Museums

Alexander Zelikov/TASS

In November 1914, the Tsaritsyn Society for Promotion of Non-Formal Education agreed to having a museum of local history. In 1915, it was organized in the building of the House of Sciences and Arts, which now is taken by the New Experimental Theater. The museum received two rooms for the exposition. In 1925, it moved to the building of the former Cathedral of Transfiguration.

During the Battle of Stalingrad the Museum was destroyed and in 1942-1944 it was temporarily moved from Stalingrad to the Stalingrad region and then to Uryupinsk and further on to Kamyshin, where it remained to 1954. In Volgograd, the exposition was restored completely in the early 1960s only.

Today, the museum is located in two buildings: the house of the Tsaritsyn rural council, built in 1916 (Prospekt Lenina, 5a) and in the house of the Volga-Kama Commercial Bank built in 1879 (Prospekt Lenina, 7). Both houses are made in the eclectic style, they are regional historical and architectural monuments. After the Battle of Stalingrad they were reconstructed practically without redevelopment. Both houses still have vintage staircases.

Modern expositions tell in detail about the nature, history and cultural heritage of the Volgograd region.

Alexander Zelikov/TASS

It is another special museum in Volgograd. It presents great information on seeds of various agricultural plants in Russia and in the world, on selection, preservation of seeds and crops, as well as on protection of plants. The main hall is devoted to seeds, which visitors may see, touch, and even buy. Some showcases demonstrate modern fertilizers. The museum updates the exposition continuously.

The museum is famous for creativity. The Portraits of Seeds project uses macro photography to show the unique beauty of the small objects, which contain the huge natural strength. Children are invited to a tour called “What a seed is dreaming about,” and grown-up audience learns about grape selection and may taste wine.


Alexander Zelikov/TASS

The museum’s collection features more than 1,000 objects of photo and cinema equipment, accessories as well as very many old photographs. The exposition shows both the very first samples of photo and video equipment (XIX century) and most up-to-date cameras. The oldest exhibit is dated around 1870. The most expressive exhibit is a Blair Camera Rochester N.Y. stereo camera of 1890. It used two lenses to make a stereo pair - two pictures from different angles, which may be seen through special glasses as a 3-dimenstion picture of the object - a prototype of the modern 3D format.

The museum has a big collection of photo cameras made in the USSR. Most objects are working. There are special accessories for working in water and so forth. The exposition demonstrates works made by various kinds of equipment, thus the collection looks very expressive.


Alexander Zelikov/TASS

At the time the museum was organized in 1937, it was called the Museum of Tsaritsyn’s Defense named after Comrade Stalin. It took the house of local merchants and philanthropists the Repnikovs, which was built in 1903. After the 1917 Revolution, during the Civil War, the house was center of the local revolutionary and defense authorities.

The museum’s first exposition showed a replica of the cabinet of Iosif Stalin, who participated in defense of the Bolsheviks’ Tsaritsyn, and told about the socialist development in Stalingrad. In 1941, the exposition was evacuated. During the Battle of Stalingrad, the house was damaged and after the war architect Samuil Briskin reconstructed it, and on June 6, 1948, first visitors came to the museum. The exposition was divided into three parts: defense of Tsaritsyn, the Battle of Stalingrad, and the city’s reconstruction. In 1962, the exposition was renamed into the Volgograd State Museum of Defense, and in 1993 it got the status of a memorial-historic museum as a part of the Battle of Stalingrad Museum.

The museum, which tells about weights as a most important invention, opened in 2009 at the Volgograd plant of weight-measuring equipment. The museum’s exposition receives new exhibits every year. In 2012, the museum became a member of the International Society of Antique Scale Collectors (Europe) (ISASC(E)), and in 2013 it joined the German Weights and Measures Association of Metrology - Maß und Gewicht.

The museum’s collection is more than 2,000 objects. Among them are scales, steelyards, weights, as well as documents, books, and photographs. The oldest exhibit is the weights, in the shape of balls and polyhedrons, supposedly made in the XII to the XVI century. The museum has cast-iron 2-ponds, European stamped weights, dumbbells from Africa and Asia, and Soviet ceramic weights. But the greatest interest is the presented scales. From around the world, designed for weighing coins, gold, letters, and apothecary, retail, warehouse, richly decorated by figures of myth and legend heroes, miniature and impressive, spring, platform, swing, rocker, fan - such an variety of weights cannot leave anyone indifferent. Some of the exhibits can be tested practically - to measure the mass in the ancient Russian measures of weight, to learn how to use lever spring balances.


Nikolay GalkinТАSS

In the 1980s, restorer of musical instruments Yevgeny Pushkin presented more than 242 items from his private collection to the city of Volgograd. This was the beginning of the museum of musical instruments named after Yevgeny Pushkin, which is located in Bystrov Street in the house of its founder.

Pushkin began his unique collection of rare musical instruments in 1926. During the Battle of Stalingrad, about 30 objects were destroyed (at that time the owner was fighting at the fronts), including a unique Stradivari violin. The only object, which survived the war, was an Italian accordion, which was evacuated.

Now, the museum’s collection of more than 350 objects belongs to the Volgograd local history museum. Those are musical instruments of various times and peoples. The collection has harmonics, which are more than two hundred years old. There are quite unusual objects, like, for example, gavioli and harmonic-flyut. Somebody had brought the harmony-flyut to the collector just in a sack - its owners did not even know what it was. A response to inquiry came from the Moscow museum named after Mikhail Glinka. It turned out that harmonic had been made in St. Petersburg by a well-known Zimmerman Company.

Alexander Zelikov/TASS

The Volgograd Museum of Fine Arts named after Ilya Mashkov is the only arts museum in the city. It opened in 1960. The initial collection had more than 2,000 objects passed from the Hermitage, the Tretyakov Art Gallery and other central museums.

Now, the gallery has several collections, which have more than 9,000 objects in painting, sculpture, arts and crafts by Russian and foreign authors. The true value is the collection of works by artist Ilya Mashkov, born in this region. The collection has more than a hundred works. The exposition shows his paintings before and after the Revolution, and about 50 works by artists from the Bubnovy Valet group, in which Ilya Mashkov participated since 1911.



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