Museum of Glass and Crystal
Komsomolskaya str., 21, Nikolsk, Penza region
Phones: +7 (8412) 56-63-73
Web site: penza.gallery/o-muzee/filialy/nikolskij-muzej
The museum houses 14.5 thousand unique items made in the period from the XVIII to the XXI centuries. Huge, diverse funds allow you to organize exhibitions on a variety of topics.
On the basis of the collection, guests of the museum can get acquainted with the history of the world and domestic production of glass and crystal, as well as learn about new artistic achievements in the glass business.
In the halls of the museum you can see a lot of unique exhibits. These are products made for the Imperial Court, and samples from the homes of wealthy nobles of Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the museum you can also see copies of foreign works that are not inferior to the originals in quality and craftsmanship.
Among the samples presented in the museum is a table made for the 60th anniversary of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and a fragment of a service for the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Visitors can also see samples of plafonds designed for the design of the first stations of the Moscow and Leningrad metro. The museum also presents a vase that was made as a gift to the world's first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. There are other interesting exhibits.
The museum appeared in Nikolsk in 1789, when the widow of the first owner of the Nikolsko-Bakhmetevsky crystal factory Agafokleya Bakhmeteva began to collect the best samples made at the enterprise of her late husband. At first it was just a room with exhibits, but since 1914, the model room has officially been referred to in documents as a museum. Unique samples were methodically and carefully collected by three generations of the Bakhmetev family, as well as the last owner of the plant – Prince Obolensky. The collection also includes products made of foreign glass, which since the beginning of the century before last, for a hundred years, were brought to Russia from foreign countries. It is mainly Bohemian, English and French glass. In addition, the owners of the factory collected products from Russian and European porcelain and faience.
By the beginning of the XX century, the collection of glass and crystal of the factory museum was already very extensive and diverse.
After the revolution, the plant became the property of the state and in 1923 was named "Red Giant". The museum collection continued to grow thanks to the efforts of the plant's management. The sample room was located in the factory office building.
During the Great Patriotic War, as well as in the post-war years, not everyone could see the collection: to do this, you had to get a written permission from the administration of the "Red Giant". And only in 1964, when the plant was 200 years old, the museum funds became publicly available, remaining, however, the official structural unit of the enterprise. By the way, visiting the museum at that time was free.
A quarter of a century later, when the 225th anniversary of the glass factory and the 200th anniversary of the museum's collection were celebrated, the Red Giant factory specially built a two-story building for the exhibitions. The entrance to the Museum of Glass and Crystal was paid.
The beginning of the XXI century was a very difficult period for the plant and its museum. In 2008, the company "Red Giant" was declared bankrupt. The unique collection was included in the State Part of the Museum Fund of Russia, and since September 1, 2005, the Museum of Glass and Crystal of Nikolsk has become a branch of the Penza Regional Art Gallery named after K. A. Savitsky.
Since 2006, international symposia have been held in Nikolsk, in which students and masters from all over the world take part - for example, from Austria, Belarus, Turkey, Japan, China, France, Finland, and the Czech Republic. Thanks to these symposia, the collection of the museum began to be replenished with works by contemporary masters not only from Russia, but also from foreign countries.
Artists who work in modern private enterprises in the city also donate their work to the museum.
Weddings are held in the halls of the museum, as well as photo sessions are organized within its walls at the request of the customer.