Возврат на главную страницу Возврат на главную страницу Возврат на главную страницу Возврат на главную страницу Возврат на главную страницу
Entries / Museums (general article)

Museums (general article)

Categories / Science. Education/Museums

MUSEUMS. Russia's first public museums appeared in St. Petersburg. In 1702 Peter the Great issued first orders on collecting and exhibiting high-quality models and various rarities. The Model Camera of the Admiralty (1709) and Memorabilia Repository in Liteiny Foundry Yard (1711) and private collections of Peter the Great, Y. V. Bruce, F. M. Apraksin, and А. D. Menshikov became prototypes of present day museums. The year 1714 saw the foundation of the first state-run public Kunstkammer Museum which included Kunstkabinet (St. Petersburg 's first art museum) and Munzkabinet (the first numismatic museum). Some of Kunstkammer departments were later reorganised into separate museums. The Kunstkammer Museum also served a model for future research departments of various museums. By the mid-18th century there existed large personal art collections (those of P. P. Sheremetev, K. G. Razumovsky, М. I. Vorontsov et al.), and the Imperial painting and sculpture collections in Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof. It was at that time that state-run (Imperial) museums appeared, among them the Museum of Military Schools (1732); the Cannon Yard Memorabilia Hall (1756, today the Museum of History of Artillery, Engineer Troops and Signal Corps); and the Museum of the Academy of Arts (1757). In 1764 the foundation was laid for the future Hermitage collection. The Mining Academy Museum was established in 1773 in what is Mining Institute today. By the early 19th century museums were differentiated according to their status - private, state-run, governmental (museums at Universities and scientific societies, regimental museums, museums of military schools and others) and specialized museums – art and history (including military history) museums, museums of natural sciences, and ethnography museums. In the 19th century new museums emerged on the basis of collections belonging to various institutions. Other museums were separated from the existing ones. In 1805 the collection of Model Camera was reorganized as the Navy Museum (today known as the Central Navy Museum), Central Intendancy Museum was founded in 1811, the Museum of Railway Engineering Corps Institute (today Rail Transport Museum) — in 1813; a number of Kunstkammer departments was reorganised into the Museum of Mineralogy (1804, from 1899 — Museum of Geology, from 1912 — Peter the Great Museum of Geology and Mineralogy, from 1936 — Karpinsky Museum of Geology and Mineralogy, closed down in 1962). Other museums included the Museum of Asia (1818-1930); the Botanical Museum (1823), the Egyptian Museum (1825, later, its collection was transferred to the Hermitage), Museum of Zoology (1832) and others. In 1846, among others, the Museum of Russian Archaeology Society, and the Museum of Ancient Manuscript Society were founded. Several private collections served to found the Rumyantsev Museum in 1831 (in 1861 the museum was transferred to Moscow), private Stroganov Museums (operated from the late 18th century), P. P. Svinyin’s Russian Museum (1826-34) and others. The period from the mid-19th - early 20th centuries saw the formation of museums of arts and crafts, technical, specialised and agricultural museums, as well as museums of industrial enterprises and academic institutions: Academic and Technical Museum of the Institute of Technology (1836, today Museum of History of the Institute of Technology), Museum of Porcelain (1844; today Lomonosov Porcelain Factory Museum), Museum of Applied Arts (1872), Artisan Museum (1872) and Museum of Agricultural Achievements (1859; from the 1920s known as the All-Union Museum of Agriculture, moved to Moscow in the1930s); the Telegraph Museum (1876, today the Communications Museum), the Museum of Military Medical Academy (1880s - 1918), the Arts and Crafts Museum of Baron Stieglitz Technical Drawing School (1895; today Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts), Agrology Museum (1904), Museum of Jewish History and Ethnography (1916, closed down in the 1930s) and others. The Imperial Cabinet of Peter the Great, housed in the Kunstkammer building became the first memorial museum (1729). The late 19th - early 20th centuries saw the establishment of a number of memorial museums including Lermontov Memorial Museum in Nikolaevsky Cavalry School (1883), Pushkin Memorial Museum at Alexander's Lyceum (1889), Suvorov Memorial Museum (1904), Glinka Memorial Museum (1903), Tolstoy Memorial Museum (1911) and others. In 1905 the Pushkin House Literary Museum was opened (it has been known as the Museum of the Institute of Russian Literature from 1930). The year 1908 gave rise to Museums of Imperial Theatres (today known as the Museum of Theatre Arts and Music). The Church Archeological Museum of St. Petersburg Theological Academy was founded In 1878 (closed in 1918, restored in 1997). Alexander III Imperial Мuseum of Russian Art was opened, known after 1917 as the Russian Museum. Back at the time other specialized museums appeared, including the Museum of St. Petersburg Police, and the Museum of the Lifeguard Society. The second half of the 19th century saw the emergence of museums of musical instruments organised by the Conservatory and the Court Choir and Orchestra. By 1917 there were over 50 museums in St. Petersburg. After the October Revolution of 1917 all museums including private collections were nationalised. In 1918 the People's Comissariat of Education set up a Museum department. Most museums in the 1920-30s were closed down, and their collections were transferred to other museums or dispersed. In 1929-33, a part of the Hermitage collection as well as parts of collections of some other museums were sold abroad through the state-run Antiquity Agency. At that time there appeared numerous museums of revolution history, memorial museums of Lenin and other political and revolutionary figures, memorial apartment museums, museum monuments, museum reserves, and theatre museums. The Museum of the Revolution was founded in 1919 (it has been known as the Museum of the Political History of Russia from 1991). The Red Army Museum was founded in 1920, and shortly afterwards transferred to Moscow; after1925 there appeared quite a number of Lenin museums (by 1990 there were 11 of them, after 1991 some of them were either renamed or repurposed; see: Museum of Revolutionary and Democratic Movement of the 1880-90s, St. Petersburg Museum of History of the Press, Elizarov Apartment Museum and others; the Leningrad branch of the Central Lenin Museum in the Marble Palace was dissolved; the State St. Petersburg History Memorial Lenin Museum was founded in 1991). Kirov Museum was established in 1938. In 1918 the City Museum emerged on the basis of the Museum of Old Petersburg and the City Hall Museum (today known as the Museum of St. Petersburg History). In 1932 the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism was founded (today known as the Museum of History of Religion). The Museum Necropolis in Alexander Nevsky Lavra (today the Museum of City Sculpture) appeared in 1936. In 1918 the Cabin of Peter the Great, Summer Palace (see Summer palaces), St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress and a number of other objects acquired the status of museums. Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, Oranienbaum, Peterhof, and Gatchina were named museum reserves. In 1925 the Schliesselburg Fortress was also turned into a museum. The 1920-30s saw the emergence of specialised museums, such as the Museum of Commerce (1922, dissolved in the early 1930s), the Aeronautics Museum (1925, shut down in the 1930s), the Museum of the Arctic and the Antarctic (1930) and others, and Pushkin and Pavlov memorial apartment museums were also opened. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45 a considerable part of museum collections was evacuated. In 1942 there appeared the Museum of Leningrad Defence (closed in 1949, reopened in 1989 as Museum of Leningrad Defence and the Siege). Many memorial museums such as Piskarevsky Memorial Cemetery, 1960; Road of Life Museum, 1972; Monument to Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, 1975, appeared after the war. It was through the public effort that there appeared school museums such as Muses Were Never Silent Museum (1968), Museum of Baltic Submariners (1975), Museum of Solovki Islands Shipboys (1989) and other museums, as well as plant museums such as the Arsenal Plant Museum (1967), Museum of Izhora Plant History (1967), and public museums of various specialization, for instance, the Museum of History of Tram Depot No 2 (1967), and the Pehl Drugstore Museum (1983). The Museum of the Revolutionary History of Nevskaya Zastava, founded in 1967, was in 1992 reorganised into Nevskaya Zastava Regional History Museum. Dzerzhinsky Memorial Study, opened in 1974, was reorganized in 1993 into the Museum of the History of Political Police. Other notable St. Petersburg museums include the Aurora Cruiser Museum (1956), the Krasin Icebreaker Museum (1993), and the Standart Frigate Museum (1997). Since recently there appeared new military history museums, such as Nakhimov Academy Museum (founded in the 1950s, revived in 1995), the Museum of History of Leningrad Military District Troops (1964), State Marine Academy Museum (founded in the 1960s, reorganised in 1999), and Marinesko Museum of Russian Submarine Fleet (1997). Numerous apartment museums were opened after the war, including apartment museums of N. А. Nekrasov (1946), I. I. Brodsky (1949), А. S. Popov (1948), N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov (1971), F. I. Shalyapin (1975), А. А. Blok (1980), А. А. Akhmatova (1989), the Benois Family(1989), М. М. Zoshchenko (1992), V. V. Nabokov (1993), and G. R. Derzhavin (2003). The city also boasts cultural history museums such as the Museum of Bread (1988) and Russia's first Wax Museum (1990). By the year 1990 Leningrad had over 120 state-run museums and over 300 public museums (including over 100 school museums). Most of the museums ceased their activities in the early 1990s (e.g. Museum of the History of Sport in St. Petersburg, 1982-96; as well as some school museums and industrial museums). Since the mid-1990s there have appeared private and public museums of various specializations, including the Museum of Beer (1995), Freud Museum of Dreams (1999), the Puppet Museum (1999), and the Museum of Russian Vodka (2001). The first museum and concert centre was opened in 1994 in Sheremetev Palace. In the 1980-90s the Hermitage and the Russian Museum took over as managing companies of a number of St. Petersburg memorial palaces. By 2003 St. Petersburg counted over 130 state-run and private museums, around 120 school museums and over 70 industrial museums. Many museums do research, issue publications, monographs, and guidebooks, some of the museums run journals, such as Panorama Ermitazha (2003) and others. Museums also organise travelling exhibitions, old and contemporary music concerts, patronise children's art schools, computer centres, etc.

References: Тихонов Л. П. Музеи Ленинграда. Л., 1989; Музеи Санкт-Петербурга и Ленинградской области: Справ. СПб., 2002.

Y. N. Kruzhnov.

Akhmatova Anna Andreevna
Alexander III, Emperor
Apraksin Fedor Matveevich
Blok G.P.
Brodsky Isaak Izrailevich
Bruce Yakov Villimovich (James Daniel)
Chaliapin Fedor Ivanovich
Derzhavin Gavriil Romanovich
Dzerzhinsky Ivan Ivanovich
Freud Sigmund
Glinka Mikhail Ivanovich
Karpinsky Alexander Petrovich
Kirov (real name Kostrikov) Sergey Mironovich
Lenin (real name Ulyanov) Vladimir Ilyich
Lermontov Mikhail Yurievich
Marinesko Alexander Ivanovich
Menshikov Alexander Danilovich, Gracious Prince
Nabokov Vladimir Vladimirovich
Nekrasov Nikolay Alexeevich
Pavlov Ivan Petrovich
Peter I, Emperor
Popov A.A.
Pushkin Alexander Sergeevich
Razumovsky Kirill Grigorievich, Count
Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolay Andreevich
Sheremetev Peter Petrovich, Count
Stieglitz Alexander Ludwigovich, Baron
Suvorov Alexander Arkadievich, Count
Svinyin Pavel Petrovich
the Benois
the Stroganovs
Tolstoy Lev Nikolaevich, Count
Vorontsov Mikhail Illarionovich, Count
Zoschenko Mikhail Mikhailovich

Тихонов Л. П. Музеи Ленинграда. Л., 1989
Музеи Санкт-Петербурга и Ленинградской области: Справ. СПб., 2002

The subject Index
Foundry Yard
Military Historical Museum of the Artillery, Engineering and Signal Corps
Museum of the Academy of Arts
Botanical Museum
Museum of Zoology
Lomonosov Porcelain Factory
Communication Museum
Crafts Academy
Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts