Russian Museum opens in Spain

In Spain’s Malaga on Wednesday a branch of the Russian Museum opened — the first in Europe and the only one to date in the world.

The opening of the museum began with a minute’s silence — in memory of the passengers who died on the flight which crashed in France on the way from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. In light of the tragedy, it was decided to cancel all the festivities associated with the opening.

The opening ceremony was attended by Director of the Russian Museum Vladimir Gusev, Mayor of Malaga Francisco de la Torre Prados, and Russian Ambassador to Spain Yuri Korchagin, as well as other representatives of the Russian Museum, City Hall and the embassy, who familiarized themselves with the exposition. The opening of the exhibition has attracted huge media interest — not only Russian and Spanish, but also European and even Latin American.

What will be displayed there?

The museum plans to hold three exhibitions each year, one permanent and two temporary, said Director of the Russian Museum Vladimir Gusev. About 100 works were included in the first permanent exhibition, entitled “Russian Art of XV–XXth Centuries”, with a wide variety of works, from icons of the XVth century to socialist realism. Among these paintings are ones from Venetsianov, Briullov, Ivanov, Levitan, Vereshchagin, Repin, Konchalovsky, Kandinsky, Tatlin, Rozanova, Chagall, Rodchenko, Altman, Filonov, Malevich, Deineki, and many other famous Russian artists.

The first temporary exhibition’s title is “Russian Art of the Diaghilev Period.” It presents works by artists who worked with Sergei Diaghilev at the time when he created the magazine “World of Art” and the creative association under the same name. The total exhibition includes 69 works — paintings , drawings, and sculptures — from Bakst, Vrubel, Golovin, Goncharova, Larionov, Somov, and Benois. In addition, the exhibition presents theatrical set designs, costumes, and photographs from those years.

In July, a temporary exhibition of avant-garde artist Pavel Filonov will be opened. “The next exhibition will be a temporary one devoted to Filonov — a page in the Russian avant-garde, which appeals to the Spaniards. I am very happy because this is my favorite artist. The French underestimated Filonov, but he appeals to the Spanish mentality. They even asked us to open the exhibition sooner, in July rather than November,” said Gusev.

Europe-wide event

“Without false modesty or false pathos, I can say that I’m simply stunned — because the level of paintings which is represented here is very high — almost all are retrospective, from icons to contemporary art. The visitors to the museum will be able to form an impression of how our great national art was developed. There are no such types of art in Malaga or in the whole of Spain. Today’s event is an event on a European scale. When we talk about Europe from Vladivostok to Lisbon, this is an event of just such a magnitude,” Ambassador Yuri Korchagin told RIA Novosti.

The Ambassador said that the idea of opening a branch of the museum came from the Mayor of Malaga. He came two and a half years ago with a request to assist in the organization of a permanent exhibition of one of the Russian museums. At the time, “The Russian Museum” was not mentioned.” This is what is intriguing — usually the Hermitage and other famous museums of Russia are what one hears about abroad.