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Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

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Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

For last accommodation of Alexander Pushkin, see All Russian Pushkin Museum.

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Russian: Музей изобразительных искусств им. А.С. Пушкина) is the largest museum of European art in Moscow, located in Volkhonka street, just opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The International musical festival Svyatoslav Richter's December nights has been held in the Pushkin museum since 1981.

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.

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.[1] A Rbn22bn ($670m) 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. 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.[2]

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. 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.

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. 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. These comprised Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artwork, including top works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Dufrénoy and Matisse. Among them, Van Gogh's "La Vigne Rouge", apparently the only painting sold during the artist's lifetime.[3] 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[4][5] and later taken by the Soviet Army (Red Army) from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin;[6] as well as other artifacts taken from Germany during the Soviet occupation at the end of the Second World War.

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 [7]

Gallery

References

Further reading

External links

  • The Morozov/Shchukin's collections, morozov-shchukin.com
  • Pushkin Museum homepage
  • Pushkin Museum History, SmashPixels.com
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow)
  • The Opening of the Museum, English.tsvetayeva.com
  • Photo (1024x768), otdihinfo.ru

Coordinates: 55°44′50″N 37°36′18″E / 55.74722°N 37.60500°E / 55.74722; 37.60500

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