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Culture news, 24.12.2003 13:56

The opening of Lomonosov porcelain museum

The opening of Lomonosov porcelain museum On December 23 the museum of the Lomonosov porcelain factory was opened. The museum is situated on the territory of the factory at 151, Prospekt Obukhovskoi Oborony. In 1844, a hundred years after its foundation, the Imperial Porcelain Factory established a museum of Russian porcelain. Precursors of this event were the exhibitions of classic specimens of the factoryís production held in 1837-38. These were a great success with the public and were accompanied by the sale of porcelain items. The museumís first display took the form of "a room for exemplary products" containing pieces from the 18th and early 19th centuries that had been kept at the factory as yardsticks for its artists. To form the collection many items were selected from the storerooms of the Winter Palace and other imperial residences. The stocks of the new museum were also enlarged by exhibits that the Imperial Factory presented at national and international exhibitions.

In the reign of Alexander III (1881-1894) it became a rule that an original copy of each new piece be given to the museum. An additional collection of teaching aids for the factoryís sculptors and artists (Studiensammlung) was formed under the auspices of the museum. It included porcelain from other Russian and European factories. There was also a library with hundreds of books and works of graphic art. Today the "Porcelain Factory Museum" research section has stocks of over 35,000 items. The collection includes Russian and Western European porcelain, ceramics and glass, rare publications and drawings. Now the reconstruction of the museum premises (some 7,500 square feet) is completed, the refurbished display of porcelain is opened again to the general public.

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