Opened on March 7, 1898 in Mikhaylovsky Palace, the Russian Museum contains the world’s largest collection of Russian art. The original collection had art from the collections of the Hermitage, the Museum of the Academy of Arts, and from the Royal Palaces.
During the first 10 years of the Russian Museum the size of the collection almost doubled. The Academy of Arts donated its Christian antique collection which had over 5,000 items alone. A large amount of art also came from private collections. The museum houses 400,000 exhibits from the 10th century to today, with ancient icons to Avant-garde paintings of the XX century. If you are limited on time and looking for art, this museum should be your first choice.
Since 1976, the Russian Museum has coordinated the academic work of all the art museums of Russia. In 1992, the President declared the Museum as a special object of national cultural heritage. Now the Museum owns 3 additional palaces in the center of St Petersburg – Stroganov Palace, Marble Palace, and St. Michael’s Castle – where you can see artwork from the collections of the Russian Museum.