History

Reconstruction of the Gallery
1986–1995

By the middle of the 1980s it was evident that the Tretyakov Gallery needed to expand its premises. The renovation of the old buildings and the construction of new ones on Lavrushinsky Lane is, in many ways, associated with the name of the Gallery’s director Yu.K. Korolyov (1929-1992).
Юрий Константинович Королев

The building work began in 1983. Two years later the Depository and art store rooms, which also housed the restoration workshops were put into operation.

Later, in 1986, the reconstruction of the Tretyakov Gallery’s main building (architects I.M. Vinogradsky, G.V. Astafyev, B.A. Klimov etc) began, the aim of which was to preserve its historical architecture.

In 1989 the new building was built on the Southern side of the main building. It contained a conference hall, computer centre, children’s studio and exhibition halls. From 1992-1994 it housed an exhibition of masterpieces from the State Tretyakov Gallery collection. The majority of maintenance systems and services are located in this building, it is therefore called the Engineering Service Building.

The principle feature of the renovation plan involved the Church of St Nicholas in Tolmachi (a 17th century architectural building) in the museum ensemble. The church was restored, blessed and established as a private church museum attached to the Tretyakov Gallery.

The building work at Lavrushinsky Lane was taking more and more time. The changes in the political and economic climate in Russia made it difficult to finance a large-scale project, its completion took more than ten years instead of the five that were originally planned. However, eventually the task was successfully completed. In 1995, Yu.K. Korolyov, the posthumous Gallery Director, and the artistic collective were awarded with the State Order of the Russian Federation.

The construction work on the buildings at Lavrushinsky Lane coincided with the museum’s re-organisation. In 1985 the Tretyakov Gallery merged with the State Art Gallery located at Krymsky Val. Later, in 1986 a number of Moscow memorial museums, like the V.M. Vasnetsov House Museum , the A.M. Vasnetsov Flat Museum, the A.S. Golubkina Studio Museum and the P.D. Korin House Museum became part of the Gallery. The All-Union (All-Russia since 1994) Museum Association of the State Tretyakov Gallery was established as a result.
Демонтаж экспозиции. 1982
Демонтаж экспозиции. 1982
Зал №25 в здании на Крымском Валу

In January 1986 the Tretyakov Gallery buildings at Lavrushinsky Lane were closed to visitors. The Depository took the 12th- early 20th century art, which had been on display and those stored in the old storage facilities. Works of art produced after 1917, which included paintings, graphic art and sculptures, were transported to the Gallery building at Krymsky Val.

The history of the building at Krymsky Val is a complicated one. There were numerous plans for the construction of grand buildings near the Krymsky Bridge. In 1930 it was to be the Palace of Arts and, later, in 1936 A.V. Shchusev began building work on the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, then in the early 1950s I.V. Zholtovsky proposed that the new House of Unions be erected there. In December 1956, during the 100th anniversary celebrations at the Tretyakov Gallery, it was decided to construct a new building which would hold all the Gallery’s collections. The new building was to be erected not far from the house where P.M. Tretyakov was born in 1832 at Golutvin. This was considered a good omen.

However, in 1959 the government decided to donate the new building to the newly created State Art Gallery of the USSR. The new project was designed by the I.V. Zholtovsky studio (architects Yu. Sheverdyayev, N. Sukoyan, M. Kruglov etc) and adopted in 1964. The construction work began in 1965 and became a typical Soviet long-term building project, where no one had any idea when it was due to be completed. The building was finished in the late 1970s.

The building was intended to be a continuation of the Neskuchny Sad and central park, which stretched towards the Kremlin, it was designed as a large-scale park pavilion looking out onto the Moscow River bank. It is for this reason the building is relatively low and quite long and extends along the embankment with a colonnade around the first floor perimeter.

The gigantic exhibition area (more than 12,000 sq metres), several long sets of rooms, large halls, which offered potential for various spacious remodelling projects, a combined entrance hall and a flight of stairs, huge windows with spectacular views of the Kremlin, Moscow River and park – all offered interesting opportunities for exhibitions.

The merger of the Tretyakov and the State Art Gallery, together with the temporary closure of the main building on Lavrushinsky Lane, "channelled" visitors to the Krymsky Val premises. The visitors discovered that its main exhibition featured the creative heritage of Russian artists from the 1920s-1960s. In addition, the Gallery began in-depth exhibition work.
Строительство Депозитария в Лаврушинском переулке. 1984
Строительство Инженерного корпуса. 1984

An exhibition of art from the Armand Hammer collection (1986) was immensely popular, the administration had to restrict visitors to two-hours only just to cope with public demand. In 1987 the Gallery held an exhibition of work by D.G. Levitsky in joint collaboration with the Russian Museum and other associations across the USSR. Subsequently, exhibitions were held showcasing work by Russian avant-garde artists, such as K.S. Malevich, V.V. Kandinsky, L.S. Popova (in 1989), P.N. Filonov and El Lissitzky (1990). In 1991 exhibitions took place entitled: "Chagall in Russia", "Russian Art Nouveau". In 1992 the new building offered an exhibition entitled: S.I. Mamontov and Russian Artisitc Culture, as well as work by A.I. Kuinji and V.V. Vereshchagin. In 1994 Tretyakov visitors were able to visit exhibitions by V.E. Tatlin, I.E. Repin and V.D. Polenov.

The active scientific, educational and exhibition work at the museum, together with the desire to support one of the country’s biggest museums at a historically difficult moment, compelled the President of the Russian Federation to give the State Tretyakov Gallery national heritage status in Russia.


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