Pushkin Museum

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is the largest museum of European art in Moscow, located in Volkhonka street, just opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
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The International musical festival Svyatoslav Richter's December nights has been held in the Pushkin museum since 1981.

Building

The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts' building was designed by Roman Klein and Vladimir Shukhov and financed primarily by Yury Nechaev-Maltsov.

Construction work began in 1898 and continued till 1912. Ivan Rerberg headed structural engineering effort on the museum site for 12 years, till 1909.

In 2008, President Dmitri A. Medvedev announced plans for a $177 million restoration. A Rbn22 billion ($670 million) expansion, developed by Norman Foster in collaboration with local architectural firm Mosproject-5, was confirmed in 2009, but became mired in disputes with officials and preservationists and concern grew that it would not be completed on schedule for 2018.

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
pinterest button Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Ghirlandajo, GNU 1.2

After Moscow’s chief architect Sergei Kuznetsov issued an ultimatum, demanding that Foster take a more active role in the project and prove his commitment by coming to the Russian capital within a month, Norman Foster’s firm resigned from the project in 2013.

In 2014, Russian architect Yuri Grigoryan, and his firm Project Meganom, were chosen to take over the project.

Grigoryan’s design provides new modern buildings and, following the protest of heritage groups who campaigned to save the pre-revolutionary architecture, preserves the historic 1930s gas station near the Pushkin’s main building inside a glass structure.

Collection

Fine Art Collection

Tsvetaev's dream was realised in May 1912, when the museum opened its doors to the public. The museum was originally named after Alexander III, although the government provided only 200,000 rubles toward its construction, in comparison with over 2 million from Nechaev-Maltsev.

pinterest button «Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther» by Rembrandt Rembrandt (1606–1669), Public Domain

Its first exhibits were copies of ancient statuary, thought indispensable for the education of art students. The only genuinely ancient items — Moscow Mathematical Papyrus and Story of Wenamun — had been contributed by Vladimir Golenishchev three years earlier.

André Derain, 1905, Le séchage des voiles (The Drying Sails), oil on canvas, 82 x 101 cm. Exhibited at the 1905 Salon d'Automne
pinterest button André Derain, 1905, Le séchage des voiles (The Drying Sails), oil on canvas, 82 x 101 cm. Exhibited at the 1905 Salon d'Automne André Derain, Public Domain

After the Russian capital was moved to Moscow in 1918, the Soviet government decided to transfer thousands of works from St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum to the new capital. The entire collection of Western art from the Museum Roumjantsev was added too.

pinterest button «Blue dancers» by Edgar Degas Edgar Degas (1834–1917), Public Domain

These paintings formed a nucleus of the Pushkin museum's collections of Western art. But the most important paintings were added later from the State Museum of New Western Art.

The Red Vineyard by Vincent van Gogh
pinterest button The Red Vineyard by Vincent van Gogh Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Public Domain

These comprised Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artwork, including top works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Dufrénoy, Derain and Matisse. Among them, Van Gogh's «La Vigne Rouge», apparently the only painting sold during the artist's lifetime. In 1937, Pushkin's name was appended to the museum, because the Soviet Union marked the centenary of the poet's death that year.

Archaeological Collection

After the World War II the evacuated Dresden Gallery had been stored in Moscow for 10 years. The Dresden collection was finally returned to East Germany, despite strong opposition from the museum officials, notably Irina Antonova, who has been running the museum since February 1961.

The Pushkin Museum is still a main depositary of Troy's the so-called Priam's Treasure gold hoard removed from Troy by the German archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann and later taken by the Soviet Army (Red Army) from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin; as well as other artifacts taken from Germany during the Soviet occupation at the end of the Second World War.

Eberswalde Hoard
pinterest button Eberswalde Hoard Andreas Praefcke, Public Domain

Numismatic Collection

The Pushkin Museum has a numismatic collection which is unpublished. It includes archaeological material from Central Asia, such as a hoard of Kushano-Sasanian coins acquired in 2002

Useful Information

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Russian: Музей изобразительных искусств им. А.С. Пушкина
Etymology

The museum's current name is somewhat misleading, in that it has no direct associations with the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, other than as a posthumous commemoration of his name and fame.

The facility was founded by professor Ivan Tsvetaev (father of the poet Marina Tsvetaeva). Tsvetaev persuaded the millionaire and philanthropist Yuriy Nechaev-Maltsov and the fashionable architect Roman Klein of the urgent need to give Moscow a fine arts museum.

After going through a number of name-changes, particularly in the transition to the Soviet-era and the return of the Russian capital to Moscow, the museum was finally renamed to honour the memory of Pushkin in 1937, the 100th anniversary of his death.

Admission

Main building: adults - ₽300, children 7-18 years, students, seniors - ₽150
19th and 20th century European and American art: adults - ₽300, children 7-18 years, students, seniors - ₽150
Private Collections: adults - ₽200, children 7-18 years, students, seniors - ₽100
Ivan Tsvetayev Educational Centre: adults - ₽30, Excursion for the group - ₽250 (does not include tickets)
Sviatoslav Richter Memorial Apartment: adults - ₽100, children 7-18 years, students, seniors - ₽60

Opening hours

  • Main building - open daily: 11:00–20:00, losed: Mondays
  • 19th and 20th century European and American art - open daily: 11:00–20:00, Thursdays: 11:00– 21:00, closed: Mondays
  • Private Collections - open daily: 12:00–20:00, Thursdays: 12:00– 20:00, closed: Mondays, Thursdays
  • Museion Educational Centre - open daily: 11:00–18:00, closed: Mondays
  • Ivan Tsvetayev Educational Centre - open daily: 10:00–17:00, (latest admission 4 pm), closed: Mondays, Thursdays
  • Sviatoslav Richter Memorial Apartment - open daily: 14:00–20:00, Sundays: 12:00– 18:00closed: Mondays, Thursdays

Contacts

Main Building: 12 Volkhonka street, Moscow (Москва, ул. Волхонка, 12)
10th and 20th century European and American art: 14 Volkhonka street, Moscow (Москва, ул. Волхонка, 14)
Private Collections: 10 Volkhonka street, Moscow (Москва, ул. Волхонка, 10)
Museion Educational Centre: 6/2, 3 Kolymazhny lane (Колыма́жный переулок)
Ivan Tsvetayev Educational Centre: 15 Chayanova Street (улица Чая́нова)
Sviatoslav Richter Memorial Apartment: 2/6 Bolshaya Bronnaya Street (улица Больша́я Бро́нная)

☎ Main Building: +7 (495) 697-95-78 (Russian only) 10th and 20th century European and American art: +7 (495) 697-15-46 (Russian only) Private Collections: +7 (495) 697-16-10 Museion Educational Centre: +7 (495) 697-74-96 Ivan Tsvetayev Educational Centre: +7 (499) 973-43-13 Sviatoslav Richter Memorial Apartment: +7 (495) 695-83-46, 697-47-05, 697-72-05
www.arts-museum.ru