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The State Russian Museum (formerly the Russian Museum of His Imperial Majesty Alexander III, while prior to that, as the Palace of the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna) is the largest depository of the Russian fine art in St Petersburg.

The museum was established on April 13, 1895, upon enthronement of Nicholas II to commemorate his father, Alexander III. Its original collection was composed of artworks taken from the Hermitage Museum, Alexander Palace, and the Imperial Academy of Arts. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, many private collections were nationalized and relocated to the Russian Museum. These included Kazimir Malevich's Black Square.

The main building of the museum is the Mikhailovsky Palace, a splendid Neoclassical residence of Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich, erected in 1819-25 to a design by Carlo Rossi on Square of Arts in St Petersburg. Upon the death of the Grand Duke the residence was named after his wife as the Palace of the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, and became famous for its many theatrical presentations and balls.

Some of the halls of the palace retain the Italianate opulent interiors of the former imperial residence. Other buildings assigned to the Russian museum include the Summer House of Peter I (1710-14), the Marble Palace of Count Orlov (1768-85), St Michael's Castle of Emperor Paul (1797-1801), and the Rastrelliesque Stroganov Palace on the Nevsky Prospekt (1752-54).

Contents

Ethnographic Department

The Ethnographic Department was originally set up in a building specially designed by Vladimir Svinyin in 1902[1]. It occupied the place which previously was eastern service wing, the stables and the laundry of Mikhailovsky Palace. The museum soon housed gifts received by Emperor's family from representatives of peoples inhabiting various regions of the Russian Empire. These were supplemented by regular expeditions to various parts of the Russian Empire which began in 1901. Further exhibits were purchased by Nicholas II and other members of his family as State financing was not enough to purchase new exhibits. A collection of Buddhist religious objects was purchased for the museum by Prince Esper Ukhtomsky. In 1934, the Ethnographic Department was given the status of an independent museum: the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

See also

References

  1. ^ Russian Museum accessed 8 July 2008

External links

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