The State Russian Museum – From Starving Orphans to the Avant Garde

by Elena on January 20, 2014

state russian museum st petersburg second biennial photography archive

See some unusual images from Russia's vast and fascinating history.

The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg is a cornerstone of cultural and educational activity in the country, housing valuable art works, providing a center for restoration, and acting as a workplace for academic experts on a wide range of art history and cultural artefacts. The museum was the first state museum of fine arts in the country, established in 1895 in St. Petersburg by Tsar Nicholas II, and now incorporating the Stroganov Palace, the Mikhailovsky Palace and Castle, the Marble Palace and the Benois Wing to house all of its treasures.

A Photographic Insight Into Life In Russia

Current exhibits offer visitors a glimpse into the history of Russia through the Second Biennial of Historic and Archive Photography at the Marble Palace. Photographs of aristocratic balls and military parades jostle with those of village life to present a rounded view of life in Russia. Starving orphans, fieldworkers, horses and trains are brought together through silver prints, daguerrotypes, bromoil prints and early color photography in a stunning exhibition that is sure to prove fascinating for adults and kids alike.

The exhibit opened mid-December and has already gained favorable reviews so if you’re heading to St. Petersburg on a city tour this month or next ask Ulko Tours to arrange tickets for the State Russian Museum and get a real sense of life in Russia over the past couple of centuries.

Literary Puppets and Art Good Enough to Eat

Other exhibitions currently on at the museum include:

  • Dinner is Served – The Russian Museum Culinary Companion. Featuring classic and contemporary artists in various media (at the Benois wing until 17th March).
  • Kazimir Malevich – Before and After the Square. A suprematist exhibition by the avant garde artist who shocked St. Petersburg in the early 20th Century with his imaginate costumes and decorations for the 1913 theatrical extravaganza, Victory Over the Sun (at the Benois Wing until 3rd February).
  • Vladimir Yashke – Personal Paradise. A look at the career of the grandfather of the Mitki art group, a particular St. Petersburg art phenomenon encompassing free painting and close attention to colour and fracture (at the Marble Palace until 17th March).
  • Yury Kryakvin – Contemporary St. Petersburg artist who represents the Leningrad Non-Conformism school of art. Literary visitors will likely enjoy the puppets and masks created to reflect works by Nikolai Golol and Fyodor Dostoyevsky (at St. Michael’s Castle until 24th February).

Opening Hours, Costs and Accessibility

The State Russian Museum is open six days a week (closed on Mondays) from 10am to 6pm except on Thursdays (1pm to 9pm). Tickets cost from 150 to 600 Rubles depending on if you’re visiting the Marble Palace, Stroganov Palace, and St. Michael’s Castle in addition to the Mikhailovsky Palace and Benois Wing. The Ludwig Museum in the Marble Palace is closed until the latter half of 2014. The Marble Palace and Mikhailovksy Palace are accessible for wheelchair users and wheelchairs can also be leased at these sites free of charge.

Benois Wing: 2 Griboyedov Canal (Metro – Nevsky Prospekt)
Marble Palace: 5/1 Millionnaya Str. (Metro – Nevsky Prospekt)
Mikhailovsky Palace: 4 Inzhenernaya Str. (Metro – Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky Prospekt)
Mikhailovsky Castle: 2 Sadovaya Str. (Metro – Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky Prospekt)
Stroganov Palace: 17 Nevsky Prospekt (Metro – Nevsky Prospekt)

If you’re looking for a little cultural diversion while visiting St. Petersburg then contact Ulko Tours and ask about adding a trip to the State Russian Museum into your trip itinerary.

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