Department of Woodworks and Furniture

After 1915 the Department of Woodworks and Furniture part of the Russian Historical Museum’s household history division, to become an independent division in 1932.

The collection of the Department is unique, unrivalled by any other museum, either in terms of richness or in the exclusive character that its monuments of art and householding have to them. The collection houses objects made of wood, with their birth dates bridging the period from the 13th century to the present day. There are artworks made not only in Russia, but also in the West-European countries, in the East and the former Soviet Republics.

The famous antiquities collector of the time, P.I. Shchukin has a reputation for making a huge contribution to the expansion of the Department’s holdings by donating to the Museum his unique Applied and Decorative Arts collection in 1905.

In the years that followed, the Department’s collection was further expanded by donations ofA.P. Bakhrushin, E.E. Steinbach, E.M. Belyakov, P.S. Uvarova, I.K. Lindemanand other famous collectors. Historical and social expeditions carried out since 1924 played an important role in the emergence of the collection the Department can now offer.

The Department has in stock approximately 34 000 pieces of art distributed among the following collections:
The Furniture Collection of the 16th-20th centurieshousing the famous Museum of furniture dismantled in 1929. The earliest pieces of Russian furniture are stored within the division’s collection. A true gem is the unique collection of Russian manor furniture dating to the 18th-first third of the 19th centuries, including memorial items, pieces by the leading Russian enterprises of the 19- early 20th centuries and artworks by outstanding artists and architect’s designs.

The Popular Art Collection of the 17th-20th centuriesis the best in Russia. It contains a wide assortment of items Russian people used in their everyday life and festivities, from architectural house decorations (carved boards, mica window sashes, and interior details) to wooden dishware, spinning wheels, gingerbread boards and gingerbreads, as well as agricultural tools. A special place belongs to trunks with secular paintings of the 16-19th centuries to which there is nothing comparable in other museums.

The Russian Church Art Collection of the 13th-20th centuriesis a unique package of carved icons, small plastic items, church interior details (the Holy Doors, procession crosses, hollow candle-shaped waxen candlesticks, chandeliers, sculptures, etc.), including the 13th century “tjablo” – the earliest Russian carved icon this far discovered.

The Department’s Vehicle Collection of the 16th-20th centurieshas as its centerpiece a rare collection of masquerade sledges from Russia and the Western Europe, including the sledge custom-made for the crowning ceremony of Catherine II and the small cart of Peter I, the carriage of Paul I, the sled of Napoleon.

The collection of Papier-mâché workscontainslacquer miniature paintingsswith a rare collection of early artworks by Lukutin, Vishnyakov’s factories and other Russian and European enterprises of the 18th-19th centuries; the Department has compiled one of the most extensive Russianollections of playing cards.

Studies of Russian applied and decorative arts and popular art were invaluably furthered by the staff of the Wood and Furniture Department, namelyV.S. Voronov(1887-1940),S.K. Prosvirkina (1881-1971), D.N. Yermolaev (1897-1976), S.K. Zhegalova(1913-1995), and Z.P. Popova (1918-2004).
Contact tel.:(495) 692-65-48

Current exhibitions