March 19, 2023 marks 125 years since the opening of the Russian Museum – the first state collection of Russian art. The museum’s history is inseparable from the selfless work done by several generations of its creative teams and staff members. One such dedicated individual was Alexander Erzhemsky (1845–1905), the museum’s first photographer, and founder and first director of the “In-House Photography Studio of the Russian Museum of Emperor Alexander III”.
Erzhemsky was a memorable, enterprising man and a recognized master of and authority on photography, having participated in and won prizes in many different Russian and international exhibitions. He also gave lectures and published manuals, brochures, books, articles and research papers on photography. Erzhemsky was the head of Section 5 of the Imperial Russian Technical Society (photography and its applications), the co-owner of the St Petersburg Studio for Study Aids and Games, and worked with numerous periodicals and publishing houses.
From 1897 onward, this talented photographer’s career path was closely intertwined with the Russian Museum, which currently holds many of his works: glass negatives, author’s prints, photogravures, postcards, and art reproductions printed from his photographs. This collection of photographic material, dating from the 1890s to the early 1900s, is unique in its composition, quality, and volume, painting a rather comprehensive picture of Erzhemsky’s body of work: photographic reproductions of artworks, buildings and interiors, landscapes and cityscapes. His masterfully executed art reproductions and his technically and compositionally sophisticated creative photography impressed many of his fellow photographers and artists, including Alexandre Benois. The bulk of Erzhemsky’s work for the Russian Museum consisted in photographing the artworks that came into the museum’s possession. But his job duties also included documentary photography of the museum’s exhibitions, buildings and events.
This exhibition marks the first time that the carefully researched and collated biography and legacy of Alexander Erzhemsky is being presented to photography professionals and the public at large. Various photographic works are joined by archival documents, books and magazines from the Russian Museum holdings associated with the life and work of the master photographer.
The exhibition is timed to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the Russian Museum and its photography studio and the 100th anniversary of the museum’s photography archive (currently the images archive section), which holds a voluminous and representative collection of historical photographs, including works by the Russian Museum’s first photographer, Alexander Erzhemsky.
15 December 2023—19 February 2024
The exhibition is dedicated to a hundred-year-old tradition of producing decorative “military plates” depicting imperial army uniforms. Besides plates, the exhibition includes drawings and lithographs that served as sources or preliminary studies for paintings by such famous artists of the “uniform” genre.
25 August—23 October 2023
The name of Stanislav Zhukovsky (1875–1944) is inseparably connected with the flourishing of lyrical landscape in the Silver Age of Russian culture.
The collection of masterpieces, chosen by the Russian Museum will allow you to make a first impression of the collection of the Russian Museum.
Russian Museum - one of the world's largest museums and is perhaps the only country where such a full treasure of national culture are presented.
Virtual tour of the museum complex. 2009 (Rus., Eng., Ger., Fin.)
In the online shop of the Russian Museum presented a huge range of souvenirs, illustrated editions and multimedia disks.
Be informed about news, events and exhibitions of the Russian Museum
The State Russian Museum
The Russian Museum is the exclusive owner of all the interior images and pieces of art of the Russian Museum collection, as well as all the images and text information given on its official site. The usage of the texts and images provided on the site is only allowed with the permission of the Russian Museum.