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Events in Saint Petersburg - May 2017

Exhibition “The Russian Revolution 1917-1922”

1 May - 31 May

The exposition is dedicated to the February Revolution and the Great October Revolution in Petrograd, 1917 and the Civil War, 1918-1922.

Also, the attention is paid to the events which took place in the specified period of time in the national regions of Russia. The October coup induced the process of declarations of the national state entities, the most of which counteracted the central power of the Soviets. The Baltics, Ukraine, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia saw complicated political processes associated with armed struggle, in which, in addition to national forces, both the Bolsheviks and representatives of the “revolutionary democracy” and White movement supporters took their part.

The special role in the exposition belongs to the set of the exhibits depicting the Kronstadt insurrection in March of 1921. This revolt forced V.I.Lenin to come to terms with the peasant majority of the country and to announce the New economic policy. 

The Civil war final in 1922, as well as a final part of our exposition, culminates with the appearance of the new state - the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) - on the world map and forced emigration of more than two million of Russia’s residents from their homeland.

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Exhibition "The Arctic, an inhabited land"

1 May - 31 May

Сultural items of the native peoples of the Arctic, from the museum collection, which represent the particularities of daily life and national traditions of the small populations of the North, Siberia and the Far East, will be shown at the exhibition 
The exhibition invites visitor to travel across the spaces of the Russian Arctic and to make a glimpse at history and culture of its inhabitants. The choice for exhibition of such ethnographic topics as economic and hunting activities, trade, home, clothes, rites and beliefs, navigation and missionary work is determined by the main objective of exhibition - to show how and by whatmeans people made the Arctic, the territory with extreme environmental conditions for man, their home. 
The name “Arctic” (ἄρκτος – she-bear) is not directly related to its largest inhabitant – white bear, but is derived from the Ancient Greek names of constellations of the Ursa Major and the Ursa Minor with unmovable Polaris and territory situated under it in the Northern hemisphere. 
Not being a mainland the Arctic embraces vast territory (27 millions square km) of the northern periphery of Eurasia and North America neighboring the North Pole and the entire area of the Arctic Ocean with its islands. The Arctic territory with its richest mineral deposits and resources has been always the center of allure for traders, merchants, travelers and explorers. 
Russia always longed the Arctic that had especially attractive power for our country throughout its history from Novgorod merchants and the Pomors to poets and conquerors of the North Pole. The result of this multi-century endeavor was exploration of vast polar territories by Russian travelers, men of service, traders, missionaries, scientists and navigators. Observing, and recording the life of indigenous ethnic groups, living side by side with them they not only introduced new elements in their culture and religion, but also enriched their own with practices of local peoples related to economic activity and life-maintenance system, without which it’s impossible to imagine the present existence of the Russian Arctic’s population. 
Ethnographic objects and archeological findings representing the circumpolar cultures alongside photographs and drawings from the Russian Museum of Ethnography collections and multimedia programs will help visitor to know general and unique features of different ethnic and local cultures’ traditions the complex of which shapes the image of the “Arctic house” common to everybody. 

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Exhibition “The Russian Revolution 1917-1922”

1 May - 31 May

The exhibition “Georgy Plekhanov: the apostle of Russian Marxism” at the State Museum of Political History of Russia is dedicated to the 160th anniversary of Plekhanov’s birth and represents his life and evolution of his political views

 

On Sunday June, 9, 1918 the streets of Petrograd were filled with crowds. No less than ten thousand people took part in the funeral ceremony on that day. Students, clerks, teachers, journalists, lawyers, workers from some of the faсtories and plants, which did not obey the Bolshevik instructions, followed the coffin. The mourning procession brought together people of different political positions: Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries, cadets and ardent autocracy supporters. Not only their will to pay the last tribute to the deceased united them, but also the disregard towards Bolshevism and the Soviets. On that day the citizens of Petrograd followed one of the greatest men of his time to his grave… Only the Bolshevik officials of Petrograd, led by Grigory Zinoviev demonstratively refused to participate in the funeral ceremony. Calling for the workers to follow the officials, Zinoviev wrote in “Petrograd Pravda”: “We will not attend the funeral of our former teacher, who in his later life took the side of our worst enemies”. 
The most influential Russian labour movement theorist, thinker and revolutionary activist, the founder of Social-Democracy in Russia, Georgy Plekhanov was born on December, 11 (November, 29) 1856 in the village of Gudalovka, Tambov province, to the family of the retired staff captain Valentin Plekhanov. 
In 1873 Plekhanov graduated from Voronezh military gymnasium and entered into the Konstantinov Junker school in St. Petersburg. However, he only stayed within the school for a few months and then gave up his military career forever, as he realised that the principles of autocracy were incompatible to those of service to the Motherland’s good. In the same year, Georgy Plekhanov got enrolled into St. Petersburg Mineral Resources institute, although, he soon left it too and got involved into the revolutionary activities. In 1876 he became one of the founders of the “Land and Liberty” clandestine revolutionary group. He organised demonstrations and strikes, he wrote proclamations. During the first Russian political demonstration at the Kazan cathedral on December 6, 1876, Georgy Plekhanov spoke openly against the tsarist autocracy for the first time. When the “Land and Liberty” group split up in 1879, Plekhanov refused to follow the terrorist path and became the head of the “Black Repartition” splinter group. Fleeing from the police persecution, Plekhanov left Russia and spent in total 37 years living in exile in Switzerland, Italy, France and other European countries.

In 1883 in Geneva Plekhanov set up the first Russian Marxist “Emancipation of Labour” group, which main idea was to propagate Marxism and to publish works by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. He translated the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” into Russian. Soon Plekhanov became a prominent Marxism theorist.    
In the exile Georgy Plekhanov, as a respected leader of the international socialist movement, took part in the congresses of the Second International. He wrote multiple theoretical, journalistic, philosophical and literary works dedicated to aesthetics. 
In 1900 Plekhanov along with Lenin started “The Spark” clandestine newspaper. He also took part in the foundation of the Russian Social-Democratic labour party (RSDLP). In 1903 on its II congress the RSDLP party split up into the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks; Plekhanov and Lenin took different paths. During the Russian revolution in 1905-1907, Plekhanov first called for an armed uprising against the autocracy, but after the December revolt in Moscow in 1905 was suppressed, he stated that “taking up arms was not necessary”. He spoke in favour of the socialist-democrats’ participation in the elections to the State Duma and also for the cooperation with the liberals.  
During the Russian-Japanese war in 1904-1905, Plekhanov campaigned for the fall of tsarism; to prove that on the Sixth congress of the Second International in Amsterdam he demonstratively shook hands with the Japanese socialist S. Katayama. However, after the outbreak of the World War I he changed his position completely and stood for the Russian triumph over Germany in opposition to the Bolshevik strategy of promoting the defeat of their own country. On March 31, 1917, after the abdication of the monarchy, Plekhanov returned to Russia after almost 4 decades of living in exile. Despite the red carpet reception at the Finlandsky railway station, his defencist position did not allow him to gain public’s support. As the head of the “Unity” social-democratic group, which he had established back in 1914, Plekhanov expressed support to the Provisional Government and its “war till the last dog dies” policy. With his “class harmony” philosophy, Plekhanov turned out to be too right-wing even for the social-revolutionary Menshevik leaders of the Petrograd Soviet. In spite of a sudden healt breakdown, caused by the relapse of tuberculosis, he kept on his journalistic activities and published more than 120 articles and essays in less than a year. 
Back in his Motherland, Plekhanov went through a deep crisis of a man, who could not stop his country from falling into the deeps of civil war. He spoke against Lenin’s “April Theses”, calling them “nonsense”. Plekhanov also described Lenin’s appeal for the continuation of the revolution as an “insane and extremely bad attempt to spread the anarchistic chaos around Russian land”. His reaction on the October revolution was very negative, he stated that taking the power “by one class, or what’s even worse, by one party” could lead to deplorable consequences. 
Grigory Plekhanov died on May 30, 1918 in the Pitkajarvi Sanatorium in Finland after a long illness. On June, 9 he was buried in Petrograd in the Volkovo Cemetery in Petrograd. 

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Exposition “Man and Power in Russia in the 19th – 21st Centuries”

1 May - 31 May

Exposition deals with relations of a man and a government at crucial points of the domestic history 
The sections of the exposition, and reflect the key events of our history: change of political systems and wars, revolutions and reforms, periods of power liberalization and dictatorship strengthening. The exhibits and artistic objects, eyewitness testimonies and “voices of history” show, how actions of those responsible for decision making and ordinary people influenced upon the course of history. 
The exposition area, unusual in terms of its design, allows each visitor to create his/her own picture of the Russian political history, which events are evaluated from different viewpoints. 
The exposition “Man and Power in Russia in the 19th – 21st Centuries” is situated in the central part of the museum on the ground and first floors. The ground floor allows a visitor to see the events and heroes of the domestic history of the 19th – early 20th centuries, whereas the first floor shows the events and heroes of the Soviet and post Soviet era. Final section of the exposition will be located on the second floor, and will show modern political realities.

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Exhibition “Soviet Epoch: Between Utopia And Reality” 

1 May - 31 May 

The exposition is dedicated to the most actual and disputable time of the Russian history – the Soviet period. 
Over 1,000 exhibits from the collection of our Museum and state and private archives are displayed in six halls. The Museum interpretation of the subject represents the main stages of the Soviet state system formation (from 1917 till 1985) and the most important elements of social and private life of Soviet people. 
The first part of the exposition reveals the mechanism of Stalin’s power in taking full control over all spheres of life in the country. The second part emphasizes the gradual overcoming of Stalin’s heritage by the Soviet society. 
Official doctrines and goals of Stalin’s “building of socialism in one country”, Khrushchev’s “full-scale building of communism” and Brezhnev’s idea of “developed socialism” are compared to real life of people in a huge country for a period of 70 years. Characters of the exposition are the Communist Party leaders and common people, the so-called “udarniki” (that was the name for all foremost communist-way workers) and outstanding scientists, people from NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs) and KGB (the Committee for State Security) and GULAG prisoners, dissidents and councilors of the USSR leaders, workers of official culture and representatives of Soviet underground. 

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Exhibition “Matilda Kshesinskaya: Fouettes of Fate”  

1 May - 31 May 

An exhibition "Matilda Kshesinskaya: Fouettes of Fate" is designed to provide a full overview of the personal and creative biography of the famous ballerina of the Silver Age who left a significant footprint in Russian art. 
Matilda F. Kshesinskaya is not only a synonym of Russian ballet at the turn of the 20th century, but also was a significant personality in the life of high society and culture of St.Petersburg in the last decades of the Russian Empire. 
Today, she is of interest to us as a one-of-a-kind phenomenon encompassing many significant events in the cultural and political history of Russia. Her affair with the future Emperor Nicholas II, and love and business relationships with the Grand Dukes Sergei Mikhailovich and Andrei Vladimirovich caused a lot of innuendo, spawning the most fantastic rumors and gossip. There are still controversial opinions not only about the personality of Matilda Kshesinskaya, but also about the sources of her huge wealth — before 1917, Kshesinskaya was one of the richest women in Russia. 
This is not the first time that the Museum of Political History of Russia pays attention to Matilda Kshesinskaya. What is distinguishing about the new exhibition is that it aims to show her personal and creative life as much as possible freed from myths and secrets, and uses a large number of new archive sources, including those being exhibited for the first time. The exhibition reveals different dimensions of the multi-faceted personality of Matilda Kshesinskaya, showing her as an outstanding ballerina, socialite, mother, wife, lady and businesswoman.

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Exhibition “Best of West” 

1 May - 25 May

The beautiful solo show by one the most promising world's photographer Dean West

Dean West’s complex and multilevel works have already won love of numerous prestigious competitions juries and millions of photography lovers all around the world. The exhibition will include several series, such as Church, In Pieces, Fabricate, Olympia and various advertising projects. Dean West collaborates with global brands such as SONY, Fox Sports, Disney, MTV and others. And constantly wins awards in photography exhibited around the world.

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Exhibition “Undressed”

1 May - 31 May

Exhibition about the history of underwear from the Victoria and Albert Museum (London)

The great retrospective exhibition of underwear design from the 18th century to the present day, which was carefully prepared by the curators of V&A, will reside in Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg for a few months. 

Through elegant corsets, crinolines, boxer shorts, bras, hosiery, lingerie and loungewear the exhibition will tell the detailed history of underwear, exploring the "intimate" relationship between underwear and fashion, the role of underwear in formation of male and female images.

Highlights will include floral embroidered stockings worn by Queen Alexandra; a sheer dress by Liza Bruce famously worn by Kate Moss; an exquisite negligée by Carine Gilson, like that worn by actress Bérénice Marlohe in the film Skyfall; and Antonio Beradi’s monochrome dress, worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, featuring a trompe l’oeil corset which reveals the underwear worn beneath. 

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Exhibition “Artist and Authority. Chaliapin after 1917”

1 May - 31 May

The exhibition will take place in the Chaliapin Memorial Museum

The exhibition tells about the life and work of the famous singer after the revolution, about the first performances in Petrograd after 1917, and the appointment of Feodor Chaliapin as Artistic Director of the State (Mariinsky) Theater.

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Exposition "Victor Borisov-Musatov and the “Blue Rose” Society"

1 May - 31 May

In the Russian Museum are presented works of symbolist artists: V.Borisov-Musatov, P.Kuznetsov, S.Sudeikin, N.Sapunov, M. Saryan

The art of Victor Borisov-Musatov (1870-1905), one of the leading masters of Russian symbolism, will be presented in St.Michael’s Castle in context of his activity in the artistic society “Blue Rose”, the first exhibition of which dates back to 1907, 110 years ago. The variety of symbolist articulation in the oevre of Borisov-Musatov and artists of this unique group will be presented such fully for the first time. The exhibition will comprise the works by Borisov-Musatov himself and the ones by Pavel Kuznetsov, Nikolai Krymov, Sergei Sudeikin, Nikolai Sapunov, Martiros Saryan, Pyotr Bromirsky, Pyotr Utkin, Milioti brothers and other participants of  the “Blue Rose”. Along with these prominent masters who became classics of art of the previous century, the artists less known by the wide public but of no smaller gift will be on display (I. Knabe, N.Feofilaktov, N. Ryabushinsky). The exhibition will include around 80 paintings and graphic works from the Russian museum, State Tretyakov gallery and private collections of St.Petersburg.

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Exhibition "Georgy Vereisky"

1 May - 15 May

In the Russian Museum is presented the artistic heritage of Georgy Vereisky (1886 - 1962), classic of the Soviet graphic school, author of the remarkable portraits of the Russian artists

 

The exhibition is aimed to widely and fully present the artistic heritage of Georgy Vereisky (1886 - 1962) for the first time. Vereisky was one of the classics of the Soviet graphic school, which continued the traditions of “World of art” (“Mir iskusstva”) society, author of the remarkable portraits of the Russian artists (among them – Alexander Benois, Sergei Prokofiev, Joseph Orbeli, Evgeny Lanceray, Sergei Konenkov), a keeper of the engraving department in the State Hermitage in the 1920s, one of the winners of the World Exhibition in Brussels (1958), People’s Artist of the USSR (1962). There are about 300 graphic works by Georgy Vereisky in the collection of Russian Museum, and the exhibition in St. Michael’s Castle will show the main stages of development of this prominent artist. The exhibition will also include a number of little known works by Vereisky – the landscapes of Leningrad and its suburbs - and acquaint the public with the special features of the artist’s talent. The exhibition will include about 150 graphic works - drawings, etchings and lithographs from the collection of the Russian Museum and State Tretyakov Gallery2378 cover.jpg.840x525 q95 crop upscale

Festival “Lenin Was Here”

1 May  - 14 May

The festival "Lenin Was Here" combines in one route all the house-museums in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region where the founder of the world's first socialist state visited or lived

The festival is aimed to promote and provide acquaintance with the small museums, the history of the city, and the personality of Lenin to mass audience. Each of ten participating museums will demonstrate a unique item associated with the Lenin's presence specially for the festival. The visitors will be able to trace the route of Vladimir Lenin from one safe house to another, to find out how families lived in the beginning of the 20th century, to visit both rural homes and mansions, to get acquainted with authentic memorial items.

The audience will be witnessing the interaction between the museum space and objects of modern art. The artists will offer their interpretation of the atmosphere in the house-museum and the image of the revolution leader. The festival will participate: A. Lublinsky, D. Fedin, A. Belova, N. Skobeyeva, F. Alekseyev, V. Kozin, etc.

For the first time the State Historical Preserve "Gorki Leninskiye" participates in the festival.

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International Sand Sculpture Festival



1 May  - 31 May

International Sand Sculpture Festival has become one of the brightest events of cultural life in summer Saint Petersburg

 

World-known sculptors from Petersburg, USA and Europe will set up their masterpieces on the beach of Peter and Paul Fortress.

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Performance "The guy from the past"

8 May  

The action of the performance takes place in the spring of 1942 and in our days

 

Anna meets a mysterious guy from the past after she finds a message from the besieged Leningrad behind the old wallpaper.

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RUSSIAN MUSIC SEASONS


 

8 May  

RUSSIAN MUSIC SEASONS is a unique classical music concert in the magnificent historical palaces of St. Petersburg!

 

We invite all admirers of chamber classical music to visit “Russian Music Seasons” in one of the most magnificent ancient buildings of St. Petersburg – in the Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir. This monumental building is a masterpiece of architecture – majestic and elegant, made in the best traditions of the great Renaissance. 
We are glad to meet you with a glass of champagne and show the main rooms and halls, which have retained their original form. Therefore, you can take a favorable view of their pomp and majesty. 
The concert program includes classical works by famous Russian composers of the late 19th – early 20th century. The mastery of the famous artists of the Mariinsky theatre will impress you! 
You will be happy to plunge into the magical atmosphere of the concert of chamber orchestra in St. Petersburg. The amazing classical chamber orchestra music sounds there; listening to it is a pleasure. 
A nice gift, reminding of this wonderful evening, will be the silhouette of your profile, carved by the artist. 
Duration of the show: 2 hours (welcome tour with drink + actual show) A welcome drink is served in one of the palace halls during the short tour. Seats are unassigned, so feel free to take the one you like best.

The evening will immerse you into the unforgettable atmosphere of the time 
of the Russian aristocracy! 

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The Night of Museums

20 May - 21 May

The night of Museums is an annual campaign dedicated to International Day of Museums

Small and big Petersburg museums traditionally open their doors for visitors at night and organise special programmes: an exhibition of one day, concerts, performances, specially designed excursions, and historic reconstructions.

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Parade of transport vehicles on Saint Petersburg's birthday

 

21 May 

On May 21, on the occasion of the Day of founding of Saint Petersburg modern and retro cars will run across the central streets of the city

 

Guests will see the legendary "Polutorka" and the innovative "MatrЁshka" – a self-driving bus of the future, which had previously participated only in private viewings.

The parade is organized by Saint Petersburg State Unitary Enterprise "Passazhiravtotrans". The legendary prewar buses and a blue trolleybus will meet in the center of the Northern Capital, as well as the GAZ-21 cars, that were stolen from the dishonest citizens by protagonist of the film "Beware of the Car" Yuri Detochkin.

Parade spectators will see the legendary car "Polutorka". This car was transporting the inhabitants of besieged Leningrad during the war years along the Road of Life. The car was lifted from the bottom of Ladozhskoe Lake and restored three years ago. 

"Ikarus Lux" will also run across the streets of Saint Petersburg. There are only five such buses left in the world.

Not only urban enterprises would be allowed to run their cars in the streets, but also museums, as well as private collectors. Most of them are owners from Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Veliky Novgorod, and also Finland and Estonia. They will drive along Nevsky Prospekt and will park on Inzhenernaya Street. 

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Stars of the White Nights International Festival

26 May 

Stars of the White Nights festival is the largest international music forum in Russia, inspired by the outstanding musician of modern times Valery Gergiev.

Famous directors, conductors, dancers, and performers of classical music will gather in St. Petersburg. 200 unforgettable events with participation of the stars, world premieres, night concerts, creative meetings await the guests.

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The festival for the early Middle Ages will take place in the Peter and Paul Fortress for the eighth time.

26 May - 28 May

Exactly three days the Hare Island will become a veritable medieval Viking settlement in  the open air with marquee tentsmerchant's shops, tents of artisans and the real fighting arena.

In the Festival programme: Large-scale reconstruction of fighting involving the best military-historical clubs from different cities in Russia; a theatrical presentation on the basis of the ancient Viking's customs, a historical costume contest and the performances of folk groups of ancient Scandinavian music.

Free admission

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«Classics at the Palace Square» gala of world opera stars.

27 May 

On May 27, St. Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, celebrates its birthday

 

For over five years the birthday of our city has been celebrated by a grandiose open-air concert - the Classics at the Palace Square. Festivities continue for several days and take place in the entire historical center of the city, inviting St. Petersburg citizens and guests to visit the music programs in concert halls, parks, and squares, as well as the best museum exhibitions and theater performances. The highlights of celebration is a gala concert “Classic at the Palace Square” with the participation of world opera stars.

Organizer: “Dance Open” International Ballet Festival

The gala concert starts at 9 p.m.
Free entrance

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