State Historical Museum marks its 145th anniversary

State Historical Museum marks its 145th anniversary
The State Historical Museum will mark its 145th anniversary on Thursday, 9 February, offering discounted ticket prices, new exhibitions and interesting publications.

On 6–12 February, the State Historical Museum will sell tickets at a 50 percent discount, and will offer free admission to its exhibitions, guided tours, workshops and other events on 9 February.

New exhibitions are being added to permanent ones. On 8 February, visitors can see the exhibition “A Portrait of the Museum against the Backdrop of History: Photos from 1876–2015.” These unique images will show the Museum since its inception until the modern day.

In March, the Museum will open an exhibition called “Handsome Man,” depicting Russian trend-setters from the second half of the 18th century through the early 20th century. Suits and accessories from the Museum’s collection will make it possible to see clothing as an element of historical and cultural processes, and as a reflection of a person’s social status.

In May, the Museum will launch its project marking the 140th anniversary of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, which many Balkan countries call a war of liberation. Visitors can see weapons, uniforms, awards and other items from the Museum’s collection and from foreign museums, including Bulgarian memorials in Shipka and Pleven.

The exhibition “Dream Energy” is scheduled for autumn. Historians offer an analysis of the events of 1917 and how the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution changed the lifestyle of millions of people. Documents and artifacts from the period from 1917–1930 will highlight drastic changes in the economy, science and culture.

Developing new spaces

The Museum’s depository has about five million artifacts and over 14 million pages of archive documents accounting for nearly seven percent of Russian museum collections. Its exhibits cover a total area of 12,500 square metres, with almost 400 items per square metre. And almost 95 percent of its collection is stored inside the main building on Red Square.

There are plans to build a modern seven-story depository/exhibition centre with an area of 120,000 square metres in the town of Kommunarka in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas by 2022 when the Museum will mark its 150th anniversary. The Museum’s managers will be able to relocate most of its collection there, organise exhibitions at the new centre and open new halls inside the main building on Red Square. Visitors will be able to see items from the lavish coin and jewelry collection, which rivals that of the Hermitage.

The exhibition centre and the nearby new building of the Russian State Library will have the same architectural style and will form a joint cultural-education facility under the polycentric development concept, the mainstay of the city’s urban development policy.

Another museum centre is scheduled to be built by 2023 near Novodevichy Convent, which was a State Historical Museum subsidiary in Soviet times. It will house an exhibition describing the history of Christianity in Russia and the establishment of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Museum is also focusing on some other less ambitious but highly important projects. Experts will restore a monument to Minin and Pozharsky, unveiled on Red Square in 1818, already next year, in the run-up to its 200th anniversary. The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, more commonly referred to as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is also set to be restored next year. Its extension will be opened to visitors, and the adjacent territory will be renovated.

From 2018–2022, the Museum will implement the project, “National Museums of the World Come to the Historical Museum,” which will involve major Russian exhibition centres, such as the Russian Museum and the Hermitage, as well as museums in the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark.