The Museum of MoscowRussian: Muzey Moskvy or Музей Москвы boasts a huge collection of over 700 thousand items reflecting the centuries-long history of the city. Together, these tell the story of Moscow from ancient settlements to the modern-day metropolis. This collection is an ongoing compilation, beginning almost 120 years ago when the museum first opened. It was reopened in 2006 and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Exhibits reflect every aspect of city life, including numerous documents and maps, paintings and photographs, archaeological findings, household items and clothes, coins, books, and much more. The museum’s lecture hall is heavily involved in various activities, along with a children’s centre and a tour desk. The spacious inner courtyard is very popular with Moscow’s youth and hosts regular themed fairs, food markets and festivals.
One of the exhibition’s highlights is a series of paintings by A. Vasnetsov, a renowned artist and an expert in the study of the city of Moscow. These paintings provide a retrospective view of the city’s history, going back to ancient times. Moscow – a Settlement and its Suburbs in the Second Half of the 12th CenturyRussian: Moskva-gorodok i ego okrestnosti or Москва-городок и его окрестности, The Founding of Moscow by Yuri DolgorukiyRussian: Osnovanie Moskvy Yuriem Dolgorukim or Основание Москвы Юрием Долгоруким, Moscow Kremlin under Dmitry DonskoyRussian: Moskovskiy Kreml pri Dmitrii Donskom or Московский Кремль при Дмитрии Донском, and other paintings lavishly illustrate the stages of Moscow’s transformation into the capital city of Russia.
Visual art exhibits include paintings, engravings and drawings demonstrating what Moscow was like at different periods. Artists whose works are on display include the Vasnetsov brothers (Viktor and Apollinary), V. Surikov, and I. Aivazovsky. The fine art section also features portraits of 18th– and 19th-century Moscow residents. The most well-known of these is a portrait of Peter the Greatruled from 1682 until 1725 by Dutch painter N. Verkolje (1717), painted when the former was still alive. The museum also exhibits a unique collection of postcards and photographs of Moscow’s everyday life, architecture and milestones from the mid-19th century to the present day, along with photographic portraits of some outstanding Muscovites.
The museum’s historical reconstructions are worth a look. The exhibition features a fragment of medieval Moscow’s fortification system, featuring a so-called ‘hooked structure’. Items representative of crafts and trades of medieval Muscovites are also on display (see ‘Pottery WorkshopRussian: Masterskaya gonchara or Мастерская гончара’, ‘Produce ShopRussian: Ovoschnaya lavka or Овощная лавка’, and ‘SeniRussian: Seni doma or Сени дома; it's a room in a Russian traditional house that connects the outside, or porch area to the lived in part inside’ collections), as well as scale models and anthropological reconstructions showing what Moscow’s inhabitants looked like at various times in history.
The museum collection also includes archaeological exhibits that came from numerous expeditions across Moscow and the Moscow RegionRussian: Moskovskaya oblast or Московская область, including artefacts found in ancient burials of the Dyakovtsy and Vyatichi tribes that inhabited this land many centuries before the foundation of Moscow. Among the most interesting finds is the ‘Spanish treasure trove’ consisting of over 3,000 silver coins stored in a copper basin. It was unearthed in central Moscow in 1970. A Golden Hordea Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire ceramic cup and a big black-glazed pitcher of ‘Good man Grigory Ofonasyev’ are some examples of mediaeval pottery. Unfortunately, few of these have survived due to their fragility.
The museum’s document collection features original facsimiles of Emperors Nicholas Ithe Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, Alexander Ireigned as Emperor of Russia from 1801 to 1825, Alexander IIthe Emperor of Russia from 1855 until his assassination in 1881, and Empress Catherine Ithe second wife of Peter the Great and Empress of Russia from 1725 until her death. Many documents reflect the history and everyday life of the city, including certificates, deeds of purchase, diplomas, official papers of Moscow’s business enterprises, private collections and archives of merchant families.
The Museum of Moscow contains rare books from the 17th to 20th centuries, such as the original copies of works by M. Lomonosova Russian polymath, scientist and writer, who made important contributions to literature, education, and science and V. Tatishchevthe founder of historical science in Russia, a geographer, a statesman, Moscow address directories, books autographed by S. Yesenin, V. Mayakovsky, A. BlokRussian poets, V. KlyuchevskyRussian historian, R. Glièrea Russian/Soviet composer of German-Polish ancestry and others. The museum’s numismatic and phaleristic collections display medals, orders and distinction marks, notably the orders of St. George, St. Vladimir, St. Anna, and St. Stanislav. On display are Soviet awards and medals dedicated to activists of the communist movement.
The museum has porcelain and ceramic collections encompassing all the major 18th– to 20th-century manufacturers, such as the Maltsevs, Gardner, Popov, Kuznetsov, and Gzhela Russian style of ceramics which takes its name from the village of Gzhel and surrounding area, where it has been produced. On display are items representing everyday life and culture of peasants and city dwellers, gift dish sets and souvenirs. The clothing collection comprises women’s dresses dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, men’s tailcoats, frock coats, suits, and accessories. An extensive collection of everyday items (furniture, samovarsa heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water, clocks, phonographs, lamps) illustrates the life of Moscow residents from the late 18th century to the present day.
In 2006, the Provision WarehousesRussian: Proviantskiye magaziny or Провиантские магазины building on OstozhenkaRussian: Остоженка Street was handed over to the Museum of Moscow. Constructed by V. Stasov and F. Shestakov in the 1830s, this unique Empire-style building initially served as the largest storehouse of food supplies for use by the Russian army. In 1917, it witnessed violent clashes between the ‘Reds’ and the ‘Whitessupporters and opponents of the Soviet government, respectively’, and in Soviet times the building was used as a garage for the General StaffRussian: Generalnyi shtab or Генеральный штаб. The powerful and expressive design of the Provision Warehouses has earned it the admiration of many art experts. Its upper level still has the original wooden floor joists; these are believed to be the oldest in Moscow. The building is decorated with Empire-style military symbols. The total area of the Provision Warehouses is over 20,000 sq. m., and the inner courtyard takes up an area of approximately 7.5 ha.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com