5 must-see art museums in St. Petersburg, Russia

5 must-see art museums in St. Petersburg, Russia


State Russian Museum

State Russian Museum is tied for the name of the world’s best collection of Russian artworks with the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The collection now housed in the museum was first started by Tsar Alexander III, who collected many great works of Russian art. With the beginning of the Soviet era the museum bloomed, as thousands of artworks were confiscated from rich families and given to the museum by the state. Today, the museum is home to almost 0.5 million pieces covering the time period from 1000’s to today. 

State Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage is one of the largest art museums in the world that houses more than 3 million pieces and it is by far the most famous and popular tourist sight in St. Petersburg. Exponents of the museum are housed in several buildings in different parts of the city, so we recommend researching the contents of the Hermitage collections and planning the visit ahead. The majority of art pieces are located in the Winter Palace, a former royal residence, but a large part of the collection is also located in the storage facility, which recently became accessible for tourists.

Academy of Fine Arts Museum

While you won’t find many artworks by prominent artists in this museum, it is certainly worth visiting if you’re interested in the history of art education in St. Petersburg. This museum is home to thousands of artworks created by students and graduates of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, as well as some pieces by the Academy’s professors and paintings related to the history of the institution. You can also often find exhibits that feature works by local artists here. 

New Museum of Modern Art in St. Petersburg

This museum will certainly be of interest to anyone who wants to get acquainted with modern Russian art. The building houses mostly pieces from private collections of Russian art connoisseurs and features works created between 1950s and today. 

Museum of the St. Petersburg Avant-garde

While not as famous as other museums on this list, this small museum provides a peculiar insight into the development of Russian avant-garde style in music and literature from the 1910s to the 1930s. The building of the museum, a small wooden house was once home to Mikhail Matyushin, one of the key figures in the development of contemporary art in Russia. The artist worked together with Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, who often gathered at his house. 
5 must-see art museums in St. Petersburg, Russia
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