Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

The Art and Museums Program was a highly fulfilling and engaging experience, combining guided museum tours with independent research. I would recommend this program to any student who is interested in Russian art, culture, and history, and who is not afraid to be a little adventurous. The program will have a lasting effect on my […]

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The Dostoyevsky Memorial Apartment Museum in St. Petersburg

The Dostoyevsky Memorial Apartment Museum is dedicated to drawing a picture of the great Russian writer as a person with a focus on his work habits, on his concerns, and particularly on his family life. Even discussion of his greatest novels is presented within the context of telling us more about his family, which was […]

Victor Pelevin: Postmodernism for a Post-Soviet Society

Victor Pelevin, the cult author of such postmodernist classics as Oman Ra and Generation P, does not appear often in public and very rarely gives interviews. When he does, they are usually done over the internet. Pelevin’s published works, fortunately, speak for themselves. His novels are often multi-layered texts fusing elements of pop culture with […]

Kronstadt – Historic Area Near St. Petersburg

Located on Kotlin Island, some 20 miles west of Saint Petersburg, the city of Kronstadt and surrounding fortifications are grouped under the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.” Much of the island is currently being reconstructed as a major tourist center focused on Russia’s naval history. A […]

Aurora Cruiser Museum in St. Petersburg

Just over a hundred years ago the October Revolution began in Saint Petersburg, Russia, then known as Petrograd and at the time the nation’s capital, an event that would influence the world for much of the 20th century. This revolution that would eventually lead to the establishment of the Soviet Union began with a shot […]

The Alexander Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment in St. Petersburg

The Alexander Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia, makes, appropriately, a very strong use of narrative. The museum builds the story of Pushkin, his life and writing, all while maintaining a tight focus on the end of his story – a tragic death that, it seems, has never stopped being mourned. The […]

The Nabokov House Museum in St. Petersburg

The Nabokov House Museum stands only minutes away from Russia’s famous Saint Isaac’s Cathedral on Bol’shaya Morskaya utlitsa in St Petersburg. The only signs advertising the museum are two small stone cravings that identify the building as Nabokov’s former home. Otherwise, the museum is a hidden literary treasure, available to those that know where to […]

Sergei Lukyanenko: A Psychologist in Russian Science Fiction

In an interview with The New York Review of Science Fiction, Sergei Lukyanenko was asked why he started writing literature, to which he responded: “I couldn’t manage to find the sort of book I wanted to read. So I said to myself, why not simply write the kind of book I want to read? Then […]

Dmitry Bykov: History and Irony in the Spirit of Protest

In an interview in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Dmitry Bykov was asked what he thinks the role of the writer is in today’s society, to which Bykov responded: “As Strugatsky said, ‘To see everything, to hear everything, to understand everything.’” In his career, Bykov has certainly taken this quote to heart. He is […]

The Yaroslavl State Historical and Architectural Museum

Yaroslavl, located a five-hour train ride from Moscow, is often considered to be the capital of the “Golden Ring” – a collection of towns whose prominence in Russian history can be traced back to the rise of Moscow or before. It is the only city in Russia other than Saint Petersburg to have its entire […]

The Armenian Temple Complex in Moscow

The Armenian Temple Complex is a collection of buildings in the north side of Moscow. The large 500-meter-long square property contains an Armenian restaurant, a community center, a collection of various monuments, a museum, and the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral – the largest Armenian Apostolic Church outside of Armenia. The complex was designed to be a […]

Guide to Moscow Museums

“What should I see in Moscow?” is a question we hear often – and one that entirely depends on your interests. Moscow is vast with an astonishing number of museums and galleries. The guide below lists a few of the major museums and galleries based on what the interest they would appeal to. See our […]

Olga Bergholz: “The Voice of the Blockade”

During the Siege of Leningrad in 1941, Olga Bergholz became a voice for the citizens trapped within the city. Reading her powerful poetry and flowing speeches over the radio waves and through loudspeakers, she captured with honesty the brutal reality of the Siege – including life, death, starvation, and the horrors of war. Not only […]

Tatyana Tolstaya: From Sightlessness to the World of Fiction

Before the invention of laser eye surgery to correct vision impairments, Tatyana Tolstaya was faced with a tough decision: suffer through poor vision, or undergo a long surgery involving medical razors. She chose the latter. Through a long convalescence, her eyes covered and unseeing as they healed, she was surprised to discover an “aetherial world […]

9 Recommended Theaters in Moscow

Russia is known for its theater and ballet. Take advantage and see all that you can while here. You can buy tickets at the theater or concert hall itself or from a reseller such as Kontramarka, Parter, or Ponominalu, which allow you to reserve tickets pick them up at location near you or even have […]

Boris Akunin: Nom de Plume, Nom de Guerre

In an interview with the Financial Times, Grigory Chkhartishvili was asked how his Russian upbringing stimulated his creativity, to which he responded: “I have the impression that if you were born in a calm country you could live until 90 without discovering who you really are because life does not test you so harshly. In […]

Moscow’s Seven Sisters – A Short History of Stalin’s Skyscrapers

Moscow’s skyline is largely defined by the seven towering skyscrapers nicknamed “The Seven Sisters.” Also known locally as “Stalinskie Vysotki” (Сталиские высотки – Stalin’s Highrises), they are one of the leading architectural legacies of the Stalinist period. The Soviet Baroque architecture that The Sisters embody is seen by some as unattractive; the buildings themselves are […]

History & Myths of Moscow State University

The following was originally written in Russian by amateur historian Igor Aksyuta and published on LiveJournal. It went viral on the Russian Internet for some time. It has here been translated by SRAS Home and Abroad Translation Scholar Caroline Barrow for the education and entertainment of our students and readers. Additional notes and hyperlinks have […]

The Moscow Metro: The “Why” Behind Two of Its Quirks

The Village is a Russian-language publication in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev that seeks to inform locals about their various cities, their upcoming events, changes, and history. The following are two interesting entries from a series of short articles geared to answer the “strangest questions about city life” in the cities covered by the publication. […]

Moscow’s Seven Oldest Buildings

The following information was taken from a Facebook post by Москва и Москвичи. It has been translated here by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Caroline Barlow. Some explanatory text (in italics) and hyperlinks to further information have also been included for those readers who are not well versed in the history of Moscow and Russia. […]

What Moscow Could Have Been… The Palace of the Soviets

In 1931, the Communists began drawing up plans to tear down Christ the Savior Cathedral and, in its place, build the Palace of the Soviets. It would have been the world’s tallest structure (and would still be #9 today). It would have been topped with 6000 ton statue of Lenin and included, among other things, […]

The Moscow We’ve Lost

The following was originally written in Russian by the popular Russian blogger and photographer Zyalt. It can be seen in the original in his blog. It is presented here for the edification of English speakers interested in Russian architectural heritage and history.   The Moscow We’ve Lost: 10 Architectural Losses of the 20th Century For […]

The Leningrad Zoo During the Blockade

The following history has appeared in various forms around the Russian internet. It has been presented here, translated for the first time into English, by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Lindsey Greytak. The Leningrad Blockade is one of the worst chapters in the city’s history. The severe winter of 1941-1942 finished what was started by […]

Irkutsk Welcomes Experimental Artist Sasha Roschin

On Friday, May 11th, the Gallery of Viktor Bronshtaina in Irkutsk premiered its newest temporary exhibit, showcasing the works of Sasha Roschin, an experimental artist and illustrator living in Saint Petersburg. While previously known around the world for his work as a designer and fashion illustrator, recently, Sasha embarked in a new experimental direction – […]

Irkutsk Regional Art Museum Exhibit: Homeland

Starting in January 2018, the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum held an exhibition titled, “Родная Земля,” (translated as “Homeland,”) celebrating the works of Anatoly Kostovsky. A native Irkutsk painter, Kostovsky graduated from the Irkutsk Art College in 1956 and built his career in realism around the diversity of the Irkutsk region, featuring local people, culture, and […]

Lubyanka and the GULAG: a walking tour of Moscow’s history

There is always history surrounding us. In a city like Moscow, this can seem overwhelmingly apparent. Moscow has many imposing buildings from many eras – some are immediately recognizable and others only invite wonder as to what stories lay behind their beauty or grime. The stories of Moscow’s Lubyanka District were recently opened for me […]

The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center presents a history of Russia through the eyes of its Jewish population, highlighting Jewish contributions to Russian history and emphasizing how Jews have suffered through the same tragedies as the rest of Russia (with special attention to events and policies that particularly impact Russia’s Jewish population). The center effectively […]

Dorenberg Art-Factory Special Exhibit: “Primeval Russia”

Recently, Irkutsk’s Dorenberg Art Factory hosted an environmentally focused photo exhibition, showcasing over 100 photographs taken throughout Russia by the country’s most renowned nature photographers.  The exhibit was a part of Primeval Russia (Первозданная Россия), a national nature festival, which is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year. The festival is promoted as a platform for experts […]

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

The Museum of Soviet Arcade Games (Музей советских игровых автоматов) is a private museum founded by friends Alexander Stakhanov, Alexander Vugman and Maxim Pinigin in 2007. Initially open only by reservation on Wednesdays, the museum has since expanded to two branches in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and boasts over 50 machines in each location. At […]

VDNKh – The Moscow Mockup and Smart City

VDNKh (ВДНХ) is a permanent general purpose trade show and amusement/leisure park in Moscow. The park first opened in 1939 with ten pavilions, and has since expanded to over 200 buildings. A friend and I saw two exhibits during our time at VDNKh: the Moscow Mockup (Макет Москвы) and Smart City (Умный город), both new […]

Three Great Musicians of the USSR

The twentieth century was a dynamic period in the history of Russia. In that century, Russia saw the fall of the 300-year Romanov dynasty, the rise and fall of the 70-year reign of the Soviet Union, and the turbulent formation of the Russian Federation. Russia saw revolution, civil war, two war worlds, purges under Joseph […]

Four Examples of Russian Music in American Popular Culture

Throughout the Cold War to the present day, there has been tension between the United States and Russia in the political arena. However, Americans have used Russian music in creating elements of American popular culture. Appropriated Russian songs include classical pieces like “The Flight of the Bumblebee,” which is often used to represent speed and […]

State Historical Museum of Russia

The State Historical Museum, located in the center of Moscow between Red and Manege Squares, was founded in 1872. It features exhibits concerning the Russian territory from the prehistoric ages until the end of the Romanov dynasty. I took a guided English-language tour of this museum through Bridge to Moscow. Although I paid 150 rubles […]

GULAG History Museum

Excursion included in SRAS cultural program for Moscow for Fall, 2017. The GULAG Museum, established in 2001 by writer, historian, and former gulag prisoner A.V. Antonov-Ovseenko, is the only state museum devoted to Stalin’s repressions and the GULAG system. We took a guided tour of this small but informative museum as part of our SRAS […]

Bunker-42

Excursion included in SRAS cultural program for Moscow Fall, 2017. Bunker-42 was intended to be an underground fortification designed to protect the USSR’s top-ranking military and government officials (including Joseph Stalin) from nuclear warfare. It remained completely secret from citizens and foreign intelligence until 1995, when it was purchased by a private company and opened […]

Moscow’s Theater Square: History in Old Photos

Moscow’s Theater Square is not only one of the most beautiful and popular squares, but also one of the oldest. There are three theatres in total that surround the square—the Bolshoi, the Maly, and the Russian Youth Theatres. At the beginning of the 19th century, the square was named Petrovskaya Square, after the nearby Petrovka […]

5 Minutes in Russia

This footage was captured by SRAS Assistant Director Josh Wilson: “This was city day in Moscow, but the amount of foot traffic on the new pedestrian streets in the city center – and the amount of open art displayed – are actually fairly typical for a weekend evening in Russia’s capital these days. Note that […]

Post Soviet Theatre

How did the economic and political disarray that beset Russia in the days and years following Glasnost affect Russian cultural institutions? In Russia, theatre practitioners have long enjoyed a social position comparable to Hollywood actors or professional sports stars in America. By the mid-nineteenth century, amateur, provincial, and serf theaters had sprung up in even […]

Crime and Publishing: How Dostoevskii Changed the British Murder

A few words on this book: Described by the sixteenth-century English poet George Turbervile as “a people passing rude, to vices vile inclin’d,” the Russians waited some three centuries before their subsequent cultural achievements—in music, art and particularly literature—achieved widespread recognition in Britain. The essays in this stimulating collection attest to the scope and variety […]

Krutitskoe Podvorye: A Hidden Gem of Moscow

Krutitskoe Podvorye Religious History in Moscow Free area of town to stroll in Directions: Take the metro to Proletarskaya station. After leaving the metro, head straight down Krutitskiy Per., toward the Moscow River. Continue past the four-way intersection with Novospasskiy Pr-d. On your left, you will see Krutitskaya Ul. Head down the road, and at […]

Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

There is a glaring omission of Russian artistic tradition in Western classrooms. I believe there are a few immediate reasons for this vacancy, the most obvious being the political conflict which has long possessed our two countries. I’ve long believed that the study of Art History is just as useful as a degree in political […]

Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

The Art and Museums Program was a highly fulfilling and engaging experience, combining guided museum tours with independent research. I would recommend this program to any student who is interested in Russian art, culture, and history, and who is not afraid to be a little adventurous. The program will have a lasting effect on my […]

Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

Over the summer of 2011, Aleksandra Yevteyeva studied art at the Hermitage through SRAS’s Art and Museums in Russia program. According to Yevteyeva, the experience was an immeasurably valuable one, which deepened her appreciation for world art.  In her own words, it was “a most invigorating and intellectually prosperous process all on its own. [. […]

Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

The easiest way to sum up what I learned the most about in the Art and Museums in Russia program is to give it a single word: organization. This includes both the literal principles of organization in museums and the more figurative organization of ideas. The organization of museums is a very straightforward thing on […]

Rimsky-Korsakov Memorial Apartment Museum

Saint Petersburg has been called home for several renowned artists and musicians, including figures in classical music. Admirers of Russian opera and orchestra should pay a visit to the apartment museum of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a prolific composer and member of the “Russian Five.” This nationalistic group of 19th century composers, which included Mily Balakirev, Modest […]

The Best Inspiration in St. Petersburg, 2017

We asked three participants of our Art and Museums in Russia program in St. Petersburg: “Where in St. Petersburg have you felt the greatest amount of inspiration?” Here are the students and inspiring cityscape locales they chose:   Sophia Fisher Sophia Fisher is currently studying Russian as a Second Language with SRAS Saint Petersburg, Russia. […]

Kizhi: An Open Air Museum of Architecture

Kizhi Pogost and the island on which it stands function as an architecture museum, hosting a number of wooden structures built with traditional Russian designs and construction methods. Restoration and preservation efforts are currently underway at the facility to protect the structures, some of which date to the 17th century. Most tourists arrive to the […]

American Students’ Favorite Russian Art, 2017

We asked three participants of our Art and Museums in Russia program in St. Petersburg: “If you could introduce everyone to 3-5 pieces of Russian art, what would those pieces be?” Here are the students and the essential art works they chose:   Kimberly Gordy Kimberly Gordy is a student at the University of Texas […]

Zinaida Serebriakova: A Painter of the People and Country

“Happiness on canvas” is a phrase that well describes the early works of Zinaida Serebriakova. Best known for her vibrant, joyful style, it’s only natural that the her largest exhibit of the last 30 years, timed at the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death and the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, coincided with spring […]

Poetry as Design: The Anna Akhmatova House

Anna Akhmatova is Saint Petersburg’s most beloved female poet. Her home, tucked behind the portal of a common leafy courtyard, serves as a place of pilgrimage for legions of literary admirers. A literary museum, Akhmatova’s apartment operates as a museum of witness of her complicated and often tragic life as a writer struggling to speak […]

Petersburg with Pushkin’s Bronze Horseman

I’ve been reading works in which Petersburg is mentioned for the past few weeks in order to prepare for this amazing city. It’s been fantastic reconnecting with my love for Russian literature, but things have been feeling slightly off. Every time I walk somewhere, I am just in so much awe at the beauty of […]

Textiles at the Russian Museum of Ethnography

(Tour included as part of the Art and Museums program for Summer, 2017) Russia is a vast, diverse nation of many ethnic groups which inhabit drastically different social and geographic spheres. The Russian Museum of Ethnography, located in central Saint Petersburg, serves to catalogue and preserve the many customs of Russia’s numerous cultural subpopulations. Currently […]

Hermitage Storage and Restoration Centre

Tour included as part of the Art and Museums program – Summer 2017 Tucked neatly away within Staraya Derevnya just outside the centre of Petersburg sits the Restoration and Storage Centre of the State Hermitage. While it may be only a short metro ride from the bustling Nevsky Prospekt, the Hermitage Storage Building itself is […]

Kunstkamera: “Medical Art”

The Kunstkamera is a distinctive blue building set along the Nevsky on Vasilievskiy Island. Among its many claims to fame, the most prominent is that the Kunstkamera was the first museum created for the public in Petersburg; it was established by Peter the Great to house his collection of curiosities. Peter the Great was a […]

Okhlopkov Theater in Irkutsk

The Okhlopkov Theater in Irkutsk (or the Irkutsk Academic Dramatic Theater named for Okhlopkov) is the main dramatic theater in Irkutsk, and the oldest theater in Eastern Siberia. The theater’s directors are understandably proud of their long heritage, as well as their current efforts to promote and develop culture in Irkutsk. Theater is really popular in […]

City Dump Museum in Irkutsk

Irkutsk City Dump Museum Fifth kilometer of Aleksandrovskiy Highway Free The Irkutsk city dump museum is one of the strangest places I have ever been in my life—not just for the fact that it exists, which is weird enough in and of itself, but for what’s in it. The dump/museum is probably about a 20-minute […]

Old Moscow in Paintings. Part Two.

The only way to peek into Moscow’s past prior to invention of photography is through paintings and works of masters of historical reconstruction. In this article, we will compare the look of old Moscow with how we see it today. Fedor Alekseev’s painting “View of the Resurrection and Nikolsky Gates and the Neglinny Bridge from […]

10 Buildings from the 1980 Olympics and What Became of Them

This list was originally compiled by Timeout.ru. Translation was provided by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Michael Filitis. 1. Cosmos Hotel All these years, this building, situated next to VDNKh park, has operated according to its intended design. In 2004, it even celebrated a milestone: its 7 millionth visitor. It is impossible to not recall […]

Muzeon “Statue Graveyard” in Moscow

Muzeon Where: Krimsky Val, вл. 2, Moscow Open 8:00-23:00 Free Entrence (~$3 for coffee or a snack) Muzeon is a park and open air sculpture museum located next to Gorky Park and within the Garden ring of Moscow. Opened in 1992, the park consists of huge green areas, old soviet monuments, sculptures that could not […]

The Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow

Are you interested in theater? I wasn’t. I went with SRAS to the ballet anyway though, thinking I’d at least get my money’s worth out of the study abroad package. Knowing what I know now, I’d gladly go again. The evening started at Korchma Taras Bulba, a Ukrainian restaurant near Novokuznetskaya metro station, one stop […]

Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve in Moscow

Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve: Walking Seminar and Picnic Dolskaya ul., 1, Moscow, 115569 Offered as part of the SRAS cultural program – Summer, 2016 Free, but bring ~$10 if you want a snack Tsaritsyno is a park and museum complex in southern Moscow. Currently one of the largest reserves in Moscow, the land started as an aristocratic […]

Grand Kremlin Palace Tour in Moscow

Grand Kremlin Palace Tour By Appointment Only $75 for the tour When SRAS gave me the opportunity to take an exclusive tour of the Grand Kremlin Palace, which is an exclusive tour that is normally off-limits to the general public, I had to take it. This particular tour is different from those that cover the […]

The Moscow Space Museum

The Moscow Space Museum Prospect Mira, 111 Free with student ID (500 rubles otherwise) The Moscow Space Museum rivals any other cosmonautic museum in the world for the sheer size of collection of memorabilia relating to the early days of space travel and modern advancements, as well as models of space craft that countries from […]

A Tour of the Kremlin in Moscow

A Tour of the Kremlin in Moscow with a stop at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior Free tour offered summer of 2016 with SRAS’s regular Moscow programs As part of SRAS’s Russian as a Second Language (RSL) program at Moscow State University, I had the opportunity to attend a guided walking tour of the […]

Gorky Park and Garage Museum of Modern Art in Mocsow

 Gorky Park and Garage Museum of Modern Art in Moscow Poster Child of Russia’s Urban Revitalization Open 24/7 Free Entrance, Bring Cash for Food, Bike Rentals, etc. For several years now, Russia’s federal government and the city government of Moscow have worked together in an attempt to revitalize the capital city, with a particular focus […]

Kolomenskoye Park in Moscow

Kolomenskoye Park Andropova Ave, 39 Daily 08:00-21:00 (May 1st to September 31st 07:00-24:00) Free (~$5 for drinks and ice cream) Kolomenskoye Park is definitely one of Moscow’s must-see attractions. Open year round, this former royal estate contains historic local buildings, gardens, a haunted ravine with pagan shrines, and several artifacts and parts of wooden buildings […]

Old Moscow In Paintings. Part 1.

The only way to peek into Moscow’s past prior to invention of photography is through paintings and works of masters of historical reconstruction. In this article, we will compare the look of old Moscow with how we see it today. Past painting: Louis-Pierre-Alphonse Bichebois. Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, Beginning of 19th Century. Present […]

The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theater in Vladivostok

Nepotism surely was the only reason the Nutcracker ever landed his job leading soldiers into battle. He’s really not officer material and apparently a band of mostly weaponless rats pose a threat to his army equipped with firearms and artillery. It’s really quite embarrassing. So I went to see “Щелкунчик” (The Nutcracker) at Vladivostok’s premier […]

Recommended Theater Performances in Moscow

Russia is known for its theater and ballet. Take advantage and see all that you can while here. You can buy tickets at the theater or concert hall itself or from a reseller such as Kontramarka, Parter, or Ponominalu, which allow you to reserve tickets pick them up at location near you or even have […]

Irkutsk’s Old Houses: Windows to Siberia

The following was contributed by Renee Stillings, Program Director following her recent visit to Irkutsk to check up on SRAS programs there. Those programs include Russian as a Second Language, Siberian Studies, and more. My first visit to Irkutsk happened over twenty years ago, when I was looking to expand study abroad options for SRAS […]

The Tragic and Triumphant History of the Girl with an Oar

The Girl with an Oar sculpture was re-introduced to Gorky Park in 2011. Originally installed in 1935, it was then a controversial piece of art, and endured criticism, a likely theft or vandalism, revision, and then destruction by Nazi bombs. Everyone associated with the statue died the year the statue was destroyed: 1941. The statue […]

Primorye State Art Gallery in Vladivostok

Vladivostok’s main art gallery, a large stone structure, is located in the old part of the city, close to the train station, the city square, and the government administrative building. The first exhibition room featured French prints from the 19th century. These depicted a variety of landscapes, cities, and people both in Russia and from […]

Alyona Dergilyova, My Moscow (Cityscape in Watercolors)

I was born in an old one-story merchant’s house in the Taganka District of Moscow. Our house stood on the corner of Vorontsovskaya Street, which then had a tram track, and Mayakovsky Pereulok. At one time, Vladimir Mayakovsky lived at the end of that pereulok, and my grandmother used to tell me how more than […]

Vladimir Kachanov – Painting Moscows Past

A native Moscovite, Vladimir Kachanov has been painting Moscow for over forty years. His paintings depict old Moscow that many Moscovite’s today are unfamiliar with. Kachanov’s paintings of old Moscow courtyards and boulevards now serve as historic documents showing what Moscow was like before the construction and demolition boom of the 1990s. Kachanov paints with […]

Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg

Arts Square in St, Petersburg is the location of the Russian Arts Museum, the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, and the Theater of Music Comedy. Arts Square is also the location of the Mikhailovsky Theater. This theater features the performances of opera and ballet. At the Mikhailovsky Theater, I saw Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballets […]

XVI International Winter Festival in St. Petersburg

The International Winter Festival is an annual musical festival that takes place in December at Arts Square. This year, there were performances and exhibitions by the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, the Mikhailovsky Theater, the Theater of Musical Comedy, the Museum-Monument “St. Isaac’s Cathedral”, and the Russian State Museum. This year the festival celebrated the anniversaries of […]

St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia

Growing up listening to symphonic works of Beethoven, Liszt, and Wagner and being involved with orchestra throughout my musical career, I have developed a deep love for the symphony orchestra. During my time in St. Petersburg, I have mainly viewed musical concerts at the Mariinsky Theaters. Although I have enjoyed all the performances that I […]

Pin-up Exhibition at Art Center in St. Petersburg

Strolling around the second story of the Art Center space on Dumskaya, posters and calendars showcase nearly a century’s worth of art. Many know of pin-ups, but not so much of the cultural significance of these camera-loving ladies. What do you mean, a “pin-up”?  Exactly that, a pin-up.  These were models and actresses modeling in […]

Russian Symphonies in St. Petersburg

The Russia School of Classical Music has greatly contributed to the genre of symphonic music. By the beginning of the 20th century, many Western composers were influenced by Russian music. Studying in St. Petersburg, I am glad that I have the opportunity to attend symphonic concerts that feature Russian composers. I have already seen several […]

Organ Concert at the Catholic Church in Vladivostok

On November 15, I had the opportunity to attend a pipe organ concert at the Mary Mother of God Catholic Mission in Vladivostok. I talked about the church itself, where I go on most weekends, in a previous entry. This past Sunday, I attended mass as usual, but I found out that soon after the […]

The Oprichnik at the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg

I am so excited about studying in St. Petersburg because I get the chance to see a lot of Russian operas that are not performed in theaters in the West. As a Russian musicologist, it is wonderful to have excess to the musical performances at the Mariinsky theaters. Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) is the Russian composer […]

Museum of Erotica in St. Petersburg

Tired of the same old tourist itineraries?  Or are you (un)fortunate enough to be an insomniac in St. Petersburg? Well, lucky for you, the Museum of Erotica is open 24 hours a day and is located right in the center of Piter! One large wall greets visitors with the infamous quote, «У нас в СССР […]

Dead Souls in St. Petersburg

Ever since I saw Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck, I have become a huge fan of 20th century opera. Some of my favorite 20th century operas include a diverse range from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess to Shostakovich’s The Nose and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. For me, operas that were composed in the 20th […]

All Prokofiev Concert in St. Petersburg

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was one the greatest Russian composers who lived during the Soviet Era. Prokofiev composed for many genres (symphonies, operas, ballets) and he composed music for movies, including Sergei Eisenstein’s films Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible. Being a huge fan of Valery Gergiev as a conductor, a musician, and as a music […]

Botanical Garden in St. Petersburg

Whether you’re in St. Petersburg during the sunny summer months or the wet, cold winter, the Botanical Garden and Museum on Apothecary Island provides a welcome and colorful reprieve. Read on for an overview of the garden’s tumultuous history to its current global acclaim. History Founded in 1714 by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg’s Botanical […]

Prince Igor in St. Petersburg

Opera is one of the most remarkable art forms that have been created in cultural history. Opera combines all the elements of the arts (music, theater, visual and performing arts) into one memorable production. Ever since Mikhail Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar, the Russian School of musical composition would make an impact on the […]

Vladivostok Fortress Museum

Scattered across Vladivostok’s coastal slopes in quite a few places one can see the metal and concrete remains of the old coastal batteries built to defend the city in years past. Most of the emplacements are just curios–disused relics that add a little extra spice to an already flavorful city. But near the old city center, […]

Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra in St. Petersburg

There is nothing I love more than playing in a symphony orchestra. I have performed with an orchestra on the flute, cello, and with a choir. I also enjoy going to concerts where a symphony orchestra is playing. Ever since my dad took me to see the New York Philharmonic as a little girl, I’ve […]

Remembering Tchaikovsky in St. Petersburg

The music of Petr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) has been very impactful on me since I saw his ballet The Nutcracker when I was a little girl. His music is one of the reasons why I decided to become a Russian musicologist. This year (2015) is the 175th anniversary of his birth and throughout this year, Russia’s […]

Swan Lake at the Alexandrinsky Theater St. Petersburg

Alexandrinsky Theater / Александринский театр Alexandrinsky.ru Ticket Office: 9:00 – 18:00 Monday through Friday ~1500 rubles per person (for good seats) Swan Lake was not the first ballet I had been to, but it was definitely the best. Before I came to Russia, one of the things that I absolutely had to do was to go […]

Abandoned Underground Tunnels of Vladivostok

Vladivostok is not unique in being home to a large number of abandoned structures (заброшенные структуры) with deep and often unique historical roots. When the Soviet Union fell, many buildings and projects became unneeded or lost funding and were then sold or simply left to their own devices. The result was often ruinous for the […]

Old-World Music at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Vladivostok

Some of the more impressive structures that remain standing amongst the constant change brought along by modern man come in the form of churches. Beliefs aside, from a purely architectural standpoint these cultural time capsules, when well maintained, can transport us, if not to a different age, then at least into a different atmosphere. Key […]

10 Ways to Enjoy Moscow’s Winter Parks

Russia is famous for miserably cold winters. This means that, in winter, Russians must stay at home being miserable, right? Not at all! For Russians, winters are part of their national heritage and there is arguably no greater beauty and no better time to get out and be active than during a day of “мороз […]

House on the Embankment Museum in Moscow

House on the Embankment Museum / Mузей дом на набережной ул. Серафимовича д.2 Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 10:00-18:30, Thursday from 11:00-21:00, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00-18:00; closed every last Friday of the month for cleaning As part of my Russian language course at Moscow State University, my professor took us to the […]

The Theater of Opera and Ballet in Vladivostok

Apart from the Golden Bridge (Золотой мост) and Russian Bridge (Русский мост), the Theater of Opera and Ballet is without a doubt one of the more impressive structures built in preparation for the 2012 APEC summit in Vladivostok. Crossing the Golden Bridge going away from the city center, the theater comes into view from its […]

The House-Museum of Sukhanov in Vladivostok

Like any good traveler, after booking my flight to Vladivostok, I set off to the library to do a little bit of research on the city in which I was about to spend the next nine months. Not expecting to find much, I was yet still underwhelmed. My university’s library database turned up a small […]

The Kremlin Ballet in Moscow

In late September, as one of the SRAS Cultural Excursions, our group went to see the ballet “Snow Maiden” (“Снегурочка”) at the Kremlin Ballet (Театр “Кремлёвский балет”). This ballet is performed in two acts to a music score by 19th-century composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Пётр Ильич Чайковский). Andrei Petrov, Kremlin Ballet founder and Artistic Director, […]

Leningrad Zoo in St. Petersburg

The Leningrad Zoo, located in the heart of St. Petersburg, is the oldest zoo in Russia- having just celebrated its 149th birthday on August 16, 2014. The zoo is located in Alexander Park, in the shady and quiet Gorkovskaya district in the center of the city. More than 3,000 animals from 600 species make their […]

Moscow’s Stalinist High-Rise Stars as You’ve Never Seen Them

The Village presents drone photographs of the tops of Soviet skyscrapers. Every Russian knows the seven Stalinist high-rises (or, as foreigners call them, the “Seven Sisters”), which were the first Soviet skyscrapers and remained the tallest buildings in Europe for many years. The following article appears on The Village in Russian. It has been translated […]

Walk Moscow’s Pedestrian Streets in 10 Minutes

The Village used the new Instagram mobile app, Hyperlapse, to capture the pedestrian zones of Moscow. The following was originally published in Russian. It was translated by SRAS Translation Abroad Scholar Sophia Rehm. At the end of August, new pedestrian zones opened in Moscow on Maroseyka, Petrovka and Pyatnitskaya Streets, and in September city hall […]

Bulgakov’s Moscow

A walking tour for fans of The Master and Margarita. The following has been published in multiple places in Russian online. It was translated by SRAS Translate Abroad Scholar Sophia Rhem. 1. The Evil Apartment The prototype for the Evil Apartment was 10 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, Apt. 50 in Moscow, where Bulgakov lived from 1921-1924. […]

An Evening at the Primorskaya Regional Philharmonic in Vladivostok

The unofficial theme for the Concert of Traditional Korean Music and Dances (Концерт традиционной корейской музыки и танцев) seemed to be one of “why not?” And the question was a good one. After all, it would be difficult to find a valid enough excuse to pass up a free, early evening Saturday concert in the […]

Tokarevski Lighthouse in Vladivostok

Tokarevski Lighthouse/Токаревский марк Мыс Токаревского Cost: $5-10 (includes roundtrip transportation and food; destination itself is free) “All I know about Russia is that it’s very cold.” This frequently encountered profession of ignorance, will wear anyone out after a while. I was hardly surprised, then, to note the reaction of my Russian fellow-passenger in response to […]

How the Kremlin Stars are Cleaned, Repaired, and Protected

The following article originally appeared in Russian on the Russian travel site “My Planet.” It has been translated here by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Sophia Rehm. Note: The title of this article was originally “If Stars are Lit,” a reference to a line of the poem Listen! by Vladimir Mayakovsky. For more on the […]

Fine Art Museum of A.S. Pushkin

This museum is not related to the famous Russian author, but named in his honor. It is Moscow’s center for fine art, showing famous works by Western artists like Picasso, Renoit, Van Gogh, and many others. But there are also some classic works by Russian artists, as well as sculpture, and collected historical objects. The […]

Moscow Museum of Modern Art

This MMOMA is a group of museums that house a range of contemporary artists and installations. This art is from the entire second half of the 20th century forward. Some employ traditional methods with a modern feel, and there are also exhibits that really push the boundaries of what we consider art. Some gallery space […]

Tretyakov Gallery: A Russian Classic in Moscow

The Tretyakov Art Gallery eclipses all other art museums in Moscow. It was given to the city of Moscow in 1891, when Pavel M. Tretyakov donated his private gallery for public use. It is a comprehensive collection of Russian artwork. Tretyakov is the home of many of Russia’s most famous paintings that we normally see […]

10 Must-See Masterpieces at the Tretyakov Gallery

The Tretyakov in Moscow is one of Russia’s – and the world’s – foremost art galleries. Founded by Russian tsarist-era industrialist and entrepreneur Pavel Tretyakov, the museum now displays some of staples of Russian and Soviet classic art. AdMe.ru, a Russian site dedicated to Russian popular culture and advertising, dug through the art museum’s collection […]

The Viktor Tsoi Graffiti Wall in Moscow

Coming across the graffiti wall at the corner of Stary Arbat and Krivoarbatskaya Lane last summer, I took a few pictures, and didn’t think about it much more than that, except that I was surprised to see such elaborate work in such a public place. So when I visited the same place, and saw that […]

Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

If you’re new to the culture, you’ll soon see that Russians take performance very seriously. Whether it’s orchestra, opera, ballet, or theater, you owe it to yourself to see as many performances as possible, and at least one! The first stop is the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Концертный Зал имени П. И. Чайковского). It’s easy to […]

A Cosmic Opportunity – The Moscow Planetarium

The Moscow Planetarium is an exciting experience for anyone with an interest in science and the stars. It features many exhibits and has separate museums and interactive halls. There you can see physical representations of how light bends, or displays showing Earth’s magnetic field. Their collection of telescopes throughout history is really impressive and well […]

Underground Palaces – The Moscow Metro

Even if you’ve seen pictures, you’re not prepared for the Moscow Metro System. For visitors, one of the great surprises of this historical city is discovering the beauty and cleanliness of its underground palaces. It’s worth a few hours in the afternoon or late evening (avoid rush hour 4-7) to ride around and see the […]

Coming Soon: The Moscow Ring Railway

The Village is a Russian-language publication in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev that seeks to inform locals about their various cities, upcoming events, urban changes, and history. One of the truely exciting things occurring in Russia today is the amount of infrastructure projects currently underway – long-distance railways, roads, and major changes to public transportation in many cities. This article […]

Memorial Apartment Museum of Dmitri Mendeleev

Free (small donations encouraged/expected) Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00-16:00 Twelve Collegia Building, Mendeleevskaya Liniya on Vasilievskiy Island Must call in advance to organize a visit +7 (812) 328-9744 www.eng.spbu.ru/university/culture/museums/mendeleev Dimitri Mendeleev, best known as the creator of the Periodic Table of Elements, is a Russian national hero and one of the foremost thinkers of the 20th century. […]

10 Obscure Videos of Soviet Moscow

The following text was written by Vera Kichanova and originally appeared in Russian on the website “Bolshoi Gorod.” To read the original Russian, click here. This has been translated for the first time into English by SRAS Translate Abroad intern Sophia Rehm. In certain places, information has been added or links to outside information inserted […]

The Quay with Sphinxes in St.Petersburg

During an SRAS-arranged walking tour of central St. Petersburg, our guide, Sergei, pointed across the Neva River to the Quay with Sphinxes, a little outpost on the University Embankment near house number 17. The site displays two massive sphinxes that are carved out of pink granite and weigh about 23 tons each. I was so […]

Kirov Square in Irkutsk

Why Kirov Square is the Place to Go in Irkutsk By Selene Palomo   Students! Are you looking for a place to picnic, take a break, or attend festivals? Kirov Square will definitely be able to offer you all of those things. Kirov Square is located between the streets of Lenin and Sukhbaatar, just across the […]

Chaikovsky Museum in Moscow

Музей П.И. Чайковского / P.I. Chaikovsky Museum м. Баррикадная Кудринская пл. 46/54 Click here for website (495) 691-1514 The Chaikovsky Museum is part of a complex of museums in Moscow dedicated to Russian musical greats. This network consists of several small “house-museums” (дом-музей) situated in the former residences of luminaries like Sergei Prokofiev, Fydor Shalyapin, […]

Far Eastern Federal University at Russky Island in Vladivostok

Far Eastern Federal University – Russky Island Campus Russky Island 10am-11pm A Must See: The Epitome of APEC 2012 www.dvfu.ru If you do not get a chance you visit Far Eastern Federal University’s Russky Island Campus (FEFU), you are missing an essential aspect of the Vladivostok experience. The 2012 APEC Summit (if you take the […]

Autoville Culture Center in Moscow

Автовилль культурный центр / Autoville Culture Center Ул. Усачева, д. 2, стр. 1 Metro: Frunzenskaya 495-705-98-81 www.autoville.ru One thing that Russian cities tend to have in abundance is museums, and Moscow, not surprisingly, is loaded with them. Of course the heavyweights—the Tretyakov, Pushkin, Museum of Modern Art—get the lion’s share of visitors, but there are […]

An Evening of Classical Music at FEFU in Vladivostok

After President Putin’s shocking decision to hold the 2012 APEC in Vladivostok in 2006, the Moscow government finally took developing the Russian Far East seriously. Well, that time has come and gone and while there have been significant infrastructure changes, such as the construction of the Zolotoy Rog Bridge and the Russky Bridge, the biggest […]

7 Facts about the Kremlin Stars

The following information was taken from the Russian 7 website. It has been translated here by SRAS Home and Abroad Translation Scholar Caroline Barlow. Some explanatory text and hyperlinks to further information have also been included for those readers who are not well versed in the history of Moscow and Russia. 7 Facts about the […]

Why So Many Manholes in Moscow?

The Village is a Russian-language publication in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev that seeks to inform locals about their various cities, their upcoming events, changes, and history. The following is one interesting entry from a series of short articles geared to answer the “strangest questions about city life” in the cities covered by the publication. […]

The Moscow Zoo

Московский зоопарк /Moscow Zoo Москва, Большая Грузинская, 1 Tel.: +7 (499) 255-53-75, (499) 252-35-80, (499) 766-74-12. Fax: +7 (495) 605-17-17 Hours: Tuesday–Sunday (Closed Mondays) In summer from 10:00 to 20:00 In winter from 10:00 to 17:00 Adults over 18 – 300 rubles Children under 18, students, etc. – Free Admission www.moscowzoo.ru The Московский зоопарк (Moscow […]

A Night at the Opera

Mariinsky Theater/Мариинский театр Театральная площадь, д. 1 Metro Садовая www.mariinsky.ru The Mariinsky Theater has gotten a lot of press lately with the controversial opening of the new Mariinsky stage. Many residents of St. Petersburg have complained that the new Mariinsky stage is hideous and does not fit with the style of the city. Some have […]

Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

From the beginning of college, I’d been taking Russian language classes because my mother had told me Russian is a fun language to learn, and also I’d always known that ethnically my ancestors were Russian and Ukrainian. As a student I noticed a distinct lack of information, or even dismissiveness of Russian culture and history. […]

The Petersburg Musuem of Dolls

The Petersburg Musuem of Dolls/ Петербургский музей кукол ул.Камская , 8 Open from 10.00-18.00 Price: 150 rubles for students Museumdolls.ru I consider myself a bit of a kid at heart; therefore, when I first heard about the Petersburg Museum of Dolls, I jumped at the opportunity to visit it. I was so enchanted by its colorful, […]

“The Leningrad Collection” and “I Keep This City” in St. Petersburg

“The Leningrad Collection” and “I Keep This City” in St. Petersburg / “Ленинград Коллекция” и “Я этим городом храним”  в Санкт-Петербурге K Gallery Ул. Галерной, 47 Prices: 100 rubles for students Coming to and from the dorms everyday, I have passed by advertisements for two art showcases: the “Leningrad Collection” and “ I Keep This […]

Swan Lake Ballet at the Musical Comedy Theatre in St. Petersburg

Ballet stands as one of the most acclaimed forms of Russian high culture, and perhaps no other show best captures this magnificence as Peter Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. So when SRAS (the School of Russian and Asian Studies) provided the opportunity to attend  a performance at the Musical Comedy Theater, my fellow students and I felt […]

Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

For the past few weeks, I’ve been in St. Petersburg, attending the SRAS program for Art and Museums in Russia. In this brief time abroad, I have improved my Russian conversational skills; learned about Russian history, culture, art, architecture, literature, and music; about world art history, cross-cultural influences, and the incredible collections of St. Petersburg’s […]

A Walk through a few Parks in St. Petersburg

On beautiful, sunny days in St. Petersburg, many Russians head to the beautiful shaded areas of the city, such as three popular parks and gardens that make up a trifecta just off Nevsky Prospekt. These gardens and parks are Mikhailovsky Garden (Михайловский сад), Field of Mars (Марсово поле/Marsovo Polye), and The Summer Garden (Летний сад/Letnii Sad), all originally […]

Orange Days in St.Petersburg

Orange Days in St. Petersburg/ Оранжевые дня в Санкт-Петербурге набережная Адмиралтейского Канала, 2 Events scheduled for July 1-12, 2013  New Holland, or Новая Голландия, is a small island close to the dorms with a reputation as a hip, relaxing hangout. As I was having a “Lazy Sunday,” I decided to head over there and check […]

The Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg

The Russian Museum of Ethnography/ Росси́йский этнографи́ческий музе́й Улица Инженерная 4/1 Open everyday from 10.00-18.00, except Mondays and the last Friday of the month Prices: 350 rubles for adults, 150 rubles for students ; free with SPBGU student ID; 150 rubles for picture-taking passes eng.ethnomuseum.ru If someone asks you to describe “Russian,” the first images […]

Kirov Museum in St. Petersburg

Although it has been more than 20 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, there are still traces of its legacy throughout St. Petersburg, whether it is an old emblem on a building or a sign referring to Leningrad, St. Petersburg’s former Soviet name. One such remnant is the Kirov Museum, dedicated to the life of Sergei […]

Customized Tour & Interview: Archaeological Collections and Curation at the Hermitage

Art and Museums in Russia, a program of The School of Russian and Asian Studies, has given me some amazing opportunities in the past two weeks. The official program itself stops at nothing to expose students to as much of St. Petersburg’s art, architecture, and culture as possible. But when I asked program director Elena […]

Lecture: Painting Restoration Methods of the Hermitage

Lecture by Alexei Nicholski Translated by Elena Varshavskaya As part of Art and Museums in Russia, A program of The School of Russian and Asian Studies As part of Art and Museums in Russia, a summer program I am attending from The School of Russian and Asian Studies, I recently attended a fascinating lecture on […]

Art in Motion at Petersburg’s Lazarev Gallery

Step into an art gallery or museum and one thing you can be guaranteed to see besides the actual art are signs reading “do not touch!” But from now until June 23, 2013 visitors to St. Petersburg’s Lazarev Gallery are encouraged to pull, twist, turn and re-arrange artwork on display as part of its “Try […]

Marina Fedorova’s Life-sized “Photostream”

Photography in the age of the smart phone has allowed us to become the curator of our own lives through rectangles and squares that take up space on our memory cards. Aided by this lightweight technology, we no longer need to lug cameras with us everywhere we go if we want to take pictures. Should […]

Sasha Maslov’s “The Veterans Project”

“Every year, fewer and fewer veterans of the War remain on this earth, and often take their stories with them,” you hear on the video. “Time is of the essence. World War II veterans are in their twilight years. Some of the people I’ve photographed have already passed away.” The voice belongs to Sasha Maslov, […]

Dmitry Konradt’s Soviet Rock Photography

Today, Dmitry Konradt is an artist who specializes in abstract photography of urban life, architecture, and organic shapes. The textures of cement block walls, the geometry of spiral staircases, the beauty in decay of abandoned buildings – Konradt shoots it all. But in the 1980s, Konradt had very different subject material. He was one of […]

Valery Barykin’s “Soviet Pinups”

“There is no sex in the Soviet Union!” So declared one Soviet woman in 1986, responding to an American woman who had asked about comparative sexual openness in the States and USSR during a segment on a TV show hosted by Russian-American journalist Vladimir Pozner. Though misquoted – the woman actually responded, “There is no […]

New Mariinsky Theater Addition Draws Controversy

Even before its official opening on May 2, the new Mariinsky Theater building was at the center of controversy. The $630 million, 850,000 square feet structure runs the length of an entire block in St. Petersburg’s beloved theater square, nestled behind the original 19th century structure and connected to it by a footbridge.  While the […]

The Grand Maket Museum in St. Petersburg

The paradox of studying abroad is that so much is at your fingertips, yet there’s never enough time to see it all. But what if you could see all of Russia in one day? Now you can with a visit to The Grand Maket Rossiya (The Grand Layout of Russia), a museum based around a […]

Etagi (“Floors”) in St. Petersburg

Etagi — full name “Loft Project ETAGI” — can be described in one word: ambitious. The definition of a loft, according to the project web site, is “a large spaced previously used for industrial purposes, now with a different function.” Etagi took that definition to the furthest extent, establishing itself as everything from an art […]

New Holland Island in St. Petersburg

New Holland / Новая Голландия Embankment of the Admiralteskiy Canal, 2 Metro Admiralteskaya Open daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. After returning from his travels abroad to Holland and a stint studying shipbuilding there, Peter the Great decided to establish a little bit of Holland in his own country. Conceived as a military port […]

Ilya Repin Museum in Repino (near St. Petersburg)

Works of Ilya Yefimovich Repin can be found in St. Petersburg at the Russian Museum, including his famous portraits of Lev Tolstoy. Reproductions of his paintings can be found in art stores across the city, and postcards bearing one of his works can be purchased in souvenir shops for only a few rubles. But not […]

IGU Botanical Garden in Irkutsk

IGU Botanical Garden / Ботанический сад, ИГУ Ул. Кольцова 93 9:00 — 18:00 Irkutsk is better known for its Siberian taiga than for tropical flora, and in the dead of winter it can feel particularly gray and lifeless. However, it’s a well-kept secret that there’s always one place you can go if you’re pining for […]

The House of Navy Officers Theater in Vladivostok

“Chmorik” / “Чморик” at Дом Офицеров Флота / The House of Navy Officers Ул. Светланская, д. 48 Starts at 5 pm; Shows every month – check the theater for schedual Cost: 200 rubles  Russia being a country so rich in the dramatic tradition, home to such greats as Chekhov, Gorkii and Ostrovskii, I was a […]

Marat Gelman

hMarat Gelman was born in Chisinau, Moldova on 24 December 1960, the son of Soviet dramatist Alexander Gelman. As a youth, he danced in “Zhok,” a Moldovan folk ensemble, and entered the Moscow Electrotechnical Institute of Communications in 1977, during which time he worked in a number of Moscow theatres, including the Mayakovsky Theatre. He […]

IGLU Youth Theater Group “Experiment” in Irkutsk

As Shakespeare said, all the world’s a stage, and it seems that this maxim applies even to Siberia. Indeed, Irkutsk is quite well serviced as far as theater goes: with the musical theater, A.V. Vampilov Theater, puppet theater, and youth theater, there is a range of options for even a discerning theatergoer. However, for a foreigner […]

The V.P. Sukachev Mansion in Irkutsk

V. P. Sukachev Mansion / Усадьба В. П. Сукачёва Ул. Декабрских Событий 112 Hours: Tues.-Sun. 10:00 – 17:30 Entrance: 100 rubles, free for students with Russian student ID. Phone: 8(3952)53-12-24, Website: www.sukachoff.ru The house-museum is a peculiarly Russian institution; in most Russian cities one can find small, underfunded museums preserving the apartments and possessions even […]

Endless Exhibitions: A Night of Art in the City of Secrets

Once a year, in over forty countries spanning Europe, nearly three thousand museums remain open late into the night for “Night of Museums.” Since 1977, International Museum Day has been recognized worldwide on or about May 18th. As a way to celebrate this holiday, Night of Museums was established in 1997 in Berlin. A little […]

Dariya Yev Creates on SRAS Program

SRAS graduate Dariya Yev created several pieces while abroad with SRAS on the Art and Museums in Russia program in St. Petersburg. This is one piece she chose to share with us: Here is what the artist has to say about her creation: This particular painting in July of 2011 occurred as I was planted […]

Museum, Complex: Combining Culture, Community, and Contemporary Art at Erarta

There’s a lot to be said about the highly political, oftentimes tenuous relationship between artists and art galleries throughout the Modern age.  It can be argued that this ambivalent relationship has its origins at the founding of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris in 1648.  For centuries, an artist’s reputation was vaulted […]

Art Imitates Life(Box): Marina Alexeeva’s “Lifeboxes” at the Marina Gisich Gallery

When you find yourself in front of the Marina Gisich Gallery on Reki Fontaki, it’s difficult at first to tell if you’ve found yourself at one of St. Petersburg’s most significant contemporary art centers, or at a building undergoing major electrical work. The space is currently hosting Marina Aleexeva’s “Lifeboxes,” which features shadowboxes of painstakingly fabricated […]

Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow

Новодевичье Кладбище/ Novodevichy Cemetery Лужнецкий пр., метро Спортивная 9am-5pm Admission free Novodevichy Cemetery is one of my favorite places in Moscow, and what luck that it is absolutely free to visit! I have personally been there three times during my two stays in the city. Located next to Novodevichy Monastery, the this cemetery is the […]

The Marine Façade and the Petersburg Myth in Post-Soviet Russia

St. Petersburg has always been Russia’s “window to the West.” At the time of its construction in the eighteenth century, Peter the Great envisioned a city encompassing the greatest architectural achievements of Western Europe: the romantic island-canal systems of Venice and Amsterdam, luxurious baroque architecture, and a court rivaling that of the French in power […]

How to See 30 Local Artists of St. Petersburg (And Feel Good About Yourself!): The Good Home Charity Events

St. Petersburg is a city full of public art – from sculptures to mosaics to murals. Everywhere you turn, there are the signatures of artists old and new. New projects are being formed all the time to serve a variety of purposes, including charity events to help local NGOs. One such project, which has already […]

Ilya Gaponov & Name Gallery

At the intersection of Nevsky Prospect and the Griboyedov Canal, one can see some of the most famous sites in St. Petersburg – from the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood to the Kazansky Cathedral. Just a five minute walk from here, past the famous Bank Bridge with the golden-winged griffons, there is […]

The City History Museum of Irkutsk

The City History Museum of Irkutsk / Музей истории города Иркутска ул. Франк-Каменецкого, 16а Open 10 am to 6 pm Entrance: 50 rubles general admission, 25 rubles for students with ID The City History Museum of Irkutsk is a relatively lesser-known museum located not far from the Volkonsky Decembrists Museum and the bus station. The museum […]

The Angarsk Clock Museum near Irkutsk

The Angarsk Clock Museum / Музей часов города Ангарска ул. Карла Маркса 31 (г. Ангарск, остановка “Музей часов”) Entrance: Adults, 50 rubles. Students with ID, free. Photography permit, 50 rubles. Transportation: 15-70 rubles (bus for 70 rubles, elektrichka 20-50 rubles, depending on student status) The Clock Museum in Angarsk makes for a great day trip outside […]

Marina Fedorova & The Lazarev Gallery

The Lazarev Gallery wants you to come inside. Located near the Neva River on the 6thLine of Vasilievsky Island in St. Petersburg, the renovated historical building with tinted windows and assorted English and Russians signs formed in glass and bronze welcomes the artistically curious. The gallery opened in the summer of 2007 and became an instant […]

The Legacy of Unofficial Art in St. Petersburg: The Case of Pushkinkaya-10 Art Center

One must really have the desire to find the Pushkinskaya-10 Art Center if they are to visit it. Located in an otherwise inconspicuous courtyard off Ligovsky Prospect, it hides tucked behind the bright signs surrounding the Moskovsky railway station in downtown St. Petersburg, just a bit more visible than when its entrance was located around […]

Primorye State Picture Gallery in Vladivostok

Приморксая Государственная Картиная Галерея / Primorye State Picture Gallery Partizansky Prospekt, 12 Hours of Operation: Tue-Sun – 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Cost: 200 rubles for adults,  100 rubles for children. From the street, the Primorye State Picture Gallery is hardly noticeable. But it is a classic example for not judging a book by its […]

Irina Federova and Gafur Mendagaliev at The Borey Art Center

In 1991, just after the Soviet Union dissolved, the Borey Art Center was established around the corner from the bustling Nevsky Prospect in the basement of an old building on Liteiny Prospect. Around this time, two Russian artists were approaching important moments in their respective artistic lives. Irina Federova was attending her first art school […]

Marina Gisich Gallery

The Marina Gisich Gallery began in 2000 as one of a small number of galleries bringing a contemplative, concept-driven artistic temperament to the Saint Petersburg art scene. The original artists displayed their works at Gisich to confront and change attitudes about art exhibitions. These artists included Kerim Ragimov, Vladimir Kustov, Evgenij Yufit, Marina Alexeeva, Petr […]

Gorky Drama Theater in Vladivostok

The Gorky Theater in Vladivostok will be celebrating its 80th anniversary in the following theater season.  Located on Svetlanskaya Street, a few blocks away from the bridge, the theater doesn’t exactly strike an image.  While the building, which was built in mid-70s, certainly retains some of its Soviet charm, the theater grounds are gorgeous.  The […]

The New Museum

Settled in the historic district of St. Petersburg, the New Museum is the first private museum of its kind in St. Petersburg. Local businessman, Aslan Chekhoev, opened the museum from the private collection he started twenty years ago. Opened in June 2010, the museum provides an exciting permanent collection of Soviet Non-Conformist art, as well as […]

Hello Pasta! By Yeka Haski & The Nevsky 8 Art Center

The Nevsky 8 Art Center, is an art supply shop, gift store, gallery, and café all in one. Located at the very beginning of Nevsky Prospect, just around the corner from Palace Square, Nevsky 8 has bright lime-green signs in English to draw attention. The windows are filled with conceptual art for purchase, such as painted […]

Ilya Repin

Ilya Yefimovich Repin is “widely, and rightly, acknowledged as the preeminent exponent of critical realism in nineteenth-century Russian art” and was often styled under the Soviet regime as an “ethical painter.” Others have called him a “pivotal figure in…Russian realism,” and during his lifetime, Repin was witness to key moments in the history of Russian art. […]

Mikhail Vrubel

Mikhail Vrubel’s importance in Russian art is now undisputed, but during his own lifetime he achieved little success. He was heavily criticized for his rough, unrealistic forms, decorative use of space and strange motifs. He was a Symbolist and an expressionist at a time when most artists still ascribed to the Realist tradition of the Wanderers. […]

The Wanderers

The Peredvizhniki, or The Wanderers, were a movement of Russian Realism born from the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1863. Under the rule of Alexander II, Russia was struggling through a series of liberal reforms that were part of a greater humanitarian movement. The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 deconstructed much of the social […]

Irkutsk Natural History Museum

Irkutsk Local History Museum: Natural History Branch Иркутский областной краеведческий музей: Отдел природы ул. Карла Маркса, 11 Hours: 10am to 6pm, closed Mondays Cost: 200 rub for adults, free for university students. Special exhibits: 150 rubles. 300 rubles for a photography permit (butterfly photography free) If you’re interested in wildlife and the natural world, the […]

Irkutsk Drama Theatre

In early December we finally got a chance to go to the Irkutsk Drama Theatre for a performance of Gogol’s comedic play, Marriage (Женитьба). It was enjoyable and funny, even if we didn’t understand about sixty percent of the dialogue. The actors were very good and made us laugh throughout the play, through both their […]

Decembrists Museum: Volkonsky Mansion in Irkutsk

Decembrists Museum: Volkonsky Mansion / Музей декабристов: Дом-музей Волконских пер. Волконского, 10   Open from 10 am to 6 pm, closed Mondays General admission: 200 Rubles, but many different discounts for elderly, students, and entry for college students is free Located on a small street off of Timuryaeva, not far from the bus station, the Volkonsky Mansion of […]

Taltsy Museum of Architecture near Irkutsk

Архитектурно-этнографический музей “Тальцы” / Taltsy Museum of Architecture and Ethnography Алеутская, 11   150 rubles general entrance fee (Other prices may apply for special events.) ~100 rubles Marshrutka ride from Irkutsk to the museum Located about 40 minutes outside the city of Irkutsk, on the way to the popular Baikal shore town of Listvyanka, is the […]

Primorsky State Museum in Vladivostok

Приморский Государственный Объединенный Музей им. В.К. Арсеньева / Primorsky State Associated Museum of V.K. Arsenyev Светланская ул., 20 / Svetlanskaya Street, 20   Hours of Operation: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday Cost: 100 Rubles (70 with student ID), plus another 100 to use a camera Walking around Vladivostok recently, I noticed an advertisement […]

Museum of Automotoantiquity in Vladivostok

Музей Автомотостарины / Museum of Automotoantiquity  ул. Сахалинская, 2А / Sakhalinskaya Street, 2A  Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday Cost: 50 Rubles I recently went to the Музей Автомотостарины, (The Museum of Antique Cars and Motorcycles). As I’m not exactly a car enthusiast, I was initially skeptical. However, the exhibition […]

Irkutsk Local History Museum

Иркутский областной краеведческий музей Irkutsk Local History Museum Отдел истории: ул. Карла Маркса, 2   Open 10 am to 6 pm, closed Mondays Entrance: free for students (with ID), 200 rubles for adults; 300 rubles for a photography permit The Irkutsk Local History Museum is located downtown, on the edge of the Angara river, just across the […]

The Muzeon and Art Market

Across the street from Gorky Park, on the territory of the New Tretyakov Gallery and the Central House of Artists lies Sculpture Park, which is known as “Muzeon” to locals. It is most famous as a graveyard of Soviet era statues, but also contains much modern art and several themed, sculpted landscapes all in an […]

Burganov Museum

Once the workshop of one of Moscow’s most famous modern sculptors, the Burganov Museum is one of the few Moscow museums dedicated to the work of a living artist. First and foremost a workshop, the museum is constantly changing and holds the works of Burganov, his wife, son, and friends. Alexander Burganov is perhaps best […]

Vasnetsov House-Museum

Situated between rows of high-rises and block apartment buildings stands a charming wooden house that was the home of one of Russia’s most famous artists. Victor M. Vasnetsov (1848-1926) created genre, historical, and religious art. His house reflects this and most items are either inspired by or made by the artist. The small, green-and-white house is […]

Winzavod

By Hannah Chapman Hannah Chapman is majoring in Russian Studies, International Business, and Political Science at Stetson University. She spent spring semester, 2009 studying abroad with The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) in Moscow on the Translate Abroad Program. Once a winery and now an art center, Winzavod spans seven buildings that total 20,000 sq. m. (215,000 […]

Irkutsk Art Museum (Siberian Art Branch)

Irkutsk Art Museum (Siberian Art Branch) Художественный музей (Отдел сибирского искусства) Карла Маркса, 23 Open from 10am to 6pm, Closed Mondays Entrance: 200 rubles (foreign adults), 150 rubles (foreign students) 100 rubles (photography permit) In downtown Irkutsk, not far from the Central Market (Tsentral’niy Rinok) you’ll find the Siberian Art Branch of the Irkutsk Art […]

Roerich Museum

Dedicated to the works and ideas of the Nicholas Roerich and his family, the International Centre of the Roerichs stands out from its famous neighbors (it’s next to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts) in both style and philosophy. Roerich was a widely-travelled painter and free thinker in the artistically and politically turbulent first half […]

The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The Hermitage is a travel destination, artwork, and history unto itself. One could spend days in the labyrinthine rooms and anterooms and never see all the art on display – and this is not to mention that in its vaults rests about 20 times more art than even these rooms can hold. It occupies several […]

Vladivostok: Fort No. 7

By Lisa Horner Lisa Horner works for SRAS in program development and student relations. Each month the SRAS newsletter features news and information about Russia! Vladivostok, along with dozens of other cities, was a closed city from 1958 to 1992. This means the city had special travel and residency restrictions. It was completely closed to […]

Palace of the Boyars Romanov in Moscow

Five minutes away from Red Square, between a few small churches, stands the old palace of the famous Romanov boyars. Built by the brother-in-law of Ivan the Terrible and grandfather of Tsar Mikhail Romanov in the sixteenth century, it housed the family until 1613 when Mikhail Romanov became Tsar. After the Romanovs moved to the […]

Faith Seim: The Drama of Russia

Faith Seim, after studying at for an academic year (1999-2000) at Moscow State University with SRAS, applied to and was accepted to study film direction at the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). She eventually went on to work in the studios of RAMKO/Russian-American Movie Company, a Moscow-based film company specializing in producing films “for the international market” and […]

Moscow’s Modern Dance Movements

In Moscow, a close community of performers and dancers exists that examines and explore body movement. Some choreographers define their work as “modern dance,” while others call their art “nonverbal dramatic theater.” Some choreographers and dancers attempt to avoid definition all together, explaining their art more loosely with terms like “total body movement,” “improvisation,” “free […]

Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

Russia was a completely extreme experience for me, and one that I will never forget. Every day our group visited numerous works of priceless art from the smallest Scythian pendant, to the largest bell ever created in Moscow. My first impression of St. Petersburg was a sort of confusion. I had spent a few summers […]

Program Review: Art and Museums in Russia

As soon as we stepped outside of the airport and into Russia, I was surprised by just how different from anything I had ever seen it was. Everything is built and maintained so grandly here. I’m from around New York City, where we build upwards and sleek and fast, with NO attention to color or […]

Susanna Weygandt: GITIS Attendee

Susanna Weygandt is an acting student at Bryn Mawr College who is studying currently at GITIS. SRAS: Introduce yourself to us, what is your background and what are your future plans? Susanna: I started taking Russian at Bryn Mawr College in fall of 2002. I studied one summer in Vladimir with another program after my […]

The Children of Russian Censorship: Censorship at the Bolshoi Theatre

A member of the State Duma has decried the Bolshoi Theatre’s latest opera, The Children of Rosenthal, as “pornography.” Now, for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, the government is openly considering censoring the Russian stage. Furthermore, this is part of a larger movement by Russian conservatives to bring censorship back to […]

Amanda Rae Jones: MXAT American Studio Graduate

Amanda Rae Jones is a graduate of the “American Studio” acting program offered through the Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT). The program remains prestigious even after almost a century of existence. The theatre itself was home to Konstantin Stanislavski, whose theories of acting, the first in their time to fully integrate psychology and social sciences into […]

Underground Theater in St. Petersburg

As I attended my 20th class at St. Petersburg State University, an old woman waltzed into the room speaking rapid-fire Russian, waving theater tickets and emphasizing the words Fyodor Dostoevsky with much grandeur. My curiosity was piqued. The tickets were handwritten, the location of the theater obscure. In bold on the front of the ticket […]

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