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ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: H-242Last update of repository: 18 March 2020
Muzei dekorativno-prikladnogo iskusstva Sankt-Peterburgskoi gosudarstvennoi khudozhestvenno-promyshlennoi akademii im. A.L. Shtiglitsa (Muzei DPI)
The present museum owes its origin to the prerevolutionary Stieglitz Museum, established in 1878 as an adjunct to to the Central School of Industrial Arts (literally, “Technical Drawing”), which had been founded by the wealthy financier and patron of the arts, Baron A.L. Stieglitz (Shtiglits) in 1876. Opened in 1879, the school trained artists in decorative and applied art and drawing teachers for secondary schools. The present building, designed by the school’s first director, M.E. Mesmacher (Mesmakher), was constructed specially for the museum in 1885–1895, and was considered one of the finest museum buildings in Europe of the period. The museum opened to the public in 1896 with some 30,000 exhibits of Russian and European origin on display illustrating the development of various styles—one of the largest collections of decorative and applied art in Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During the First World War the museum was closed down. After the October Revolution a large part of the collection was turned over to the Hermitage and other Petrograd museums, and the Stieglitz Museum continued to function only until 1923.
In 1945 the museum was reopened as an exhibition of the Leningrad School of Industrial Arts (Higher School after 1948) for the purposes of exhibiting the best work done by students and graduates. Some of the collections that had previously belonged to the prerevolutionary museum were returned by the State Hermitage. In 1952 the school was merged with the Moscow Institute of Decorative and Applied Arts, and the museum collections were considerably enlarged by exhibits transferred from the museum of the Moscow Institute. In 1953 it was renamed in honor of the Soviet sculptress Vera Ignat'evna Mukhina (1889–1953).
Its present name dates to 1994, when the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Higher School was reorganized as the St. Petersburg State Academy of Industrial Arts. Currently the museum exhibits occupy only the ground floor, but the upper story is being renovated with plans for exhibits on the history and development of the school since its foundation in the nineteenth century.
N.B. The main archive of the museum, with documentation for the years 1936–1979, is held in TsGALI SPb (D–18). Most of the prerevolutionary holdings and documentation were dispersed.