significance.