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Pushkin Museum on its birthday invites visitors to draw and to enjoy paintings

May 31, 2014, 10:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW

From midday and through to midnight, the Museum organises an event called “Let’s Draw Together.”

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MOSCOW, May 31 /ITAR-TASS/. On its 102nd birthday, on May 31, Russia’s Museum of Fine Arts named after Pushkin (commonly called as the Pushkin Museum) invites visitors to draw in its halls, to view the collection of graphic works and to join guided tours.

“We are trying to be closer to our visitors, to offer an atmosphere of common interests and openness, we are trying to organise it so that visitors could be parts of what is happening in the museum,” director Marina Loshak said. “A birthday is an occasion, where everyone is invited to an informal visit of the museum.”

From midday and through to midnight, the Museum organises an event called “Let’s Draw Together.” The Museum’s all exhibition spaces and even the park by the main building will be devoted to drawing. Any visitor will be invited to take pencils, paper and to draw in the halls.

“Many of our visitors are involved in classical drawing,” the director said. “They are children, who study at the museum, the students, and all modern artists or fans of the arts. Everybody who consider the museum to be their home.”

Marina Loshak said the Museum will seal the drawings as a proof the author made the work on the Museum’s birthday.

Besides, the main building of the Museum will invited visitors to a one-day exposition “Henri Matisse. Sergei Yutkevich’s Portraits: Theme and Variations,” telling the history of four drawings from the Museum’s collection. The Museum’s president Irina Antonova, Director Marina Loshak and the experts will present stories of separate drawings from the collection. The guests will learn about the collection, which unites over 380,000 graphic works. The multimedia kiosks will offer presentations of British, Russian, Japanese and German graphics.

The Museum will invite to open guided tours: "The collection the Pushkin Museum’s Casts: From Antiquity to Renaissance" and "From" World of Arts" to Rodchenko: a collection of drawings from the Department of Private Collections" and others.

The special events will be available to anyone, who buys an entrance ticket to the Museum.

The Pushkin Museum has one of the largest collections of foreign arts from the ancient times to the present day in Russia. The idea of creating a museum belongs to Russian scientist, historian, archaeologist, arts historian and philologist Ivan Tsvetaev. He also became the Museum’s first director. The basis of the museum was the collection of the Cabinet of Fine Arts and Antiques of the Moscow University.

On August 17, 1898 the first stone was laid in the construction of the Museum’s building. The construction was managed by architect Roman Klein, who designed the building in the style an ancient temple. On May 31, 1912 The Museum of Fine Arts named after Emperor Alexander III was opened.

Originally, the collection featured mostly casts of ancient sculptures from Egypt and Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, as well as from the times of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance from European museums.

After the Russian capital was moved to Moscow in 1918, the Soviet government decided to transfer thousands of works from St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum to the new capital. The entire collection of Western art from the Museum Roumjantsev was moved to Moscow, too. These paintings formed a nucleus of the Pushkin Museum's collections of Western art. But most important paintings were added later on from the State Museum of New Western Art. These comprised Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artwork, including top works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Dufrenoy, Derain and Matisse, including Van Gogh's La Vigne Rouge, apparently the only painting sold during the artist's lifetime. In 1937, Pushkin's name was appended to the museum, because the Soviet Union marked the centenary of the poet's death that year.

Presently, the exposition includes about three thousand original works of painting, sculpture and decorative arts. The total number of works stored in the Pushkin Museum is more than 670 thousand items. Those are paintings, graphics, sculptures, decorative arts, archaeological objects, coins and medals, photographs, memorial objects. About one million people come to The Pushkin Museum every year.

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