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16.05.2015 | #Unite4Heritage

In view of the forthcoming celebration of the International Museum Day of 18 May, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) Russian Academy of Sciences joins the international campaign #Unite4Heritage, which was recently launched on the initiative the UNESCO Director-General Ms Irina Bokova. Campaign #Unite4Heritage is a response not only to the recent trend of deliberate destruction of or attacks on cultural heritage, of which museums have been regrettably a target especially in Arab region/ The aim of the campaign is  to increase awareness of public, notably that of young people worldwide on the importance of heritage as showcase of our diversity and spirit of intercultural exchange and dialogue.

In 1713 the Great Gottorp Globe was given to Peter the Great as a diplomatic gift from the Duchy of Gottorp and later became one of the very first exhibits of the first Russian public museum – Kunstkamera. Delivered to Saint-Petersburg in 1717, the Gottorp Globe was thought to be the biggest globe in the world and first planetarium globe at the time. Today it is presented at the fourth floor of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) in St. Petersburg (Russia).

18.03.2015 | Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Arkady Dvorkovich visited Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)

On March 17th, 2015, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Arkady Dvorkovich visited Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera). He met the Museum's administration and saw its permanent exhibitions and Museum’s depots. He discussed a number of important issues related to the complex development of Russia's oldest public museum and scientific institution that celebrated its 300th anniversary in the end of 2014. As a result of this visit it is planned to elaborate a development program for the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)  that, as Mr. Dvorkovich wrote in the Museum's VIP visitors' book, would be aimed at  turning the Museum into a "modern scientific and cultural center for millions of people from around the globe".

02.03.2015 | The Aleutians: new on-line catalogue

The Aleutians online catalogue for the first time presents entire collection of the Aleutians’ traditional culture housed in the Peter the Great museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS. The project continues series of collection catalogues, dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the Museum. The first catalogue was published in 2007 on the Tlingit culture, the second, published in 2011 — on the Alutiit culture.

The Aleutians are one of the indigenous peoples of the American North. In the early 19th cent. a group of the Aleutians was resettled to the Commander Islands, since than the Aleutians live both in the USA and Russia.

The Aleutian collections were first handed over to the Kunstkamera after discovery of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska by Vitus Bering - Aleksey Chirikov expedition in 1741. Over 150 years Russian sailors, travelers, scholars, missioners and employees of the Russian-American Company delivered Aleutian collections to the Museum. Owing to them MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS houses the largest and unique in the terms of time of gathering collection of Aleutian traditional culture, which was first published in its entirety in the catalogue.

The work on the catalogue was started by the Museum in 2011. The project was realized in partnership with leading American experts and representatives of Alaska Aleutians with active participation of Russian experts from other research organizations. Thus the Museum work in the field of research and interpretation of the North America peoples’ traditional culture with engagement of local communities and eхperts from Alaska as well as providing a wide access to the museum collections have been continued.

As a result a complete research catalogue of the Peter the Great Museum’s of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS on Aleutian traditional culture "Aleuty: catalog kollekcii Kunstkamery" (The Aleutians: Kunstkamera’s collections catalogue) was published in St.Petersburg in 2014.

The catalogue was worked out in partnership and with support of Press and Culture Department of the Consulate General of the USA in St.Petersburg. The Museum expresses appreciation to the Consulate General of the USA in St.Petersburg for supporting the project at all stages of its realization.

11.11.2014 | New online catalog Mikhail Gerasimov: Facial Reconstructions From the Crania

Mikhail Gerasimov: Facial Reconstructions from the Crania online catalog presents a collection of sculptural reconstructions from crania, made by the anthropologist and archaeologist Michael Gerasimov and owned by Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera). These are reconstructed heads of primates, fossil hominins, ancient and medieval people, and a few Russian princes. Certain portraits such as those of males from Yuzhny Oleniy (Southern Reindeer) Island on Lake Onega, that of a nomad from Kirghizia, etc., are based on crania from the collections of the Department of Anthropology.

Also, the catalog introduces rare photographs of the 1936 excavations of Mesolithic burials in the Murzak-Koba grotto, Crimea, the 1936-38 excavations at Yuzhny Oleniy Island.

The online catalog continues the exhibition Faces of Our Ancestors, held at our Museum in 2007-08 on the occasion of Gerasimov’s centenary.

14.07.2014 | Signing of Cultural Cooperation Agreement with the Republic of Khakassia and the opening of the exhibition "Eurasia: space of time and life"

On July 1, 2014 at the IV International Forum «Historico-Cultural Heritage As a Source Of Socio-Cultural Development» (Abakan, Khakassia) the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Khakassia and MAE was signed by the Head of the Republic of Khakassia Viktor Zimin and Deputy Director of MAE RAS Prof. Efim Rezvan. The agreement opens new possibilities for broad scientific collaboration and cooperation in the field of museology, as well as in the conservation, study and promotion of cultural and historical heritage. On the same day the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Eurasia: the space and time of life" took place. The exhibision is based on photographs of Stepan D. Mainagashev (1886—1920), the creator Khakassian writing and talented ethnographer, turkologist and public figure. Photographs, which together form an encyclopedia of traditional Khakassian culture, became the result of Mainagashev expeditions to Minusinsk and Achinsk districs of Yenisei province with the goal to collect historical and ethnographic, linguistic and anthropological materials. The expeditions were realized in 1913—1914 years with the assistance of the MAE. Pictures and negatives by Stepan D. Mainagashev (now MAE photographic collections Nos 2181, 2287, 2410) are the most significant part of the author's photographs fund on life and manners of Khakassia kept in the MAE. The exhibition "Eurasia: the space and time of life" was organized by Leonid Kyzlasov Khakassian national museum of local history with the assistance of MAE RAS. It is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the ethnographic expedition Stepan Dmitrievich Mainagashev.



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CELESTIAL BOAT. Chinese Mechanical Toy
The World of an Object

As early as the 3rd century B.C. Qin Shi-huang, establisher of the Chinese Empire, attending to endless longevity was time after time sending expeditions to the distant seas looking for the islands haunted with the celestial immortals: people - rulers of the time, elements and wonderful creatures, - in pleasure of eternity sailing the seas by unseen boats resistant to any storms. By celestial boats.