The Arts in Russia, Cultural Institutions
Russian National Library, State Tretyakov Gallery, Bolshoi Theater, Russian Museum, State Hermitage Museum
During the Soviet period it was institutions more than individuals that shaped the arts in Russia. Consequently, museums, libraries, and theaters played a major part in the country’s artistic life. They continue to be important in post-Soviet Russia. The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow rank among the greatest museums in the world. Other institutions, such as the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, also have important collections.
Russia’s major theaters date from imperial times and continue to thrive. The most important theaters are in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Moscow is the home of the Bolshoi Theater, which is the home of the Bolshoi Ballet, and the Moscow Art Theater. The Maryinsky Theater and the Pushkin Theater are in Saint Petersburg.
Of the thousands of libraries in Russia, the largest is the Russian State Library (formerly the Lenin Library). It contains more than 30 million volumes in more than 250 languages, one of the largest collections in the world. Nearly as large is the collection of the Russian National Library (formerly the M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin Library) in Saint Petersburg.
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