Explore The Russian Museum collection of more than 400,000 exhibits with our Curator-led Tour
The Russian Museum has an illustrious history that began when the Tsar Alexander III became the first Russian ruler to establish a significant collection of artwork by Russian artists. His son, Nicholas II, decided to open a museum in his father's honor and, in 1895, bought the Mikhailovsky Palace to house the collection, which became the first State Museum.
The main building of the museum is still the Mikhailovsky Palace, a splendid neoclassical residence of Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich, designed by Carlo Rossi and erected between 1819 and 1825 in the Square of Arts in St. Petersburg. Several of the halls of the palace retain the opulent interiors of the former imperial residence. The museum's grand opening to the public occurred in March 1898.
The Russian Museum today is a unique depository of Russian fine art, a famous restoration center, an authoritative institute of academic research, and one of the major cultural and educational centers in Russia. It is an internationally respected research and instructional center for the art museums of the Russian Federation, overseeing the activities of 260 art museums in Russia.