THE HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM
The Museum of Russian Impressionism opened on May 28th, 2016 on Leningradskiy Prospect, in the former Bolshevik chocolate factory.
The museums’ permanent collection comes from its founder, Boris Mints. The collection consists of more than seventy works of art by prominent Russian artists such as Konstantin Korovin, Igor Grabar, Konstantin Yuon, Petr Konchalovsky, and Yuri Pimenov, as well as selected works by Boris Kustodiev and Valentin Serov.
The international art community has recognized the work done by the museum’s team in the years since its opening. The museum is a member of the prestigious International Councils of Museums (ICOM).
THE MUSEUM'S COLLECTION
The permanent exhibition of the Museum covers a considerable chronological range. The earliest painting is ‘In The Park’ (1879) by Konstantin Korovin. The most recent work is the series ‘Postcards’ (2012) by Valery Koshlyakov. Many works presented in the Museum’s collection have been brought back to their homeland thanks to the efforts of the Museum’s founder. Among them are Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky’s ‘Summer’ and Boris Kustodiev’s ‘Venice’. Works by Pyotr Konchalovsky now in the Museum’s collection once belonged to Western collectors, as did Nikolai Dubovskoy’s ‘Mountain Village’. Konstantin Korovin’s ‘Gurzuf’ was also purchased at a European auction. The works of such artists as Igor Grabar, Konstantin Yuon, Yury Pimenov have too rarely been exhibited, and the Museum is now proud to display them.
The Museum of Russian Impressionism is located in a former warehouse where sugar and flour were once stored. The building is now the site of the Bolshevik Cultural and Business Centre, built by russified Frenchman Oscar Didio.
The factory complex was built in the 1880s, the same time when Russian art was rapidly developing. The sons of the French confectioner Adolf Sioux decided to build a new factory after obtaining land on the Petersburg Highway from a Moscow merchant woman. Construction was completed in 1884.
The Sioux family was the first confectioner in Moscow to introduce electrical lighting in its workplace. The production process included the use of powerful steam engines, gas, and oil-powered motors. The whole city gathered to witness the blaze from the factory windows. Products produced here included sweets, marmalade, marshmallows, pies, liqueur chocolates, ice-cream, biscuits and jams.
After the Revolution, in 1918, production was nationalized, and Factory No. 3 was rechristened “Bolshevik” in the 1920s. The factory was one of the biggest such enterprises in Europe into the 1960s, but went into decline during Perestroika.
In the early 2000’s the confectionery factory was relocated outside of Moscow.
In 2012, British architectural bureau John McAslan + Partners began restoration of the former flour warehouse and converted it into a modern museum.
Today the “Bolshevik” business complex conserves not only its revolutionary name, but also its historical appearance. Yet the building has also been transformed from an industrial center into a modern, cozy, well-lit, and comfortable cultural and business center. The museum has become the heart of the new business district of Moscow
The restoration project was headed by the director of the Bureau John McAslan + Partners architect Aidan Potter. Тhese famous architects from London are experts in the conservation, restoration, and renovation of historical buildings, including London’s King’s Cross railway station. They decided to keep the cylindrical shape of warehouse, but transform the building into a contemporary art object. Mr. Potter binded a brick building in the shiny perforated metal to make the inner ceiling, dividing the building into five floors. As a result, the flour warehouse was transformed into a real museum complex.
The museum is comprised of three exhibition halls with a total area of 1000 m2. The main color in the interior of the Museum is a light gray. This simple and pure atmosphere allows the viewer to enjoy the vivid paintings of Russian Impressionists without any distractions. The circular arrangement of the exhibition halls smoothly transitions from one floor to another, strengthening the emotional effect. On the basement level is a spacious exhibition area, a cinema hall, a multimedia studio, and a bookstore with art souvenirs. On the third floor there is a summer terrace and a cozy cafe. At the entrance on the first floor, a giant video installation by American artist Jean Christophe welcomes visitors.
The building of the Museum is handicap-friendly