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Our Favourite Moscow Museums: Off the Beaten Path. Part 2

While St. Petersburg is considered the ‘cultural capital’ of Russia, Moscow competes with it in the number of arts museums and world-renowned exhibitions. In the second installment of our museum guide, we have compiled a list of arts museums, all of which are a great addition to the must-see programme that includes the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Art Museum.

Lumiere Brothers Gallery

The Lumiere Brothers Gallery is a photography exhibition centre that opened in 2010 on an island in the heart of Moscow, at a former chocolate factory. The old building on the Moskva river embankment hosts exhibitions by renowned Russian and international photographers. Currently, you can see works by the Swedish surrealist artist Erik Johansson, French fashion photographer Jean Daniel Lorier, and Dutch collage artist Tamara Stoffers.

The centre also has a library and a bookshop.

Visit the official website (the Russian version is updated more often).
Address: 3 Bolotnaya Naberezhnaya, Building 1. Kropotkinskaya metro station.
Tickets: RUB 400 on workdays, RUB 500 on weekends, RUB 250 students.

Museum of Russian Impressionism

Another museum that is located at a former chocolate factory, this time on Leningradsky Prospekt. This private art museum occupies a former flour warehouse with an unusual shape - a cylinder with a rectangular parallelepiped on the roof, which has undergone major restoration by an international team of architects to turn it into a modern museum (fully accessible), that is now an architectural attraction in itself. The permanent exposition is based on masterpieces by notable Russian artists from the personal collection of its founder, Boris Mints. It consists of more than 70 artworks by Konstantin Korovin, Igor Grabar, Konstantin Yuon, Petr Konchalovsky, Yury Pimenov, Boris Kustodiev, Valentin Serov, as well as many others.

Visit the official website.
Address: 15/11 Leningradsky prospekt, Belorusskaya metro station.
Tickets: RUB 300.

Institute of Russian Realistic Art

June 4 update: the museum is currently closed for an indefinite time.

The Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA) is a private museum which upholds the traditions of Russian artistic patronage. The IRRA museum and exhibition centre was opened in 2011 in one of the old buildings of a former 19th-century cotton-printing factory. IRRA boasts one of the best collections of the 20th-century Russian realist school of painting, including works by Arkady Plastov, Sergey Gerasimov, Alexander Deineka, Yury Pimenov, Georgy Nissky, Isaak Brodsky and other outstanding artists of this genre, as well as more recent Russian art.

Visit the official website.
Address: Novospassky Business Quarter, building 31, 
7 Derbenevskaya Embankment, Paveletskaya or Proletarskaya metro stations.
Tickets: RUB 300, students RUB 150.

Museum of Decorative Art

Housed in a 19th-century mansion, this museum offers a collection of artworks created between the 17th and 20th centuries. These include glasswork, woodwork, bone carving, metalwork, porcelain, ceramics, and textiles. The museum boasts a unique collection of pre-revolutionary Modernist decorative art, as well as a Soviet art collection, including propaganda dishes and textiles. The museum regularly hosts exhibitions of jewellery, toys, clocks, and other curiosities.

Visit the official website.
Address: 3 Delegatskaya Ulitsa, Novoslobodskaya, Mayakovskaya or Tsvetnoy Bulvar metro stations.
Tickets: RUB 250, students RUB 130.

Museum of Russian Icons

This private museum includes a vast collection of Christian icons, the oldest of which date back to the 6th century. The museum is owned by collector and philanthropist Mikhail Abramov, who not only created what is claimed to be the biggest private museum of icons in Russia, but has organized science-based restoration and research of the unique exhibits. Admission to the museum, as well as all events,  including lectures and concerts, are free of charge.

Free tours are arranged by appointment. To sign up for a tour, call +7 (968) 525-12-24.

Visit the official website.
Address: 3 Goncharnaya Ulitsa, Building 1. Taganskaya (circle line) metro station.
Tickets: Free of Charge

Moscow Multimedia Art Museum (MAMM)

Russia’s first art museum focused on photography, MAMM was established in 1996 by Olga Sviblova, a charismatic art historian and artist who has headed the museum ever since. Over recent years, it has hosted over 1,500 exhibitions of photography by Alexander Rodchenko, Vsevolod Tarasevich, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nobuyoshi Araki, Annie Leibovitz, and many other Russian and international artists.

Bi-annually (on even-numbered years), MAMM organizes the Moscow Photobiennale. On odd-numbered years, it hosts another bi-annual festival, ‘Fashion and Style in Photography’.

Visit the official website.
Address: 16 Ostozhenka Ulitsa, Kropotkinskaya metro station.
Tickets: RUB 500, students RUB 250.

Winzavod Centre of Contemporary Art

Winzavod was the first industrial site in Moscow to be reconstructed as an art space. It was opened in 2007 at a former winery. Winzavod (‘wine factory’ in Russian) brings together contemporary art galleries, shops, cafes and exhibition areas. In the warmer months, it also hosts many events outdoors.

Visit the official website.
Address: 1/8 4th Syromyatnichesky Pereulok, Kurskaya metro station.
Tickets: general admission free of charge; prices for admission to exhibitions, galleries and events vary.

Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA)

MMOMA is a public museum focusing on 20th and 21st-century art. The majority of the exhibits are by Russian artists, but the display also includes some works by renowned international masters, such as graphic pieces by Pablo Picasso, sculptures by Salvador Dalí, and installations by Yukinori Yanaga. The Russian avant-garde is a special focus of the museum, with works by Kazimir Malevich, Marc Chagall, and Wassily Kandinsky. MMOMA also owns a unique collection of paintings by the famous Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani. The museum is housed in several buildings in central Moscow, with the main building on Petrovka.

Visit the official website.
Address: 25 Petrovka Ulitsa.
Tickets: RUB 500, students RUB 300.

Artplay Design Centre

Artplay is an art and design space located not far from the HSE building on Basmannay Ulitsa. The design centre hosts architectural bureaus, furniture shops, and educational institutions, such as the British Higher School of Art and Design. The exhibition centre offers interesting events and exhibitions, most of which are multimedia-based and immersive.

Visit the official website (in Russian).
Address: 10 Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya Ulitsa, Kurskaya metro station.
Tickets: price varies depending on the event.

Film Museum

The new Film Museum at VDNH is a reincarnation of the Film Museum on Krasnaya Presnya, which was an iconic place for Moscow youth in the 1990s and early 2000s. The exposition has had controversial reviews, with some people critisizing it for being limited only to particular artists in the history of  Russian cinematography. Nevertheless, the place is worth visiting thanks to its film programme, which features movies from various epochs and genres, including black & white and silent movies. The museum is located at VDNH, a Soviet architectural landmark and point of attraction for tourists and locals alike, which means it’s definitely an interesting place to visit, but also not so easy to reach (VDNH is a huge park with pedestrian-only access).

Visit the official website (the event schedule is available in Russian).
Address: Pavilion Nr.36, 119 Prospekt Mira; VDNH metro station.
Tickets: RUB 300 (exposition); prices for films depend on the event.

See also: Our Favourite Moscow Museums: Off the Beaten Path. Part 1. Technology-related museums.

In the next installment of our guide, we’ll share the list of our favourite literary and history museums in Moscow. Stay tuned!