Resources > Hermitage Museum
20 Aug 2013

Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1764 and has been open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world, and artefacts of the world culture. Among them are paintings, graphic works, sculptures and works of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material.

The main architectural ensemble of the Hermitage situated in the centre of St Petersburg consists of the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors, the buildings of the Small, Old and New Hermitages, the Hermitage Theatre and the Auxiliary House. The museum complex also includes the Menshikov Palace and the Eastern Wing of the General Staff building, the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Centre and the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory. In recent years, the Hermitage has also launched several dependencies abroad: there are exhibition centres in Amsterdam and Vyborg and an institution in Ferrara which does research and scientific collaboration with the Hermitage Foundation.

The institution comprises the following departments:

Department of Archaeology of Eastern Europe and Siberia

  • Antiquities Department

  • Oriental Department

  • Department of Western European Fine Art

  • Department of Western European Applied Art

  • Department of Russian Culture

  • Numismatics Department

  • Arsenal

  • Menshikov Palace Department

  • Museum of Imperial Porcelain Factory Department

  • Department of History and Restoration of Architectural Objects

  • Educational Department

  • School Centre

  • Research Library

  • Department of Manuscripts and Documentation Fund

  • Scientific Documentation Department

  • New Acquisition Department

  • Department of Scientific Restoration and Conservation

  • Department of Scientific and Technical Examination

  • Laboratory for Biological Control

  • Electronic Publication Sector

The Hermitage Theatre is one of the oldest in St. Petersburg and the whole country. The first season of the Hermitage Theatre opened before the finishing work was completed on 16 November 1785, and now it is the venue for the Saint Petersburg Camerata Orchestra. The Hermitage Music Academy programme includes all forms of music presentation, ranging from chamber concerts and master classes to grandioso gala concerts.

Many international and Russian companies, charitable organizations, foundations and individuals have become Members of the Hermitage Friends' Club. The support rendered to the Museum by its numerous Friends throughout the world in preserving the collections is an important contribution to its future. Hermitage Friends' organizations in the USA, Canada, Netherlands and UK provide assistance in implementing many development projects of the Museum.