Exhibition “Curators. The Fellowship of the Key”
Exhibition on occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Coins&Medals Department of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.
The Pushkin Museum unveils exhibition “Curators. The Fellowship of the Key”, which coincides with seventy-fifth anniversary of the Museum Department of Coins&Medals. Exhibition introduces to the public the history of one of the biggest museum collections and tells about the most outstanding personalities, who have played crucial role in its developing. Nowadays the numismatic collection of the Pushkin Museum confines more than 220 thousands items.
Coins and medals, orders and badges, gems and seals, notes and plaster casts as well as archive documents are on display. Numismatic finds from the archaeological excavations, which have been conducted by the Museum, form an important part of the collection and are shown in the special section of the exhibition.
Thorough attention is given to the collectors, whose collections had universal character and considerably enriched numismatic funds of the Museum. Among them one should mention Alexander Golikov, who donated more than 10 000 Ancient, Russian and West-European coins, medals and gems. Due to this bequest made in the 1940-s numismatic collection of the Museum has become bigger by half and got the rarest samples of the coinage as, for example, gold stater of the Sarmatian king Pharzoeus struck in the 1st century AD.
Another famous collector, Eugeny Pakhomov, was real scholar, corresponding member of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences and author of the numerous works on the Oriental numismatics. Part of his huge collection entered the Museum in 1967 and 1971 and formed, in particular, the core of the Georgian section of the Oriental coins stored in the Department.
An acquisition of the collection of Alexander Stakhovich in 1973 was another seminal event for the Department of Coins& Medals. Series of the silver medals by Philip Mueller, devoted to the Northern War as well as Russian gold medals used as the very first military awards are the centerpieces of the collection. It is noteworthy that some of these exhibits come from the famous earlier collections of Emmerich Gutten-Chapsky and Grand Duke George Mikhailovich.
Collection of Yuri Schulz, who was known philologist and Head of the Department of the Latin Language in the Second Medical Institute named after Nikolai Pirogov, belongs to the most recent acquisition. It contains circa 350 West-European and Russian personal seals of 18th–19th centuries as well as more than 100 gold Roman, Byzantine and West-European coins. Some of the seals from Schulz collection belonged earlier to such dillies as Empress Maria, Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich and General Peter Bagration.
The memories on these collectors as well as the very objects, which entered the Museum due to their activity, have been preserved thanks to the work of several generations of the museum curators, members of peculiar “Fellowship of the Key”. Documents from the Museum Department of Manuscripts tell on some of these personalities. Special section of the exhibition is devoted to Lev Kharko, who was founder of the Coins&Medals Department and brought to front numismatics in the Museum.