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The State Museum of Oriental Art

The State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow The museum houses a unique collection including rare Buddhist sculpture, jewellery and textiles, wood and bone carvings and antique weaponry.

Although the collection is small and somewhat amateurish in comparison with equivalents in London and Paris, the museum covers the cultures of the whole of Asia, displaying paintings, sculpture and handicrafts form all across the continent, including the Middle and Far East, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the indigenous tribes of Siberia and Eastern Russia.

A special section of the museum is devoted to the life and works of the renowned thinker, poet and artist Nikolai Rerich (1874-1947) and his son Sviatoslav. Rerich, who left his native land in 1917 already well-established as a talented painter drawing heavily on the religious and cultural traditions of old Russia and the East, traveled the world with his wife and family, particularly Asia, promoting his own fascinatingly crazy mixture of pantheism, Eastern mysticism and European high culture, which to this day has thousands of followers in Russia and throughout the world. He spent the last decade of his life in a remote village in the Indian Himalayas, and many of the impressive landscapes on display here date from that period. His vibrant and mysterious paintings alone are well worth the admission price.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00, closed Mondays.

• SHORT HISTORY

The State Museum of Oriental Art was founded in October 1918, housed in a fine Russian Classical building that had previously been the home of the Lunin family, whose most famous son Mikhail was a soldier, a poet and one of the leaders of the Decembrist movement.

The building was seized by the state after the revolution, and dedicated to the museum, partly as a propaganda gesture to encourage the spread of Socialist power in the putative Central Asian republics.

The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions, which are often worth visiting, and also acts as a center for anthropological and archaeological research.

• ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION

Address: 12-A, Nikitsky Bulvar, Moscow, 121019, Russia
Telephone: +7 (495) 202-4555
Transport: Arbatskaya metro station

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