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Naval Museum

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 Portrait. Peter I in armourJ. M. Notier type,1720-th.

The Collection of the Central Naval Museum began with ships' models collection of Tzar Peter the Great and Model Chamber of Saint Petersburg Admiralty, which is mentioned for the first time in Peter's letter of 24 January 1709. The main goal of the Model Chamber creation was to keep transport ships and warships draughts and models, constructed at the Admiralty shipyards for the Baltic Fleet.

Admiralty Dockyard in St. Petersburg.Engraver A. Rostovtsev, 1717

Historical valuable materials and shipbuilding information were preserved in the Model Chamber. Its building was rather small for such a big collection and in 1805 a Maritime Museum was founded. Some years later engravings and pictures on marine themes in addition to draughts and ships models appeared in the Museum. But in spite of this in 1827 the Museum was closed because of the lack of room. And only in 1867 the Russian government opened the Museum again, yielded to public opinion and efforts of naval officers. Its collection was enriched by many valuable objects. Among them were personal things of emperor Peter I, the founder of Russian Navy, famous admirals and officers; paintings and engravings, specimens of cold steel and fire-arms. The main collection of warships and transport ships models was increased too. The restored Maritime Museum was located in the west wing of the Admiralty building. It was very popular among visitors. In 1909 it was renamed as Emperor Peter the Great's Maritime Museum.

The Revolution of 1917 and the Civil war in Russia 1918 - 1920 have brought essential correctives the Museum's exhibition. The main goal for it became to demonstrate the leading role of the Communist Party in restoration and development of the Navy. The collection enriched with materials concerning the work of seamen-communists, Fleet's Party and Comsomol organizations. The Museum has received items from the museums, closed to that time, for example, museums of Guards Naval Depot and Naval Cadet Corps. The subjects of a naval life, paintings wellknown marine painters as I. K. Aivazovskiy and A. N. Bogoliuboff, naval uniform, Russian awards and marks were obtained on auctions and the private persons. But at the same time, in 1920-30th the large number of subjects of the Romanov emperor's family, nobiliary surnames were annihilated in the Museum under the pressure of new circumstances. This loss has become irreplaceable. And only due to the true devotees of Museum it became possible to preserve the less, that makes the pride of its collection today.

In 1939-1940 the Museum was renamed as the Central Naval Museum and was transferred from its historical place - Admiralty - to a building of former Stock exchange at the spite of the Vasilyevskiy island. This building was constructed in 1805-1810 under the project of a known architect Jean Francoise Toma de Tomon. Since that times the Central Naval Museum has become one of the most favourite and attended museums of the city.

During the World War II a part of the collection was evacuated to Ulyanovsk city. But a number of the employees had being worked in blocaded Leningrad, collecting the unique materials concerning the defenders of Leningrad. Excursion&lecturer work was going on the ships and in units of Red Banner Baltic Fleet, at the enterprises and in hospitals of the besieged city The mobile exhibitions worked.

The post-war period is characterized by active museum exhibition activity. The employees of the Museum repeatedly left with mobile exhibitions on all Fleets, carrying out large educational&cultural activity. In the beginning of 50-th the professional Studio of marine artists was created under the decision of the Navy's Govering body and initiative of the Museums' employees. It aimed to update the Museum's collection by a materials illuminating those pages of a history, which have not found sufficient representation in an exhibition. Today the talented artists are working in Studio, among them the Deserved artist of Russian Federation V. A. Pechatin, Z. G. Abashvili, M. A. Kuznetsov, S. V. Pen, V. P. Yarkin and others. The scientific employees of the Museum work under the creation of the new museum catalogues. That has allowed to include earlier unknown documents and materials in scientific use .