Free museum audioguide
Opening hours
Location and transport

On-line tour around the Museum will help you to visit RME without leaving the house.
Quality images will allow to consider fine details and especially interesting exhibits. 

 On-line tour around the Museum

The Russian Museum of Ethnography (RME) tells about simple and close to everybody subjects: how people worked, sometimes achieving the highest level of mastery, how they built and organized their houses, how they rested, reared their children, dressed and in what they believed. However, each museum complex has its own unrepeatable image and national flavor intrinsic only to this people.   

Ethnographers study peoples (ethnic groups) in time and space, in their unity and cultural specifics. All the museum artifacts are authentic gathered among the peoples by numerous generations of museum workers. The ethnographic object can tell much about various aspects of life of the entire people and their centenary customs. For example, old embroidered towel of Russian peasants was used not only for its direct purpose that is served as a “wipe”; people also covered icons by it in the Icon corner.  It was indispensable part of dowry, at wedding bride presented towels to groom and his relatives, according to old costume honored guests were given bread-and-salt on it, coffin was lowered to a tomb on towels escorting the deceased to his final journey. And how much labour, skill, patience, and taste inverted woman in weaving her fabric and its decoration with pattern!
In museum one convince by his own eyes how multifaceted  and colorful traditional culture of various peoples, how every of them created their ethnic image in different living conditions on the base of their notion about beauty and dignity shaped by centuries.

The RME exists more than 100 years. It is located in the building specially built for display of ethnographic collections by the project of the Royal Court architect V.F.Svin’in. The most outstanding scholars of Russia P. N. Kondakov, A. N. Pypin, V. I. Lamansky, V. V. Radlov, P.P. Semenov-Tyanshansky, V. V. Stasov laid the foundation for the museum. The principles established by them continue to be relevant up today.

One of the most beautiful gala halls of Saint Petersburg –the Marble Hall garnished with pink Karelian marble is located in the center of museum building.

Alongside with Russia the museum had to pass through many ordeals: terrible flood of 1924 destroyed many artifacts, the repressions of the 1930s also affected it; half of museum staff perished in the fronts of the Great Patriotic War and the building was seriously damaged in 1942.  . 
Today the RME is one of the largest ethnographic museums of the world. Not in vain foreign colleagues called it “the ethnographic Hermitage”. It keeps 500,000 ethnographic artifacts on 157 large and small ethnic groups of Russia beginning from the XVIII century. The volume of collections reflecting the culture of each ethnic group permits to make independent exhibition but due to absence of necessary museum spaces today we can see only a small part of this richest collection.

The museum halls present impressive panorama of costumes of the peoples of Russia including unique clothes of fish skin and nettle and rare sets of shaman attributes of the peoples of Siberia and Far East; splendid Central Asian carpets, gala arms and utensils of the Caucasus peoples, jewelry from the most diverse materials and many other objects of traditional folk crafts.

Fulfilling its main mission. the Russian Museum of Ethnography studies and recreates in its exhibitions traditional culture of peoples of multinational country, provoking interest in historical routes of their own culture, promoting the growth of ethnic conscience and understanding of necessity to treat respectfully the living standards, morals and customs of other peoples. 


We invite you to use the free audioguide on the exhibitions of the Russian Museum of Ethnography

To listen audioguide:

Connect to the  Wi-Fi net (in the museum entrance hall ) and download the application  izi.TRAVEL through  QR code (on advertisement banner) or at the website  


Be sure that the geolocation service is turned on
Open the application “The Russian Museum of Ethnography”
The audio excursion is prepared on the base of the mobile application 

Currently the audio tour «Traditional culture of Russians» focused on the  permanent exhibition «Russians» on the ground floor is available (duration 52 minutes).

The Museum is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The ticket office is opened from 11.00 a. m. to 06.00 p. m.

Day off - Monday

The Russian Museum of Ethnography is situated in Inzhenernaya str., 4/1, 191186, Saint-Petersburg, on the corner of Sadovaya and Inzhenernaya streets in the united architectural complex with the State Russian Museum


Metro stations "Gostinyi Dvor" and "Nevsky prospect"

Rights and Reproductions Office

+7 (812) 570-52-28

e-mail info@ethnomuseum.ru  


+7 (812)  570-54-21 – Excursion office
(Museum working hours, closed in Monday) 

+7 (812)  570-52-07 – Ticket office
(In museum working hours, in week days)

+7 (812) 570-57-68 – Director’s secretary

+7 (812) 570-54-78  -  HR Department

+7 (812) 570-58-03 – Purchase Commission

+7 (812) 570-59-45 – Library

+7 (812) 570-53-20 – Children Ethnographic Center

+7 (812) 570-57-15 – Exhibition Department

+7 (812) 315-81-40 – Accounts Department

E-mail: info@ethnomuseum.ru     


Origins and ideas
On the role of outstanding Russian scholars in creation of ethnographic museum concept, its founders, conveners and collectors.


In the circle of Russian intelligentsia the awareness of necessity to study culture and lifestyle of the peoples of multinational Russian empire already appeared in the middle XIX century together with establishment of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg.

The idea to create large ethnographic museum on the peoples of Russia matured in the depths of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. The first serious step towards its realization was the All Russian Ethnographic Exhibition of 1867 in Moscow which was organized by efforts of the Society of Devotees of Natural Science, Anthropology, and Ethnography and had broad public and scientific resonance. After its closure ethnographic collections became integral part of the Moscow Public Museum of Rumyantsev and Dashkov and since 1948 they are kept in the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Semenov-Tyan-Shansky Pyotr Petrovich (1827—1914)

Geographer, statistician, botanist, the Vicepresident of the Russian Geographic Society, the author of the program for ethnographic study of New Guinea population of the N.N. Miklukho-Maklai expedition, the member of the Council of Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Ethnographic Museum.

"The main idea  ... of the Society founders consisted in attracting as much as possible the best forces of the Russian land to realization of objective broadly postulated by them –the study of native land and people inhabiting it and to work with them for benefit and glory of Fatherland. (P.P.Semenov –Tyan-Shansky)

Baer Karl Maksimovich (1792 - 1876)

Outstanding naturalist, academician, one of the founders of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society and the first President of its Ethnographic Department.

"Due to diffusing education which smooth development of tribes, resources for ethnographic works decrease with every day. However, there is much in this respect that could be gathered and that decrease with time and finally will completely disappear.

All the information is… treasure which price increase with time. Therefore, all that would be done for the ethnography will keep lasting reminiscence about itself". (K.M.Baer)

Stasov Vladimir Vasil’evich (1824 - 1906)

Art and musical critic, art historian, archeologist, bibliographer of the Art Department of the National Public Library, member of the Council of Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum

"...First time we had intention to create museum where all the daily life of all diverse, numerous peoples incorporated in the Russian State will be presented. It’s grandiose, unprecedented "  (V.V.Stasov)


The Emperor Nicolas II (1868 - 1918)

The Ethnographic Department of the Russian Musem     was established by the Emperor Николаем II to fulfill the will and to perpetuate the memory of his farther Alexander III by the Persona Highest Decree of 13 April 1895

Nicolas II and other members of the Royal Family were passionate collectors and became in fact ones of the first storage establishers of Ethnographic Department Николай I which collection incorporated the gifts from the Romanov’s personal collection.

Ordinance  concerning the Alexander III Russian Museum

General norms

 1. The museum is established in the memory of unforgettable patron of Art  the Emperor Alexander III having the purpose to join everything  related tо his person  and history of his reign and to give clear  idea about artistic and cultural situation of Russia.

2. Therefore, the museum is divided in three departments:
I. The department specially dedicated to the memory of the Emperor Alexander III.

II. Artistic one.
III. Ethnographic and artistic-productive departments.
3. Every department has independent significance and in case of necessity can divide in subsections except the first one which should remain forever one and entire memorial to the Emperor Alexander III

The Great Duke Georgy Mihailovich (1863 - 1919)

…was the royal administrator of the Alexander III Russian Museum. He was the most important figure in history of creation and first years of museum activity. As the first President of the Ethnographic Department Council he carried out building, maintained extensive correspondence with correspondents, formed museum collections.  He gave to the Ethnographic Department large collection of oriental festive utensils.

"Being inseparable part of the entire Alexander III Russian Museum, the Ethnographic Department should be and is itself the central ethnographic museum in Russia, which necessity is concerned by the interests of Russian science and national thought for a long time".

Founding members
On the role of famous scientists in elaboration of concepts and main directions of activity of the Peoples of Russian Empire.

The main scientific concepts and organizing principles established by founders and first museum workers in the early XX century remain and develop at all  stages of museum’s existence up today.

Lamansky Vladimir Ivanovich (1833 - 1914)

Slavist,  professor of the Saint Petersburg University, academician, the President of the Ethnographic Division of the Russian Geographical Society, founder and publisher of the journal “The Living Antiquity”, the member of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum.  

"...The museum must give comprehensive idea about different ethnic groups in Russia as varieties of humanity…represent Russia in its ethnographic specifics as complete and correct as possible..." (V.I. Lamansky)

Kondakov Nikodim Pavlovich (1844 - 1925)

Historian of Byzantine and Ancient Russian art, academician, the President of Anthropological Society at the Saint Petersburg University, the member of the Council of Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum” " The Russian ethnography within the limits of Russia...and in the boundaries of the area of tribes related to it in neighboring countries should be put as the main objective of the Ethnographic Department..." (N.P. Kondakov)

Shakhmatov Alexei Alexandrovich (1864 - 1920)

Linguist, historian of Ancient Russian literature, the President of the Department of Russian Language and Philology of the Academy of Science, the Member of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum.

"...the objective of new museum must be the ethnography of Russian Empire and Slavs...."  (A.A.Shakhmatov)

Radlov Vasily Vasilevich  (1837 - 1918)

Linguist and ethnographer, academician, the Director of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, derived from Kunstkamera, the   Member of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum.

"...The task of the Russian Museum of Ethnography is to exhibit collection of artifacts representing  creativity of particular ethnic groups, expressed in their lifestyle, amenities and aesthetic aspirations at that stages of culture when these people were still inspired by independent ideals, as well as gradual development and influence of original cultures " (V.V. Radlov)

Pypin Alexander Nikolaevich (1837 - 1918)

Scholar, researcher of Russian and foreign literature, bibliographer. Academician, the member of the Ethnographic Department Councill of the Alexander III Russian Museum 

"...the ethnographic study can and (must) encompass and explain all the aspects of folk daily life and notion and this study as much, as possible and this study shouldn’t be unfounded and general eulogy:   peoples’ life like existence of any other society has dark sides which can be explained by this or that way, which may be, not provoke one’s sympathy, to conceal these dark sides ethnography couldn’, if she wishes to remain at least party honest (A.N. Pypin)

Oldenburg Sergei Fyodorovich (1863 - 1934)

Specialist in Oriental Studies, academician, permanent secretary of the Russian Academy of Science, the member of Council of the Ethnographic Department of Alexander III Russian Museum.

"...Every museum worker should consider that he is both collection-gatherer and technical conservator, specialist in exhibition and explainer and at the same time research worker... Daily, long hours work on material makes museum worker the research specialist of quite specific type on the one hand possessing exceptional knowledge of each separate item, and on the other hand systematically accustomed to grouping and classification of huge number of objects " (S.F.Oldenburg)

Klements Dmitry Alexandrovich (1848 - 1914)

Ethnographer, archeologist, geographer, anthropologist, specialist in religious studies, journalist. One of the founders of the Minusinsky Museum well known in Russia and far beyond its borders, the first chief of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum of Ethnography (1902-1910).

"...Museum is so extensive that it will be one of the greatest in Europe..." -  D.A.Klementz wrote, soon he was to become director, ideologist and organizer of realization of concept of the first national ethnographic museum in Russia. 

"...He wasn’t formulaic observer of daily life.  He considered ethnography as the great science of human culture’s evolution, the science requiring encyclopedic complex of knowledge  ..." (Л.Я.Штернберг)


About first gatherers who established the base of museum collections.

Initially collections of museum were gathered in expeditions by its first workers and engaged helpers (correspondents) on the base of gathering programs. Among first exhibits the donations of the Romanovs’ family and numerous private collectionists   occupy important place.

Klements Dmitry Alexandrovich  (1848 - 1914)

Ethnographer, archeologist, geographer, anthropologist, specialist in religious studies, journalist. One of the founders of the Minusinsky Museum well known in Russia and far beyond its borders, the first chief of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum of Ethnography (1902-1910).

D.A.Klements organized systematic gathering of exhibits of the peoples of Siberian region. He involved in cooperation many correspondents− members of local administration, intelligentsia, and peasants. They comprised the main group of gatherers of Siberia and Far East Department. Their work was directed by full-time specialists of the department, followers of ideas, principles and methods of D.A. Klements collection activities.

"...Everything which peasant makes for his daily life with his instruments to satisfy his needs are the objects of ethnography and both the objects and raw material used for their making at all stages of its treatment, and instruments with which they are made should be in museum " (D.A.Klements)

Volkov Fyodor Kondratievich (1847 - 1918)

Anthropologist, ethnographer, archeologist, in 1907-1919 full-time fellow of the Ethnographic Department of the Emperor Alexander III Russian Museum. He collected more than 3600 objects..

"...Daly life peculiarities of every people are result of their collective activity. Economical aspects of this activity is the task of separate branch of knowledge, the forms which this activity takes, as well as its results in shapes of everyday objects and psychological and social phenomena are subject to research in the field of ethnography (F.K.Volkov)

Dudin Samuil Martunovich  (1863 - 1929)

Ethnographer, traveler, artist, photographer, researcher of  Oriental art, founder of the Central Asian collections of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum. His collections encompass more than 4000 artifacts and 1500 photographs.

"... The area subject to photographic fixation is almost as wide and unlimited  as the area of artist.  Moreover, photographer will have advantage of rapid work and fixation of subject which are quite inaccessible for the latter…. material provided by photographer will have all the advantages of objectivity, unbiased and precise protocol." (S. M. Dudin)

Inostrantsev Konstantin Alexandrovich  (1876 - 1941)

Researcher, specialist in oriental studies, in 1902-1908 full-time fellow of the Alexander III Ethnographic Department. He collected about 700 items on Caucasus and Crimea ethnography.

"...Study in lifestyle and spiritual peculiarities  of tribes developing under influence of quite diverse natural and historical conditions in the space embracing almost  the entire north-west of the Old Continent is the task of profound importance and interest not only for the men of science, but also for all educated " (K.A. Inostrantsev)

Layatsky Evgeny Alexandrovich (1868 - 1942)

Folklorist, ethnographer, specialist in literature studies, member of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum. He created extensive net of correspondents with which help he brought to museum about 6000 artifacts.

"...Department in particular needs cooperation of local amateurs and connoisseurs of folk lifestyle who can be the most helpful where direct acquaintance with all details of lifestyle and moral character of local population is required. My expedition had objective to make cohesion with local activists, which could become collectors of ethnographic objects for future museum..." (E.A. Lyatsky)

Makarenko Alexei Alexseevich (1860 - 1942)

Ethnographer, folklorist, correspondent and later fellow of the ethnographic Department of Alexander IIII Russian Musem (1902-1942)

 He   made important contribution to   formation of collection including Russian collection and Siberian one.

"... I have an honor to notify the Council of Museum that fulfilling commissions of the Ethnographic Department I acquired for it about 700 big and small items including “doselnue” that is old clothes and jewelry of Russian people, headdresses, wooden utensils proving close connection of the Yenisei Governorate with northern governorates of European"(A.A.Makarenko)

Miller Alexander Alexandrovich  (1875 - 1935)

Archeologist, ethnographer, the head of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander IIII Russian Museum. He gathered extensive collections (1076 objects) that became the base of museum Caucasus collection.

"...In fact the objective of research should be not instruments themselves, but society which created them in historical development  ..." (A.A.Miller)

Mogylyansky Nikolai Mikhailovich (1871 - 1933)

Ethnographer, anthropologist, fellow and later head of Ethnographic Department of Alexander III Russian Museum of Ethnography (1902 - 1918). He collected more than  3000 items on culture and daily life of Eastern Slavic peoples.

"...Ethnography is the study of peoples. Its task is to study development of intellectual and spiritual forces of humankind, which under the influence of race specifics, geographical environment and historical conditions went among various groups representing peoples of the Earth globe in specific way and was reflected in peculiarities of material and spiritual organization of their life "(N.M. Mogylyanski)

Plushkin Fyodor Mikhailovich (1837 - 1911)

Collector, gatherer of antiquities, honorable citizen of Pskov, part of his million collection (1355 objects) was bought with personal funds of Nicholas II and donated to the Ethnographic Department of the Emperor Alexander III Russian Museum.  

Rudenko  Sergei Ivanovich  (1885 - 1969)

Anthropologist, archeologist, ethnographer, correspondent (since 1906) and late the head of Ethnographic Department of the State Russian Museum (1921-1929). He collected   7700 objects on the cultures of Volga Region and Siberia.

"...Every ethnographer-collector knows well that gathering of ethnographic collections creates incomparably more difficulties than any other else. Collector-ethnographer isn’t just collector, but also purchaser and that’s why he depends entirely on demands, prejudices and even whims of those with whom he has to deal ." (S.I. Rudenko)

Shabelskaya Natalia Leonidovla  (1845 - 1904)

Moscow collector, significant part of her collection (1100 items) was purchased by the Emperor Nicolas II and donated to the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum.

"...The collection of Ms. Shabelskaya has unique objects, which is impossible to get in present times. Their absence in museum collection would have deprived it of necessary and extremely desirable completeness. One shouldn’t forget that in the case if the collection of Ms. Shabelskaya came to another scientific institution or private foundation, the Alexander III Museum could be deprived forever of possibility to become the most complete depositary of old Russian daily life objects (M.N.Mogylyanski)

Museum directors

1902-1909 – Klements Dmitry Alexandrovich  (Head of the Ethnographic Department of Russian Museum).

1910-1918 Mogylyanski Nikolai Milhailovich (Head of the Ethnographic Department of Russian Museum).

1918-1921 Miller Alexander Alexandrovich  (Head of the Ethnographic Department of Russian Museum).

1921-1929 Rudenko Sergei Ivanovich  (Head of the Ethnographic Department of Russian Museum)

1930-1937 Talanov N.G.

1937 - 1953 Milshtein E.A.

1941 – Interim director Bykovskaya A.F.

1941-1945 interim director Morozova A.S.

1968-1977 Sergeev D.A.

1977-1987 Baranova I.I.

1987-1999 Dubov I.V.

1999 – 2019 Grusman V.M.

2019 - present time Kupina Y.A.


On architectural project of V.F.Svin’yn, construction, particularities and further fate of museum building 

The Russian Museum of Ethnography is situated in the building constructed in Russian Neo-Classical style in the early XX century. It’s one of few buildings in Saint Petersburg constructed specially for museum. Construction started in 1903 and lasted until 1919, when interior furnishing of facilities was completed and museum equipment was installed.

Svin’yn Vasily Fyodorovich (1865 - 1939)

The architect of Imperial court, author of project and organizer of construction of building of the Russian Museum of Ethnography (former Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum of Ethnography)

In 1897 after winning anonymous contest architect V.F.Svin’yn started to elaborate the project of special building for two departments of the Russian Museum: Ethnographic and Memorial. The grandiose project of architect wasn’t completely realized; premises for storages, laboratories, offices and hall to show collections of the Memorial Department were never built.

Exhibition halls
On maximal adaptation of museum halls for display of ethnographic exhibits  - from lay-out to special furniture

Inside the museum building has clear symmetrical lay-out with the gala Marble Hall and the solemn Entrance Hall in its center. Twelve halls joined by the central gallery are located respectively on each of two floors of the left and right parts of building.

According to idea and realization the architecture and interior decoration of building perfectly corresponded to its purpose – display of ethnographic collection.  The walls of exhibition halls were painted in the calm hues without patterns, images and decorative moldings.

Simultaneously with construction of the building special hermetic furniture was commissioned in Germany and disinfection room was built which serve museum up to present times.  

Marble Hall

About the Marble Hall – architectural dominante of building in the memory of the Emperor Alexander III.


The Marble Hall was conceived as memorial one in honor of the Emperor Alexander III. The hall is built in traditions of Greek and Roman peristyle (interior courtyard surrounded by roofed colonnade) with plafond made of crystal plates on which double-headed eagles and oak leaves are depicted.

The peculiarity of this monumental building with total area of 935 square meters is exclusive use of national pink marble with its high decorative qualities for embellishment.  

The marble was mined in quarries of the former Olonets Governorate in the north of Russia.

28 columns in the gallery, each one weighing 24 tons are made of monolith marble blocks; walls, floor, cornices and steps are inlaid with plates of the same stone, skillfully selected  according to their design.  

The monument to the Emperor Alexander III

Unrealized project of erecting monument to the Emperor Alexander III in the center of Marble Hall. _______

According to the project the bronze statue of the Alexander III by the sculptor M. Ya. Kharlamov was supposed to be erected in the center of hall and bronze high relief with life scenes of the peoples of Russia was to be placed on three sides under the gallery.

The First World War and political events of 1917 impeded realization of these projects.  The ready monument to Alexander III wasn’t erected, the high relief remained unfinished and survived not in bronze but in gypsym tinted in bronze hue. The Marble Hall continues to be one of the most beautiful architectural constructions of Saint Petersburg and is the main exhibition hall of the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

High Relief

About the high relief frieze along the perimeter of the Marble Hall with images of representatives of various peoples of the Russian Empire.

The Marble Hall is framed by high relief frieze of the sculptors V. S. Bogaturev and M.D. Kharlamov made in 1902-1907. It presents a sort of annals of the peoples of Russia and depicts representatives of various ethnic groups. The material for frieze was specially selected along the entire country; the scientific consultant was D.A. Klements. Perfectly made high relief represents in realistic way characteristic types of multinational Russia. It is organically related to the project and architecture of the Memorial Hall and museum in a whole. 

Dates and events

Main data of the centenary history of the Russian Museum of Ethnography __________

1895, April — Establishment of the Alexander III Russia Museum

1902, January —  Organization of the Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum.

1923,  June  —  Ethnographic Department of the State Russia Museum is opened for the public.

1934, March — Reorganization of the Ethnographic Department of the State Russian Museum into independent State Museum of Ethnography.

1948, June — Opening of the State Ethnographic Museum for the public after the damage caused by the Great Patriotic War.

1948, August — Unification of collections of the former Museum of the Peoples of the USSR in Moscow with the collection of the State Museum of Ethnography in Leningrad.

1954 — Finalization of repair and reconstruction works after  damages caused to museum by the Great Patriotic War.

1977 — Donation to the State Museum of Ethnography of the Peoples of the USSR the status of research-scientific institution of the III category.

1979 — Inclusion of the State Museum of Ethnography of the Peoples of USSR in the register of the All the Soviet Scientific-Methodic Center of Ethnographic Museum Studies with simultaneous establishment of specialized department.

1986 — Donation to the State Museum of Ethnography of the USSR the status of scientific research institution of the first category.

1991 December  — Inclusion of the State Museum of Ethnography in the State Register of especially valuable objects of cultural patrimony of the Russian Federation.

History of museum’s  name

Reflection  of various periods of museum’s history in its name.

1902-1918 — Ethnographic Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum 1918-1934 — Ethnographic Department of the State Russian Museum

1934-1948 — The State Museum of Ethnography (SME)
The name was given after the separation from the Russian Museum of Ethnography and donation of the status of independent institution.

1948-1992 — The State Museum of Ethnography of the peoples of the USSR The name was given after handling of ethnographic collections of the former Museum of the Peoples of the USSR in Moscow in the storages of the State Ethnographic Museum.

1992 - to present times  — The Russian Museum of Ethnography (RME)
New name was given due to new state position of Russia.


On damage caused to museum by devastating flood of 1924.


The flood of 1925 was dramatic event for museum. Basements, where collections were stored were inundated; around 100,000 exhibits got under the water. In  consequence tens of thousands of them were damaged and some lost. Many exhibits had their inventory numbers washed away, that required their scrupulous and lengthy identification.    

Not only museum personal but also many volunteers were engaged in the saving of exhibits, taking them from water and drying. Simultaneously restoration works with participation of the best city specialists started.

In 20 days after the flood the Ethnographic department of the State Russian Museum was reopened for visitors, however for many years museum personal continued to work on liquidation of the consequences of disaster. 

The Great Patriotic War

On  death of half of personnel, significant damage of building and loss of tens of thousands of exhibits during war.


The Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 caused museum irreparable   damage. Thirty three museum workers – half of the entire museum staff died of famine in blockaded Leningrad and fighting in fronts. In the beginning of war only one tenth of collection could be evacuated in home front, the main part remained in the besieged city.

In 1941 in consequence of 4 bomb attacks the museum building was seriously destroyed; part of load-bearing constructions and walls fell, the Entrance Hall and the splendid Marble were damaged. Due to direct fall of bomb in storage tens of thousands ethnographic objects and negatives were lost.

The small forces of remaining museum workers cleaned debris which helped to save 15 000 items. In 1942 conservation started and immediately after the war the restoration of museum building began which continued until 1957.

The restoration of the Marble Hall required truly jewelry art for recreating of marble coverage of its floor and walls, renewing crystal ceiling and repairing wall high relief on the base of remaining fragments and photographs was especially difficult.


Access to materials of the RME funds and scientific archive is given to researchers from scientific institutions, museum  workers, students and master candidates of high schools in case of presenting a letter of solicitation from respective organization.

The letter should contain the following information:

Surname, name, position and academic rank of scholar, subject, chronological terms and objectives of research work. The letter should be written on official blank of organization and signed by an authorized officer of an organization. 

Independent researchers could be admitted to work with materials of the RME funds and scientific archives on the base of previous agreement and personal application addressed to the Director of museum indicating surname, name, passport data, home address and contact data (e-mail) of an applicant.

A scanned copy of a letter of solicitation/application should be sent to the e-mail address zam_dir@ethnomuseum.ru on the name of the RME Deputy Director on Account, Keeping and Restoration Natalia Nikolaevna Prokopieva, work phone +7 (812) 570-53-46 no later than two weeks before  a planned visit.

Admission to the work with materials of the RME archive is given on the base of permission issued by the RME Deputy Director on Account, Keeping and Restoration.

Archive opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday 11.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m. (lunch break 01.00 02.00 p.m.).

The RME retains the right to correct the timetable of an applicant’s work in archive.



The access to materials of the RME scientific library is given to researchers from research-scientific institutions, museum workers, students and master candidates of high schools.

The letter should contain the following information:

Surname, name, position and academic rank of scholar, subject, chronological terms and objectives of research work. The letter should be written on official blank of organization and signed by an authorized officer of an organization. 

For making previous agreement about visit to the library one should call the phone number +7 (812) 570-59-45. The curator of the Book Fund is Ivanova Svetlana Mikhailovna , swetl2012@yandex.ru

Admission to materials of the Scientific Library is given  on the base of permission  issued by the RME Deputy Director on Account, Keeping and Restoration Natalia Nikolaevna Prokopieva, work phone +7 (812) 570-53-46.

Publications can be consulted only in the Reading room.

Library opening hours: Tuesday – Friday from 10.00 a.m. to 05.00 p.m. (lunch break from 01.00 to 02.00 p.m.).


The Russian Museum of Ethnography provides the services of digital copying of objects from its collections and gives the rights of their use with following purposes:

Research work;
Publication in various editions including electronic resources  (non-exclusive one-time right of use);
 Production of various kinds of goods.
1. For a legal person written application of a customer should be made as a request on an official blank of an organization signed by an authorized official of organization.

The request should contain following information:

Description of collection object, collection numbers (if known), reference to the website for identification in case of requesting images published in the opened sources;
Purpose of images’ use (description of a project and importance of requested rights for its realization);
In case of using for the publication on paper one should indicate:
Number of copies;
Land of publication’s distribution;
Publication languages;
Name, address and contact data of a publishing house;
Planning publication date;
For using images from the museum collection in electronic resources it’s necessary to indicate precise address and website of resource;
Name, address and contact data of person responsible for publication.

2. For independent researcher written application of a customer should contain his name, passport data including registration and contact information.

 Applications should be sent to the e-mail: 5705768@mail.ru

Applications are considered individually in order of priority and the rights of use are given on the base of agreement.

The Museum retains the right to deny production of digital images of objects from its collection in case of:

Unstable condition of objects’ conservation;
Uniqueness of unpublished objects  ( in case of request for copying from an outside organization or an independent scholar);
Transfer of objects when a responsible person is changed;
Checking of presenting collection pieces;
Loan of an object from the RME collection for temporary keeping (for a temporary exhibition, permanent exhibition, restoration, etc.);
When interpretation of an object from the RME collection in publication can cause damage to the reputation of the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

Dear friends!

We would be grateful if you support our initiatives and our programs making on-line donations. Any kind of your contribution is very important for us because it helps us to preserve cultural values. You can donate funds to museum without indicating the purpose of donation or choose one of the programs listed below.

The programs requiring support:

  • Restoration of woman headdresses from museum collection
  • Acquisition of carpet collection for museum funds

We appreciate every kind of your contribution and attention to our museum!

Filling of the form means unconditional agreement of the user with confidential policy and terms of proceeding personal data indicated in it in case of disagreement of this form.

Thank so much for your support! We are grateful that you remain with us!

If you have questions concerning the use of the funds received by use, please send us your request via e-mail address club@ethnomuseum.ru. We’ll contact you as soon as possible.

Do you want to make donation on behalf of physical person or legal person? The museum specialists are glad to inform you about different opportunities. 

Please, make donations only in rubles

More information about the programs requiring supports:

Restoration of woman headdresses from museum collection

The collection of Russian woman headdress includes more than  4000  keeping items, one quarter of them (about 1000 objects) is the thematic group of maiden bands, woman headdresses (kikas and kokoshniks) which are decorated with pearls, cut nacre and their artificial surrogates – beads. These are the headdresses which were generally widespread on the territory of the Russian North, the Central Russia and the Volga Region. The time of their production is XVIII–XX cc.

In course of long keeping thin threads on which nacre, pearls, beads were stringed worn out which caused partial destruction of embroidery and braiding patterns provoking in turn fall of the stringed materials.

The headdresses of the above mentioned types are highly decorative always attracting significant interest of visitors and therefore are highly demanded for exhibition projects. Today 10 of them require immediate restoration. Every touch to these invaluable artifacts threats further fall of beads and pearls because old worn out threads can tear and fray through under their weight. In these cases it’s necessary to resting beads or pearls on new firm threads.

Delicate, meticulous, multistage work awaits us, we should carefully select materials to replace losses, learn braiding patterns, dismantle old damaged braiding, clean beads and pearls, replace by analogue with the artifact braiding, stringing or embroidery.

The project waits your support.

The expected price of restoration works – 500 000 rubles.  

Acquisition of carpet collection for museum funds


Currently the Russian Museum of Ethnography is offered two carpets from private collectors for its carpet collection.

The carpet was made in 1860–70s by Stepanida Kuznetzova  the resident of the village Spas Klepiki in the Rayzan Governorate a member of wealthy family whose funds allowed to learn the complicated technique of carpet making,  to purchase large amount of various raw materials and to have enough free time for performing of this work.

The carpet is of significant interest as a rare example of Russian handmade carpet production widespread among peasants from the early XIX century. However,   the number of Russian carpets in the museum collection is small. The museum carpets are generally from the territories known as the craft centers of carpet-making: the Governorates of Voronezh, Kursk, and Tobolsk. The production place of the offered item is the Governorate of Ryazan where according to written sources the terrycloth carpet-making was developing since the early XIX century. Strongly schematized (geometrized) floral patterns of the carpet  are typical for the third quarter of XIX century which certainly   increases the value of the item as an example of Russian applied arts in particular carpet making.

The item is in good state of preservation, it has annotation and dating and is interesting in respect of its technique, raw materials and ornament.

Spread, fibers woolen carpet which has rectangular form. Carpet fibers are cut and low. The carpet is made in the first third of the XX century.

The carpet is of doubtless importance due to its unique ornamental composition. The small images of animals in carpet’s ornaments help to date the item to the area of the South-Eastern Caucasus which the ornament of edge bands doesn’t contradict. The carpet might have made in Turk (Azerbaijani) medium of the South-Eastern Caucasus.

The museum collection hasn’t carpet of this type. Acquisition of carpet is desirable with purpose of replenishing the museum carpet collection; its use in the exhibition work of museum is also possible.


We appreciate any kind of your contribution and attention to our museum!

Working hours

Museum is preparing to opening for visitors. 

We’ll be glad to meet you at our temporary and permanent exhibition. We’ll inform you in advance about all the news at our website and in social nets.

Working hours after opening: 

Tuesday- Sunday - 11:00 a.m. - 07:00 p.m.
Monday - day off
The ticket office will be opened from 11:00  a.m. - 06:00  p.m. via cashless payment

Séances: 11:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m. every half an hour

The on-line sale of tickets for séances will be opened at the museum website as soon as we’ll know the date of opening. 

We are glad to make your visit safe, comfortable and interesting. We care about people’s health and preservation of collections. Now the most Important is careful attitude to your own and others’ safety.

We strongly request you:

to be in masks/bands and gloves. All our personnel will wear them as well;
to buy ticket for comfortable séance for convenient séance.  If you are late for more than half an hour, call to the phone number +7 (812) 570 54 21;
to keep distance of 1,5 meters and to avoid  concentrations of the public.
In museum halls, ask for help to mediators and caretakers.
Use the audioguide downloading it at the application izi.travel 

We invite you to excursions in groups of now more than five persons.  Temporally we don’t carry out studios and programs but we prepare and update them.

You can send your suggestions and questions to the e-mail address excursions@ethnomuseum.ru 

Please, be friendly to each other and museum workers, which waited you so much   and will meet.

We miss you! 

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