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David Fairbanks Ford

David Fairbanks Ford is the founder and director of the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Vermont. This museum is a type of "Cabinet of Wonder" in the manner of the great 18th century collections. The Likhachev Foundation would bring Mr. Ford to St. Petersburg to both examine collecting methods and practices at the city’s museums and to gather artifacts for the Main Street Museum’s own collection, which has included objects from Russia since its inception in 1992.

"I recently experienced firsthand the remarkable generosity of Russians through the generosity of the Likhachev Foundation.  I visited most of the most important museums in the city and, through the Likhachev Foundation's contacts, met the directors of these museums. The Kunstkamera in Saint Petersburg, as an example of one the earliest museums in its modern form, represents a quest that I have always dreamed of. It is with great pleasure that I now announce that the Main Street Museum—in addition to a summer, 2011 exhibition of Russian artifacts, essays and art—will celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Peter the Great Museum simultaneously with world-wide recognition of this auspicious event.
The Foundation provided transportation and accommodation for us, but in reality they provided much more. Translations of our presentations, for our tours of cultural centers of Saint Petersburg, and introductions to leading professionals in our separate area of expertise, were gifts that I don't think that any of us will ever forget. But perhaps the greatest gifts given us were the breakfasts at the hotel and the nightly camaraderie with my fellow Fellows. It was most fertile ground indeed. One of the great things about the Likhachev Foundation is the diversity of its fellows and the freedom with which we are treated. If the touchstone of the life of Dmitry Sergeyevich Likhachev is Humanism—Humanism is expressed in its fullest sense in being given the freedom to follow whatever leads, whatever interests, we are presented with—then this my trip fully lived out the mission of its founder. It was also a real surprise to me that upon arrival in Saint Petersburg—my first physical visit—I recognized my surroundings from the landscape of my dreams that I have had since childhood. "