All-Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art

The Museum occupies the complex of the buildings that present themselves the architectural monument dated as late XVIII — early XX centuries. It is called as “Osterman’s country estate” for the name of the former owner of this estate. The mansion belonged to the Streshnevs family of Russian nobles from the second quarter of the XVII century, and then it was inherited by count Ivan Andreevich Osterman in 1783. In 1796 the title of count Osterman moved to Alexander Ivanovich Tolstoy, who was a hero of the War of 1812. At the end of XVIII century, the main mansion, rebuilt by the design of an unknown architect, got its exterior, which is close to modern.
In 1834, the complex of the buildings was transferred to the Moscow Theological Seminary, then the building was nationalized and later placed under the jurisdiction of the Central Executive Committee in 1918.

The exposition of the Museum complies both Permanent and Temporary exhibitions. The Permanent Exhibition of the Museum now includes:

1. The Exhibition of Decorative and Applied Art of the late XVIII – early XX centuries. Here you can see the works of Russian masters that were created in various historical periods and go back from Peter the Great’s reforms to the early ХХ century.
The art of the late XVII up to XVIII centuries presents the works of Russian glassmakers, ceramists, enamellers and carvers. Among them you will see gorgeous engraved crystal gift cups saved from the epoch of Elizabeth Petrovna and Catherine II.

The collection of works by the Imperial porcelain factory and the early works of F. Gardner’s factory is remarkable one. The masterpieces of the Museum collection are unique creations of Kholmogory bone carvers.

In the hall that demonstrates the Art dated by the mid to late XIX century (called “In the Rooms”) you will see the corners of a lady’s boudoir and a man’s study. Here still reaigns the atmosphere of private life 1830-1860-s, which would remain unchanged over the next decades, despite that modernism was gaining momentum at that particular time.

The Neoclassicism hall represents a typical living room and sets of costumes and accessories from the second half of the XIX century. There are porcelain and glass on display, created at the Imperial porcelain factory (from the 1890s, the Imperial glass factory became the shop of porcelain factories), as well as metal items of modern and neoclassic times.

2. “The Traditional Folk Art” hall presents the unique collection of items carved by the masters in the Volga region: carved head-boards, fascia boards, window frames. You can see decorations from the peasant houses of different areas of the Russian North and Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Kostroma, as well as the Ural and the Altay territory, country furniture and utensils. The form and decoration of these objects reflect the ritual nature of the peasant way of life. The collection of women’s holiday dress, women’s and girls ‘ hats of XVII-XIX centuries, samples of the monastic gold embroidery, a vintage lace from linen and silk threads and also embroidery from different traditional centers are of particular interest in the Museum.

The world of childhood is revealed in the hall of wooden and clay toys. Traditional centers of folk toys are well-represented at the Museum of peasant art and are from areas like Sergiev-Posad, Dymkovo, Kargopol, Abashevo, Filimono, Khludnevo, Zbannikovo.

3. The Gallery of Russian porcelain. The collection of porcelain and Dutch ware of 1920-1930-ies is versatile and diverse one. Along with well-known classical works of artists of the State porcelain factory, you will also find rare pieces as well.

4. Russian lacquer painting makes up a real treasure of world culture inheriting and developing the best achievements of the East and West. It enriches the world culture by the national identity, depth of images and the perfection of techniques. Taking all the best and interesting from international experience, Russian masters never resorted to the copy, and always brought something new.

The Russian lacquer, unlike other art forms, has never experienced a “ideological” period. Life stories, poeticized by artists and transferred in the form of high art, reflected the rhythm of time and the timeless beauty of the universe whatever tragic the history of world had been.

It is the aesthetics of national life that became a distinctive feature of Russian lacquer. The history of the country, literary works by Russian and foreign writers as well as poetry, Russian fairy tales mixed up with the concentrated wisdom of the nation and the complex world of human aspirations – all this was reflected in Russian lacquer painting.

Museum and its educational center arrange the survey and thematic excursions, permanent and seasonal educational programs for children and adults, whose primary purpose is to introduce people to the Museum with the rich world of national decorative-applied art of the XVII — XXI centuries. An important part of each thematic program is the creative work in the Studio center, where guests can create their own decorations for them to take along.

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