Four Museums launch


15 Sep 2021

Photo: Dmitriy Shumov
© Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

The State Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, and GES-2 House of Culture have come together as Four Museums (M4). On September 14 the project was presented at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.

A project uniting the four institutions, Four Museums enables visitors to reconsider the cultural geography of the city and plan their visits in accordance with their preferences and interests, time limitations and—in future—their level of mobility. At the heart of the project are curated routes around well-known and unusual city locations, museum collections and temporary exhibitions, performances, and education events. Four Museums is a space where the past and present of world culture meet the rich history and vibrant contemporary life of Moscow.

«We are different from museum miles in other world capitals. All of us are located along the Moskva River, which offers a different perspective, a broader horizon. Broadening horizons is a very important task. This initiative will facilitate visitors’ interactions with each museum and the museums’ interactions with the city. We are launching our project by offering four exciting routes.» Zelfira Tregulova, Director General, Tretyakov Gallery

«We share what is most important: the same worldview. The geographical location that connects us formally offers many advantages in terms of creative improvisation. We are signalling to visitors that there are four museums and if they visit each of them they will discover something whole. The history of art is what we are showing together. We have branches in other cities and maybe our experience, energy, and inspiration will lead to the emergence of similar projects in the other locations where we are present and which we very much want to develop. It’s bigger than Moscow and bigger than simply four institutions located next to each other.» Marina Loshak, Director, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

«In Moscow is unprecedented for two federal museums to unite with two privately run institutions. These are some of the most popular venues in the city that are oriented toward the international cultural agenda, which we believe is common to all of us. Dialogue with the present day is key. Moscow is becoming a city people don’t want to leave; one with a cultural offer as good as that in other metropolises.» Anton Belov, Director, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

«We are not only close to each other in terms of location but also in our ideas, and we always support each other in everything. Such an institutional alliance in Moscow provides the possibility to develop the urban environment, create new opportunities, and stimulate the audience’s interest. I encourage people to see Four Museums as a meta space that creates a unique cultural offer unlimited by museum walls.» Teresa Iarocci Mavica, Director, V—A—C Foundation

Similar informal alliances of cultural institutions exist in big cities across the world, such as MuseumsQuartier in Vienna and Museum Miles in London and New York. Each of them attracts millions of local and international visitors every year. The Moscow initiative is also targeted at a wide audience, including Muscovites and tourists who are interested in the cultural life of the capital. The M4 website will offer visitors a selection of routes that is updated every season.

The first route offered by the Pushkin Museum is the mockumentary performance Giant Vegetables, directed by Semyon Aleksandrovsky. The narrators (former museum workers, a philosopher, a waitress, a tour guide, and other Muscovites) share their memories regarding the inexplicable emergence of giant pumpkins in the center of Moscow and their equally mysterious disappearance.

The Garage route was developed by architectural historian Anna Bronovitskaya. It introduces visitors to the architectural diversity of the M4 museums and the nearby buildings.

The route from the Tretyakov Gallery to the New Tretyakov includes museums, mansions, and old factory buildings that «contribute to the cultural landscape of the city.» It has been developed by Tatyana Yudenkova, who is a Doctor of Art History and Head of the Department of Painting of the Second Half of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries.

The route offered by GES-2 is a geometric walk invented by artist Anastasia Ryabova. The Н3 route has eight destinations of equal importance that create the shape of a cube. Visitors can choose the shortest and most convenient route between points or explore the entire route.

One of the main aims of the M4 project is to create an accessible environment and promote the culture of inclusion. A trans-institutional team with members from each of the four museums is working on this issue together with independent experts and advisors with experience of disability.

The team will create an accessibility map that will allow visitors to see in advance how physically accessible any route is. The map will show ramps, accessible toilets, as well as various barriers, zones of potential sensory overload, and other aspects of the environment.

Adapted versions of each route will be developed for people with various disabilities. A special filter will allow visitors to choose routes available in Russian Sign Language, routes with audio description, and easy-read routes. Audio files with audio description walks for the navigation of blind and partially sighted visitors between the museums will be available. The M4 website is currently undergoing a web accessibility audit.