Exhibition «Preserving History. The Russian Museum Restoration Workshops Celebrate Their Centenary»
Now it is the Department of the Restoration of Museum Treasures (Art Conversation Department) that deals with the preservation of exhibits in the Russian Museum. It consists of 15 different sections. These are 13 restoration departments, whose employees deal with almost all items stored in the museum, as well as 2 auxiliary departments: the Department of chemical and biological research and the Department of restoration activities coordination.
Nowadays the restorers face several tasks at once. First of all, it is constant monitoring of the state of the art pieces on display as well as the control of the preservation state of museum objects (and there are more than 400,000 of them in the Russian Museum today). Secondly, it is the direct work on the restoration and conservation of museum items. For reference: in average, about 4,500 items pass through the restoration workshops during the year. Of these, about 300 items are exhibits that have undergone complex restoration. And the third task, no less important than the first two, is the maintenance of scientific documentation. This is the compilation of cartograms of conservation state descriptions, photographing objects before and in the process of restoration, maintaining restoration passports, protocols, transfer acts, reports, etc.
Only 330 of the most interesting exhibits from the restoration point of view will be presented at the exhibition. These are paintings, icons and graphic works, objects of decorative, applied and folk art and sculptures. The presented exhibits are only a small part of the tens of thousands of items that have been restored in the Russian Museum over the past 100 years. About 30 works out of 330 will be exhibited at their permanent storage places in the museum halls. These are “The Last Day of Pompeii” by Karl Bryullov and “The Bronze Serpent” by Fyodor Bruni, as well as a number of masterpieces of ancient Russian painting, including one of the gems of the collection, the 14th-century icon “Boris and Gleb”.
The exhibition is supported by Gazprom - the Russian museum restoration projects partner.