The Museum of Russian Icons is the only collection of works of Byzantine and Old Russian art, which is in private hands and is open to everyone (admission is free). Its creator is entrepreneur Mikhail Abramov, on whose initiative and full financial support the museum was founded in 2006.
The status of a cultural institution is evidenced at least by the fact that it is included in the register of the International Council of Museums at UNESCO and the United Nations. The Museum of Russian Icon is an actively working and developing “organism”. It conducts daily excursions, organizes round tables and seminars on narrow topics, and operates a lecture hall.
Visitors are assisted by scientific consultants and guides – not just professionals, but true enthusiasts in their field, who love and are interested in Russian culture and icons. They talk about the exhibits with knowledge and deep respect – this is noted by the visitors of the museum. To get on an excursion to the Museum of Russian Icon (overview or specialized), you need to agree on the topic and time of arrival – this is convenient, because you can in a calm atmosphere discuss with an expert all kinds of questions regarding a particular school of icon painting, its directions and famous masters.
The level of exhibitions is high – they attract not only amateurs, but also professional museum appraisers, artists and critics. The main thing is that excursions, evening lectures, and round tables are held free of charge. By this, the organizers strive to attract as many visitors as possible, to interest and captivate with the inspired and wonderful creativity of the ancient masters.
The real highlight of the museum is not only temple icons, but also an impressive collection of cell (home) ones. Exhibits of this kind are almost not represented in large state museums, it is very difficult to find them. But in the private collection of the Museum they can be studied in great detail. In addition to classical icons, located in the halls in accordance with the time period (from the 13-14th century to the present day), the museum pleases with non-trivial exhibitions and objects – for example, there is a hall of Christian art in Ethiopia, an icon painter’s workshop and a home church of old believers. An interesting collection of early Christian crosses, ancient printed folios, church utensils; on the second floor there is a real iconostasis with liturgical items for review.
The Museum is located conveniently, in the center of Moscow (on Goncharnaya Street), within walking distance from the metro.