Whats on

The Russian Museum of Ethnography informs
The Russian Museum of Ethnography is temporarily closed
The exhibition "The Earthly Beauty: Image of Woman in Folk Culture"
The unique collection of Tatar culture
Yulia Kupina is new director of the RME
The Arctic – Inhabited Land
The exhibition “The Voices of Adornment”
The exhibition «In Forests and Highlands: The Life of the Volga Region Old Believers».

Due to epidimiological situation and  the Resolution N 121  of the Government of Saint Petersburg of March 13, 2020 "Concerning the  counteraction measures against diffusion of new coronavirus infection  (COVID-19)


The Russian Museum of Ethnography informs

 Safety of visitors and personnel is priority of the Museum. During last months the Museum carefully monitors the dynamics  of situation related to diffusion of coronavirus. All the events scheduled for March-April 2020 are  intended for less than 500 participants. Progressing   decline of the Museum's attendence in comparison with the same periods of last year is noted.  today the number of visitors already has reduced by18  %.  Attendance of the Museum's public spaces is regulated by the services of visitors' reception and security, crowdings of visitors are not permitted. The staff is  attending  special trainings. All business trips of the Museum's staff abroad are canceled, consultations and negotiations are carried out predominantly on distance. Particular attention is paid to quality and intensivity of cleaning in the entrance zone and public spaces.

In spite of complcated conditions, the Museum works in normal mode and doesn't change the programme of constant and temporary exhibitions. However, from March 13, 2020 the opening  ceremonies are temporary canceled. 

The Russian Museum of Ethnography presents its apologies for possible inconveniences. In case of additional restrictions the Museum will timely inform about changes in its work and strongly recommend to monitor relevant information at the Museum's official website and social nets. .

The Russian Museum of Ethnography is temporarily closed, starting March 18.

The health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff is our highest priority. In line with national policy concerning the coronavirus, the Russian Museum of Ethnography will be closed until further notice.

Every people had their own notions about woman beauty. The ideal physical appearance was started to be formed immediately after child’s birth. The “correct” physical appearance of a person was created by specific massage enforced by magic formulas in accordance with aesthetic cannons of particular ethnolocal community.

Coming of age girl received knowledge how the true beauty should look and how this image could be made. The motto “correct means beautiful” completely reflected traditional notions about woman beauty.  Physical appearance was corrected with help of hygienic means, decorative cosmetics and hairdo. Harmonious combination of jewelry and clothes created attractive silhouette. The conventional notions of beauty are brilliantly reflected in festive costumes of young women. It was the costume which helped to hide individual features of every figure, accentuating thin waist or wide hips, ample bosom of full legs.   In some cultures on the contrary, the shapes of body were hidden under loose clothes.  

The exhibition sections explicitly show the stage of creating an ideal woman image among various peoples: body– head – breast – hands – legs. The notions about hygiene, curative and decorative cosmetics, hair care means and diversity of hairdo variants, an also about peculiarities of woman figure shaping according to the folk ideas of attractiveness are shown with help of ethnographic exhibits of XIX-early XX cc.

Historical photographs from the collection of the  “Russian Museum of Ethnography” illustrate the “three ages” of woman beauty: girl of marriageable age, young woman, older woman.  

On December 28 2019 the Russian Museum of Ethnography opens new exhibition dedicated to traditional culture of Tatar people. It will become a part of regional section of museum permanent exhibition about the culture of the peoples of the Volga region and important stage of developing museum’s relations with regions of country.

The unique museum collections on the culture of Tatar of the Volga and Ural region of XIX – early XX cc., many of which are exhibited for the first time, reveal expressive and original features of territorial and ethno-confessional Tatar groups, traditions  of house furnishing,  peculiarities of national costumes, economical occupations and crafts, rites and festivals, customs of rearing children, education,  and  religion.

The authors of exhibition pursued to build and upgrade the ties of ancient history with modern culture of Tatar people – one of the most numerous peoples of Russia, whose representative also comprise significant part of Saint Petersburg population. Rare historical photographs from museum collection, multimedia content on the history of Tatar collection and modern life of Tatarstan help to show continuity of traditions and uniqueness of region

The exhibition was made in close cooperation between the Russian Museum of Ethnography and public, cultural and educational institutions of the Tatarstan Republic, Tatar national communities and groups of Saint Petersburg. In the solemn inauguration of exhibition the administrative board of museum, the curators of exhibition, official representatives of Tatarstan Republic and the museum sponsors will participate.


Vladimir Moiseevich Grusman, who headed the Russian Museum of Ethnography for 20 years, leaves the director’s position. The museum achievements of past years are inseparably linked with his name.

The Russian Museum of Ethnography cordially thanks V. M. Grusman and continues to develop further.

Yulia Arkadievna Kupina, the Ph.D. in History is appointed the new director of the Russian Museum of Ethnography. Her professional skills and experience of previous employment as the Deputy Director at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology of the Russian Academy of Science will help to move museum at the qualitatively new level.

According to agreement of the parties, V.M. Grusman will continue to work at the Russian Museum of Ethnography in new position.

The exhibition «The Arctic – Inhabited Land»

For  most  of us the Arctic is an enigmatic “ice corner” of our planet with numerous shining white icebergs and ice covered seas, endless polar days and nights; it is the land of unlimited domain of  the cold and the source of constant challenges to man, the  place of self-sacrifices and achievements. It’s here, on the territory of extreme natural, cultural and value contrasts, where the hidden potential of culture, its flexibility and endurance emerge allowing man not only survive in hardly suitable for life environment, but make the Arctic a part of his cultural space.

The exhibition invites visitor to travel across the spaces of the Russian Arctic and to make a glimpse at history and culture of its inhabitants. The choice for exhibition of such ethnographic topics as economic and hunting activities, trade, home, clothes, rites and beliefs, navigation and missionary work is determined by the main objective of exhibition -  to show how and by what means people made the Arctic, the territory with extreme environmental conditions for man, their home.

The name “Arctic” (ἄρκτος – she-bear) is not directly related to its largest inhabitant – white bear, but is derived from the Ancient Greek names of constellations of the Ursa Major and  the Ursa Minor with unmovable Polaris and territory situated under it in the Northern hemisphere.

Not being a mainland the Arctic embraces vast territory (27 millions square km) of the northern periphery of Eurasia and North America neighboring the North Pole and the entire area of the Arctic Ocean with its islands. The Arctic territory with its richest mineral deposits and resources has been always the center of allure for traders, merchants, travelers and explorers.

Russia always longed the Arctic that had especially attractive power for our country throughout its history from Novgorod merchants and the Pomors to poets and conquerors of the North Pole. The result of this multi-century endeavor was exploration of vast polar territories by Russian travelers, men of service, traders, missionaries, scientists and navigators. Observing, and recording the life of indigenous ethnic groups, living side by side with them they not only introduced new elements in their culture and religion, but also enriched their own with practices of local peoples related to economic activity and life-maintenance system, without which it’s impossible to imagine the present existence of the Russian Arctic’s population.

Ethnographic objects and archeological findings representing the circumpolar cultures alongside photographs and drawings from the Russian Museum of Ethnography collections and multimedia programs will help visitor to know general and unique features of different ethnic and local cultures’ traditions, the complex of which shapes the image of the “Arctic house” common to everybody.

The exhibition “The Voices of Adornment” timed to celebration of Latvian culture days is opening In Saint-Petersburg on March 10 2020.

The exhibition features the jewelry collection of designers Inita and Vitauta Straupe (the family enterprise “Baltu Rotas”) creating adornments for already 25 years. Their creative work is based on specific heritage- the unique adornments of ancient Balts which even today continue to amaze by diversity of their shapes, ornamental motifs and stories.

The woman vocal ensemble “Latvian Voices" will perform at the exhibition opening. This is a cappela ensemble “which repertoire contains both folk songs and Baroque pieces. In 2014 the “Latvian Voices” was selected the symbol of Riga as European cultural capital and the World Olympiad of Choirs.

Joining the events of the Latvian culture days in Saint Petersburg the Russian Museum of Ethnography invites representatives of mass media and information agencies interested in reporting of the present event.  Concerning organization of interviews with specialists and video filming of exhibition please, contact the Department of Exterior Relations of our museum.

The exhibition opening will take place in the Russian Museum of Ethnography at 5.00. p.m.

The exhibition predominantly deals with daily and ritual spheres in the life of the Old Believers. Here 250 objects from museum collection are presented.

The exhibition predominantly deals with daily and ritual spheres in the life of the Old Believers. Here 250 objects from museum collection are presented. Visitors will see costumes of nuns, everyday  and festive clothes of girls and young men, married women and men, recreated scenes of  the baptismal  dinner, gatherings in convent, works in turner workshop and book store. Several compositions feature the themes of male occupations (spoon making and cooperage, fishing and trade) and women hand works (lace making, golden embroidery, etc.)  Important place is also given to the attributes of the Old Believers’ and Orthodox traditions: rosaries made and ornamented in various techniques, copper cast crosses and icons and handwritten books. 

Much of the aforementioned is known in utmost detail, due to investigations of P.I.Mel’nikov Pechersky an officer on special duty. Gradually surpassing official’s tasks, his personal interest in the investigated environment permitted him to study and evaluate in depth the culture of Old Believers as the keepers of ancient traditions of the Russian people for future generations.  Therefore, the fragments from the novels of P.I.Mel’nikov Pechersky “In forests” and “In highlands” are presented on the exhibition. Quotations are a sort of documents conserving the authentic life atmosphere of the Nizhniy Novgorod Old Believers in the middle XIX century and help to feel the specifics of their language and style of their relations.  

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