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 cover! Despite its bland exterior and minute exhibition hall, this Vladivostok cultural spot is packed with charm!
The gallery is located on Partizansky Prospekt, only a 10 minute walk or a few bus stops up from VSUES. The entrance fee is 200 rubles for adults, which seems a bit much considering the size of the place. Also, cameras are strictly prohibited (found that one out by being yelled at by the guard!). I was lucky enough to visit the gallery when they were showcasing the work of the famous Russian painter Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh (Никола́й Константи́нович Рéрих). For those of you who don’t know much about Rerikh, I highly recommend checking out the Nikolai Rerikh Wikipedia page.
When I entered, I only planned on spending 30 minutes looking at the paintings. However, to my surprise and delight, the museum offers free tours every few hours. Our tour guide was absolutely amazing. He went on and on, naming people, places, dates, and the most random facts connected to Rerikh’s life. It was nearly an hour before he even got to describing Rerikh’s paintings! One nice thing is that you can step away from the tour at any time to look at the paintings and still be able to hear the guide. Unfortunately, the guide speaks fairly quickly and has a very large vocabulary, so it might be difficult for beginning Russian speakers to follow along.
All in all, The Primorye State Picture Gallery is a wonderful cultural experience. There are new exhibitions every month to 6 weeks, so feel free to stop in more than once. It’s also a good way to impress your Russian friends with your “extensive knowledge” of 20th century Russian landscape paintings.
Michael Smeltzer has degrees in Russian Language and Philosophy from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He has previously studied abroad in Irkutsk and is currently spending an academic year in Vladivostok as part of SRAS’s Home and Abroad program.