The Museum of the History of Photography (MHP) was founded in St.Petersburg on 18 August 2003. Its foundation was initiated by individuals as well as public institutions. The collection of MHP was formed through the unification of several private collections covering different areas of interest. Among those the extensive collection of V.V.Platonov is worthy of special mention. Besides the two halls for permanent exhibition, the museum’s space includes four rooms for temporary exhibitions, storage rooms and a library.
The prototype of MHP was the photography division at the Albertine Museum in Vienna, and the predecessor of the museum – an extensive exhibition based on the collection of V.V.Platonov in the Nikolay Roerich Art Institute.
AIMS AND TASKS
The main difference between the MHP and other Russian photography museums is the universality of the collection. Our overall goal is to highlight all of the many facets of the phenomenon of world photography during the entire period of its existence. However, although the scope of the museum’s interests is very wide, our priority is the exhibition of the photograph as an artefact supported by research and curatorial work with images.
The MHP is located in the historical centre of St.Petersburg in the area called Petrogradskaya Storona (the Petrograd Side), in the street which has every right to be called the Street of Russian Avant-garde. Indeed, right in front of the MHP the former workshop of the artist Mikeshin (now the branch of the Museum of the History of St.Petersburg) is situated. In the early 20 c. this place was one of the cradles of the “Budetlyan” movement (a Russian version of futurism). In the yard behind Mikeshin’s workshop there still stands the house where the great Russian avant-garde artist Pavel Filonov, “the eye-witness of the invisible”, lived, worked and died.
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