Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts
Yekaterinburg, Voevodina str., 5
Phones: +7 908 633 37 90
Web site: emii.ru
The museum building presents collections of Ural cast iron, Russian art of the XVIII-early XX century, Western European art of the XIV-XIX centuries and decorative and applied art of the Urals,as well as temporary exhibitions.
The Kasli cast-iron pavilion – the pinnacle of the foundry art of the Ural masters-impresses with its solemnity, rich decor, expressive reliefs and subtlety of details. It was made at the Kaslin factory, which, since 1860, took an active part in many All – Russian and International industrial exhibitions, where its products were awarded honorary diplomas, gold and silver medals-in Paris (1867, 1890), Vienna (1873), Philadelphia (1876), Copenhagen (1888), Stockholm (1897).
The creation of the famous cast-iron pavilion for the World Art and Industrial Exhibition of 1900 in Paris was the pinnacle of Kaslin art. It was designed by the talented St. Petersburg architect E. E. Baumgarten (1866-1919) as an exhibition showcase of the Kyshtym Mountain district. Made in the New Russian style, the cast-iron palace impressed visitors with its decor and rich decoration. The motifs of the art of Ancient Russia, Byzantium and Scandinavia are whimsically intertwined in the ornamental design of the walls of the building. Kyshtym mountain district was awarded the highest award in the section " preparation of metal products»: Gold medal. The date of April 15 (old style) - the opening day of the Paris Exhibition-can be considered the date of birth of the Kasli cast-iron Pavilion.
The Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts is the largest art museum in the Urals. The Museum was founded in 1936, but its collection dates back to the last quarter of the 19th century and is connected with the activity of Ural Natural History Society. Ural Natural History Society immensely helped to enlarge the collection of Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore. Its art department was later transformed into Sverdlovsk Art Gallery (Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts since 1988). At different times the museum collection has been supplemented with the gifts of The State Hermitage Museum, The State Tretyakov Gallery, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, and arrivals from the State Museum Fund, Moscow purchasing commissions, art collectors, and artists themselves.
During World War II treasures of the State Hermitage Museum evacuated from Saint Petersburg reposed in one of the buildings of the Museum (Vainer street, 11). The Hermitage staff members greatly influenced the process of the Museum collection formation, its scholarly research, and cultural life.
The Museum research activity flourished after Boris Vasilievich Pavlovsky’s appointment. The Kasli Iron Pavilion was restored and reopened in 1958 due to his involvement. During 1960s-80s a number of landmark projects were launched by the museum staff including one of the first in Russia “Portraits of Unrevealed” exhibition.
By the mid-80s museum holdings had expanded so much that a demand for more room to store and display works of art arose. For this reason a part of the collection was transferred to the renovated building of the former hospital which had belonged to Ekaterinburg ironworks (Voevodin street, 5). The Kasli Iron Pavilion was disassembled, transported to the new place, and restored again.
In 1988 Sverdlovsk Art Gallery was granted the status of ‘the museum of fine arts’. Newly formed departments of Russian Painting, Decorative and Applied Arts, Russian Art of the 20th century began to pick up their collections. It was the time of the most vigorous scholarly and publishing activity. The Museum developed a reputation and established contacts with Russian and foreign scholarly and museum venues.
In 2005 the Virtual Branch of the Russian Museum was opened in the Museum. The Virtual Branch is an information and education centre created on the basis of scholarly, educational, and methodological elaborations by leading specialists of the Russian Museum.
In 2008 the Regional Centre of Museum Pedagogics and Youth’s Creative Development was set up in cooperation with the Russian Centre of Museum Pedagogics and Children’s Creativity (the subdivision of the Russian Museum). Ones of the Centre’s priorities are formation of the interconnection between the Museum and schools and realization of cooperative projects and programmes.
Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts is a large-scale cultural and collecting centre. It is also a place of exhibitions, research, and education.
The largest Ural art project – International Mezzotint Festival – has taken place at the Museum since 2011. Artists from more than 40 countries come to Ekaterinburg every two years.