Places for Lovers of Art in Moscow
26 March, 2019
Russia’s contribution to art across time has been nothing short of legendary. This article will walk you through some of the must-sees in Moscow.
Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Opened over a century ago, the Pushkin museum holds one of the city’s most impressive art collections. It includes works by Matisse, Picasso, Rembrandt, Monet and many other masters. Additionally, the museum holds a large collection of ancient art and hosts many seasonal exhibitions. Not visiting the museum while in Moscow is almost a sin.
The old and new Tretyakov Galleries
The history of the old Tretyakov Gallery’s collection started in XIX century Moscow. It began as the passion project of the wealthy merchant Pavel Tretyakov. Before dying, Tretyakov merged his art collection with his brother’s and donated it to the city of Moscow. A generous gift to say the least. Since then, the collection has grown and become perhaps the most amazing ensemble of Russian art in the world.
The new Tretyakov Gallery is focused on collecting XX and XXI century art, following Tretyakov’s tradition. Its collection includes emblematic exhibits, such as Tatlin’s Tower. Something I like very much about this gallery is that, like Garage, it’s located in the middle of Gorky Park. So, if visitors start to feel a bit saturated by the art, they can always go for a walk in the park and come back.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Garage is an extremely dynamic place. Probably my favourite experience so far when it comes to contemporary art in Moscow. I could tell about the current exhibitions, but it wouldn’t be good for much, as they are constantly changing. What I can tell you is that here you will find a very refreshing mix of exhibitions, tours, workshops, seminars and much more. There is always something new going on at Garage.
Museum of Russian Icons
This museum is radically different from any other in this list. It focuses on the icons used for worship in the Orthodox tradition over the last six centuries. Although its collection is mainly Russian, the museum has some items from the Greek world as well. The contrast between this and other museums comes to show that variety is the name of the game for art in Moscow.
Central House of Artist
Russia’s largest exhibition centre. In the past CHA has hosted the likes of Salvador Dali. Today it continues to show the work of prominent artists. For example, there was a Banksy exhibition at the time I wrote this article. However, CHA has expanded its mission to showcasing all expressions of contemporary art. This allows visitors to engage with anything from fashion to cinema, to music, to sculpture and so on, when visiting the venue. It’s also a great place to try to figure out what the heck is postmodernism.
Museum of Russian Impressionism
A former communist chocolate factory, the building home to the museum has become, through renovations, a piece of contemporary art itself. Its collection focuses on many Russian masters, such as Korovin and Yuon. Going through this museum is not as exhausting as visiting the Pushkin Museum, for example, but it’s definitively worth a look.
Museum of Oriental Art
This venue gives the centre stage to cultures often left in the side-lines of many larger museums. It rarely heads any sightseeing lists, but its oriental art and archaeological collection make it well worth the visit. Apart from its collection of art from several corners of Asia, the museum is home to an extensive Roerich exhibition.
Even after visiting all of these places, there is still much to discover when it comes to art in Moscow. If you want to stay up to date with all Moscow and Russia have to offer, be sure to check out our blogs and social media.