The Catalog of The Kushnirskiy Russian Icon Collection Was Presented in Uglich
This November, the Uglich State Historical, Architectural, and Art Museum hosted the presentation of the book “Russian Icons from the Mid-17th to the Early 20th Century. The Oleg Kushnirskiy Collection.” The catalog was introduced by Ilya Kushnirskiy, the director of the Russian Icon Collection.
This presentation, along with those previously held in Moscow and Veliky Novgorod, is a significant event for us. The Uglich Museum is rightfully considered one of the best regional museums in Russia. It possesses an extensive collection of ancient Russian tempera paintings, which allows tracing the history of icon painting from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 18th century.
The invitation to present Oleg Kushnirskiy’s collection of Russian icons at the Uglich Museum was symbolic for several reasons. Firstly, due to the chronological connections between our collections, and secondly, because Uglich, with its rich historical background, preserves the legacy of numerous generations of master icon painters. It is an exceptional source of inspiration.
We are grateful to the Uglich Museum, its director Natalya Viktorovna Chvanova, and the enthusiastic audience for the opportunity to introduce Oleg Kushnirskiy’s icon collection. This event also allowed us to explore new aspects of ancient Russian religious painting—a topic of endless depth and interest.
Uglich State Historical, Architectural, and Art Museum
The museum fund of the Uglich State Historical, Architectural, and Art Museum includes about 30,000 exhibits, gathered over more than 130 years, starting from 1891-92. A highlight of the museum is its collection of ancient Russian tempera paintings—630 works that showcase the evolution of icon painting from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 18th century.
The formation of this collection began in 1894 with the adoption of the Charter of the Uglich Museum of National Antiquities. In the 1920s and 1930s, the collection grew significantly with items from closed and destroyed churches and monasteries in Uglich and its surroundings.
The collection primarily features works from the Moscow school of icon painting, dating back to the 16th–17th centuries. These pieces demonstrate the profound influence of Moscow art on the development of a unified all-Russian style in icon painting and reflect the broader history of Russian culture.
Additionally, the museum houses collections of Russian paintings from the 18th to the 21st centuries, wooden sculptures from the 17th to the 19th centuries, numismatics, weapons, rare books, and textiles, each offering a unique insight into the rich tapestry of Russian history and culture.