The collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art 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 center of St Petersburg consists of the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors, the buildings of the Small, Old (Great) 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 Center and the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory.
Note on the scale of museum’s collection.
The Musée du Louvre, most famed museum in the world, houses 35,000 works of art drawn from eight departments, displayed in over 60,000 square meters of exhibition space.
The State Hermitage is one of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise nearly 3 million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are also part of the museum. The museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property.
Out of six buildings of the main museum complex, four, named the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage and New Hermitage, are partially opened to the public. The other two are Hermitage Theatre and the Reserve House. The entrance ticket costs $17.95 for adults but free for students and children, and free for all visitors on the first Thursday of every month.
The State Hermitage Museum is supported by its numerous Friends throughout the world in preserving the priceless collections is an important contribution to the future of the museum. The Friends’ participation in the museum life and development is coordinated by the special international program: Hermitage Friends’ Club. Many international and Russian companies, charitable organizations, foundations and individuals have already become Members of the Hermitage Friends’ Club. To become a friend of the museum and join the Hermitage Friends’ Club visit Hermitage Friends’ Club web page.
Every year Hermitage is hosting multiple music events and festivals. On the last Friday in June, the State Hermitage Museum hosts its White Nights Gala Banquet. This magnificent celebration, worthy of the Winter Palace’s historical owners, attracts patrons of the arts and friends of the Hermitage Museum from many countries. As the Museum approaches its 250th anniversary in 2014, the June Gala has served to draw attention, not only to the historic museum and its world renowned collections but also to the Museum’s most important ongoing project, the renovation and restoration of the General Staff Building which will house 20th and 21st century art.
Some of his year events and shows are:
Exhibition: Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005
Halls No. 169-173, Winter Palace
22 June – 4 September 2011
6th International Gala Banquet in the Winter Palace
24 June 2011
11th International Festival Music of the Greater Hermitage
7-8 July, 2011