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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 Derevnaya 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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