Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Establishes Russia’s Largest Contemporary Art Archive

10 December 2014


Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Establishes Russia’s Largest Contemporary Art Archive

Library to Open to Public at December, 5 2014  


Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the establishment of the first public library dedicated to contemporary art in Russia, opening in December 2014. Led by Head of Research Sasha Obukhova, the library constitutes the largest specialized public collection of books in Russia dedicated to art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The collection comprises over 15,000 items, including rare antiquarian editions, monographs by leading art scholars, catalogues of group exhibitions and museum collections, artists’ biographies, journals on contemporary art and architecture, and publications on the theory of culture. The library will be open to the public, and the archive will be available by appointment for specialists.

Upon its opening in December, the library will manifest in Garage Education Center, situated adjacent to the Exhibition Pavilion in Gorky Park. The space will provide reading areas and an electronic catalogue as well as public access to the vast online resources of JSTOR and Artstor. In 2015, a permanent gallery devoted to exhibitions from the archive will debut as part of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s new facility, designed Rem Koolhaas with OMA.

“I am pleased to announce that after two years of intensive work we open the Russia’s first public library on the history of contemporary art. Students, artists, researchers, professionals and amateurs can come anytime and take advantage of anteriorly hard-to-reach information on the history of the world and Russian contemporary art. The next step is to work on archive materials’ digital converting and formation of the electronic base available for access from any place of the world,” said Sasha Obukhova, Head of Garage research Department.

In 2012, Garage purchased the comprehensive archive, including the documents, videos, and library, from the Art Project Foundation. Library publications have been accumulated through strategically procured donations, the galleries’ archives, and purchases from antique shops. In addition, with the mission of creating an oral history of Russian contemporary art to underscore the archive, Garage Museum began conducting interviews with artists across generations about their work and influences in June 2013. Garage is gradually collecting and editing more material to be made available online by June 2015. The entirety of the Garage’s archive is being digitally converted with the goal of launching in 2017. 

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Library, 2014
Photo: Alexander Murashkin
© Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

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