Collection Glimpse: The State Hermitage Museum

This is the fifth segment in a series of posts entitled, “Collection Glimpses.”  Each post in the series  focuses on a unique collection, innovative repository, or a not well known cultural heritage institution.

The State Hermitage Museum, located in St Petersburg, Russia is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world.  The Hermitage collection began under the reign of Catherine the Great and was initially her private art collection.  The Hermitage opened to the public in 1852. 

The buildings that house the Hermitage Museum are as historic as the collection itself.  The museum is housed in  complex of six historic buildings including: the Small Hermitage, the Large Hermitage, the New Hermitage, the Hermitage Theatre, and the Winter Palace. Many of these buildings were at one point home to Russia Tsars and were constructed in the mid 1800s.

 In collection as vast as the Hermitage holdings it’s hard to pick out collection highlights.  However, I personally enjoy the Museum’s Treasure Gallery which features goldwork and the history of the jewelry craft. The Hermitage also hold a large prehistoric art collection, which features artwork in a variety of formats from a number of civilizations.  Despite holding a fantastic collection, the Hermitage website isn’t the most user friendly and doesn’t readily facilitate exploring the collection online.
 
If you’re interested in learning a bit more about the Hermitage Museum, check out the Museum Secrets episode that features the Hermitage.