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- Getting Here
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- History of the Kunstkamera
- The Kunstkamera: all knowledge of the world in one building
- Establishment of the Kunstkamera in 1714
- The Kunstkamera as part of the Academy of Sciences
- The Kunstkamera building
- First collections
- Peter the Great's trips to Europe
- Acquisition of collections in Europe: Frederik Ruysch, Albert Seba, Joseph-Guichard Duverney
- The Gottorp (Great Academic) globe
- Siberian expedition of Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt
- The Academic detachment of the second Kamchatka expedition (1733-1743)
- 1747 fire in the Kunstkamera
- Fr.-L. Jeallatscbitsch trip to China with a mission of the Academy of Sciences (1753-1756)
- Siberian collections
- Academy of Sciences' expeditions for geographical and economic exploration of Russia (1768-1774)
- Research in the Pacific
- James Cook's collections
- Early Japanese collections
- Russian circumnavigations of the world and collections of the Kunstkamera
- Kunstkamera superintendents
- Explore Collections Online
- Filming and Images Requests FAQs
James Cook's collections
In 1776, Captain James Cook commanded ships “Resolution” and “Discovery” in his third voyage circumnavigating the globe. The principal goal was to discover the Northwest Passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.
After James Cook’s death on February 4, 1779 in the Hawaiian Islands, the expedition in search of the Northern way to the British Islands headed to the Bering Strait and came to Kamchatka for replenishment of food supplies and repairs of vessels.
Commander of Kamchatka Major Magnus Carl von Behm had received the English sailors very kindly and helped them with food supply. In return for his hospitality, Commander Charles Clerke, who took over the expedition after Cook’s death, presented Behm with a collection of items of traditional culture of peoples of the Polynesian Islands.
Marcus Behm brought these collected items to the attention of Empress Catherine II and in March 1780, they were transferred to the Kunstkamera of the Academy of Sciences.