2 THE STATE MU­SEUM OF ORI­EN­TAL ART

Timeless Travels Magazine - - RUSSIA -

The Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion strad­dles Europe, the Mid­dle East, East Asia, and the Arc­tic, and Rus­sians see them­selves as hav­ing a unique iden­tity that en­com­passes both Asian and Euro­pean tra­di­tions. It is thus no real surprise that Moscow’s State Mu­seum of Ori­en­tal Art is among the world’s largest ded­i­cated to the preser­va­tion and study of Asian art. This mu­seum lies in a cen­trally lo­cated his­tor­i­cal build­ing, which was for­merly the home of the no­ble Lunin fam­ily and built in the early 19th cen­tury by the fa­mous Ital­ian ar­chi­tect Domenico Gi­lardi (1785-1845). The State Ori­en­tal Mu­seum show­cases per­ma­nent ex­po­si­tions of art from China, Korea, Ja­pan, Ti­bet, Bury­a­tia, Mon­go­lia, In­dia, South­east Asia, Cen­tral Asia, the Cau­ca­sus, Afghanista­n, and Iran on three floors. The col­lec­tions are com­pact but com­pre­hen­sive, rang­ing from ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­mains to cloi­sonné ob­jects and samu­rai swords. Among the mu­seum’s high­lights are un­doubt­edly its im­mense ar­chae­o­log­i­cal col­lec­tion of an­cient Per­sian art and the art of Rus­sia’s indige­nous peo­ples liv­ing in the Arc­tic. A splen­did trea­sury ex­hi­bi­tion show­cases ob­jects from the an­cient Cau­ca­sus as well. For those more in­ter­ested in mod­ern art, The State Mu­seum of Ori­en­tal Art has an out­stand­ing col­lec­tion of mod­ern art by the Rus­sian ar­chae­ol­o­gist and artist Ni­cholas Ro­erich (1874-1947), most of which is ac­ces­si­ble to mu­seum vis­i­tors.

Left, top: The Kaza­khstan pavil­ion and in­set, Ar­me­nia Right: In­te­rior of the State Mu­seum of Ori­en­tal Art Over­leaf: Il­lu­mi­nated dec­o­ra­tions on Nikol­skaya Street, a pedes­trian and shop­ping street, which con­nects Red Square and Lubyanka Square All im­ages © James Blake Wiener un­less oth­er­wise stated

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