The State Museum of Oriental Art
12A Nikitsky Blvrd., Moscow
Phones: +7 (495) 691-02-12
Web site: orientmuseum.ru
Get to know the diversity of the culture of the peoples of the East and appreciate the uniqueness of the works of masters from different regions – from Iran and Tibet to Japan and Indonesia. See paintings by the famous artists Nicholas and Svyatoslav Roerich.
Today, the Museum’s collections include more than 5,000 exhibits displayed in the following repositories: “Precious Metals and Precious Stones”, “Painting, Graphics and Sculpture”, “Fabrics. Woven Products”, and “Ceramics, Wood and Metal”, as well as items from the archeology repository. The exhibits of the Museum of Oriental Art are represented in the following thematic halls: archeology; religions and cults of pre-Muslim Central Asia (IV century BC – IV century AD); fine arts of the Caucasus and Central Asia; art of the peoples of the North; decorative and applied arts of Central Asia and Kazakhstan; arts and crafts of the Caucasus; and art of Southeast Asian countries (Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, etc.). There are also halls dedicated to art from Japan, China, Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, and India. In a separate room, works by masters from Central Asian countries (Tibet, Buryatia, and Mongolia) are on display. The “Special Storeroom” hall presents a small but very diverse collection of ancient art from the Caucasus discovered by archaeologists from 1981 onwards. These are artefacts from the Scythian period (VI–IV centuries BC), the Sarmatian period (III BC – III century AD), the “Migration Period” (V century AD), and the Middle Ages (VII – IX and XIV – XV centuries AD). Along with permanent exhibits, visitors can regularly see exhibitions of works by prominent Russian and foreign cultural figures.
The State Museum of Oriental Art is a unique place where visitors can see an exceptional variety of artistic and cultural monuments from the peoples of the Far and Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Far North. This large cultural and educational center was founded in 1918. During its more than 100-year history, the museum has repeatedly changed its name: it was called Ars Asiatica, “Museum of Oriental Cultures”, and “Museum of Art of Oriental Peoples”. Moreover, the Museum has moved several times. Since 1984, its main building has been located in a mansion on Nikitsky Boulevard, known as the “Lunin House” – a city estate built in the early 19th century. This city manor is an outstanding example of the Russian Empire style. Today, the historical building houses the permanent exhibit and exhibition complex, a tour desk, a lecture hall, an academic library, as well as offices of researchers, and rooms for museum curators and service personnel. The museum’s repositories include around 150,000 objects of art. The permanent exhibit features more than 5,000 items: sculptures, paintings, graphics, decorative and applied arts, weapons, and archeology. Pavilion 13 of the country’s main exhibition center (VDNKh) houses the museum’s open repository facilities. Visitors can also view an exhibition called “Preserving Culture: The Roerich Museum at VDNKh”. Visitors can see more than 600 works representing the entire spectrum of artistic creativity of the artists Nicholas and Svyatoslav Roerich. These are paintings, works of Oriental sculpture, and Tibetan icons (tangka) collected by Nicholas Roerich during the scientific and artistic expedition to India and Central Asia. In 1985, the North Caucasus branch of the Museum appeared in the capital of the Republic of Adygea (Maykop). It shows the history of fine arts and culture of the peoples of the North Caucasus from ancient times to the present day.
The State Museum of Oriental Art regularly hosts excursions, lectures, concerts, and film screenings. Additionally, you can study in the school of Oriental studies, master the art of making ikebana, visit a yoga studio, and test your skills in a game of “Go”. Visitors love the tea room, where everyone can immerse themselves into the world of tea traditions from Ancient China. A guide is on hand to help guests take not just a pleasant taste, but also aesthetic pleasure from the tea ceremony, and to introduce the history and properties of this popular drink. The “pearl” of tea culture is the jade ceremony. This elite tea made in a bowl of jade (miraculous properties has been attributed to this stone since ancient times) helps to improve health and create a special mood.