John McAslan + Partners make an impression in Moscow

Nick Myall
Tuesday 10 May 2016

This new museum will be a welcome addition to the Moscow art scene which is lacking in private exhibition spaces

The Museum of Russian Impressionism, designed by John McAslan + Partners, will open its doors on May 28th 2016, as part of the Bolshevik business and entertainment centre, housed in a historic Moscow chocolate factory in Russia.

Over 1000 sq m of exhibition halls and a cinema, modern multimedia zone, educational facilities for children, café, book and souvenir store will welcome visitors and help to create a joyful and meaningful experience of enjoying “the unexpected forms and fountain of colours…”, as the artist Konstantin Korovin described Russian impressionism.

The founders are looking to create a cultural institution that will unite fascinating exhibitions with research, publishing and educational activities.  A special emphasis will be placed on studying the origin of the Impressionist movements in Russia, analysing the works of the artists who formed its unique, local character, promoting impressionism as an important period in 19–20th centuries art both in Russia and abroad and popularising little known masters to the general public. 

The museum will be a welcome and timely addition for the Moscow art scene that is lacking in private exhibition spaces that could rival the state sponsored Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the Tretyakov Gallery in both technical specifications and grandeur.

The core of the new museum – its permanent exposition will be based on the masterpieces of notable Russian artists from the personal collection of its founder Boris Mints who believes that the importance of Impressionism in Russian art is extremely undervalued. “I am looking to create an institution that will make a significant contribution to the culture of my country and to art lovers in general. We are presented with a great opportunity to build a cutting-edge museum from scratch, which I consider a true blessing,” – said Boris Mints.

The work done by the team of the museum in the past two years has been recognised by the international art community and it was included as a member of the prestigious International Councils of Museums (ICOM).

“Lordculture” – an international cultural consulting agency that had previously worked with the Louvre and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts has helped with the creative concept of the new museum.

The difficult but exciting task of transforming the industrial heritage of a historic chocolate factory building into a world class art institution was given to an award-winning, London-based architectural practice John McAslan + Partners. They came up with a four-storey high, round pavilion decorated with silver perforated metal that reflects the surrounding landscapes.

The exhibition spaces, amounting to over a 1000 sq m will take up three floors with the permanent collection on the ground floor and temporary exhibits above it. Every year the museum is going to host 3-4 original expositions of relevant works loaned from the world’s leading museums and private collections. 

Security, storage and exhibiting conditions of the artworks are of great importance. The paintings from both museum and personal collections will be housed in a full equipped storage and archival facility.

The permanent collection is dedicated to the development of Russian impressionism over a century since 1870’s. It consists of more than 70 artworks of prominent Russian artists such as: Konstantin Korovin, Igor Grabar, Konstantin Yuon, Petr Konchalovskiy, Yuri Pimenov, as well as selected works by Boris Kustodiev and Valentin Serov.

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Nick Myall

News Editor

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