Director: Tamara Viktorovna Grodskova
Tel. (8452) 24-1209, 24-1606
The Radishchev State Art Museum in Saratov is one of Russias oldest museums. It was established by the efforts of Alexander Radishchevs grandson, the marine painter Alexei Bogolyubov, who gave his collection of art works to the city. The museums building (architect: Ivan Shtrom) was constructed from 1883 to 1885 on money from the municipal treasury and donations from citizens. The grand opening of the Radishchev Museum was held on June 29, 1885.
The core of the collection consisted of works by Bogolyubov himself and his peers: Ilya Repin, Vasily Polenov, Fyodor Bronnikov and Konstantin Savitsky, as well as masters of Western Europe: Jean-Baptiste Corot, Charles-Francois Daubigny and Adolphe Monticelli. In 1897 the museum became home to classes of Bogolyubovs drawing school. Bogolyubov bequeathed his estate and a sum of 200,000 rubles to his beloved museum and school.
In its early years of its existence, the museums treasures grew thanks to gifts from the Hermitage, the Academy of Fine Arts and many other philanthropists, including the Tretyakov brothers and the sculptor Mark Antokolsky. Throughout the 20th century, the stream of acquisitions never ran dry.
At the present, the museums collection includes more than 25,000 works of art. These include icons and other religious items, 17th- to 20th-century sculpture and drawings from Russia and abroad, rare books and applied art. The pride of the collection are paintings of outstanding artists of the Russian painting school Dmitry Levitsky, Karl Bryullov, Alexei Savrasov, Vasily Surikov, Ivan Levitan, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, Viktor Borisov-Musatov, Pavel Kuznetsov and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. Dmitry Levitsky, Karl Bryullov, Alexei Savrasov, Vasily Surikov, Ivan Levitan, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, Viktor Borisov-Musatov, Pavel Kuznetsov and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin.
The Radishchev Museum owns Russias largest collection of paintings and drawings by Bogolyubov.
The museum has a number of branches: the Balakovskaya Art Gallery, the Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin Memorial Museum (Khvalynsk), the Mylnikov Picture Gallery (Engels) and the memorial museums at the homes of Borisov-Musatov and Kuznetsov. Both of these wonderful artists were natives of Saratov, and the Radishchev Museum played a decisive role in their choice of their creative paths.
The museums collection is constantly growing. The area of the exhibition halls is expanding too. In 1994 the city administration gave the Radishchev Museum the building of a former girls school, built in the early 20th century by Kallistratov. It hosts temporary exhibitions, the museum library, and concerts of classical, folk and contemporary music by celebrated performers and leading musical collectives from Russia and other countries.