The education centre comprises computerized study workplaces for use
by up to seven people at any one time. It provides an introduction to
interactive courses in Russian and English.The Education Centre or Centre
for Training and Information Technologies is located in the Rastrelli
Gallery on the ground floor of the Winter Palace. The centre was created
within the framework of the Hermitage-IBM project and funded by a grant
from the IBM Corporation to the State Hermitage. Trial use of the Education
Centre began in 1998, and the official opening took place on 15 June 1999.
The ceremony included presentation of the results of many years of partnership
between the State Hermitage and IBM and visitors were given access to
a number of programs (courses) for individual study. The project envisaged
not only the joint development of educational courses, but also training
of Hermitage staff to enable them to develop similar courses on their
Today the Hermitage is constantly developing new programs that then become additional courses in the Education Centre. Specialists from the Schools Centre prepare texts and illustrations that are incorporated in special programs by workers of the computer class. All the instructional courses are produced in Russian and English. Use of the Educational Centre is free of charge for visitors to the Hermitage.
Programs of the Centre for Training and Information Technologies
The Educational Centre offers training courses developed by the research staff of the Schools Centre in conjunction with specialists from the IBM Corporation. Two courses - Gospel Subjects in Western European Painting from the Hermitage Collection and Ancient Subjects in 16th-20th-century Western European Art from the Hermitage Collection - are the result of the joint project. In 1999 the Schools Centre began developing new courses. An example of this independent work is the course on The Gallery of Ancient Painting. All the educational courses are in heavy demand with museum visitors.
The course Gospel Subjects in Western European Painting from the Hermitage
Collection is intended for all lovers of painting. It immerses the
user in the world of Gospel subjects as reflected in the paintings of
artists belonging to various schools and eras. The 40-hour course has
five sections: The Main Images of the New Testament, The Story of Mary,
The Childhood of Christ, Christ's Ministry and Christ's Passion. The
illustrations have been chosen in such a way that a single subject is
represented by the paintings of a number of artists. For example, the
depictions of the Annunciation were created by Simone Martini (14th century,
Italy), Filippino Lippi (15th century, Italy), Cima da Conegliano (15th
century, Italy) and Pieter Lastman
The course entitled Ancient Subjects in 16th-20th-century Western European Art from the Hermitage Collection was created for children 10 years and older. It consists of five sections: Ancient Authors, The Gods of Olympus, The Heroes of Ancient Greece and Rome and The Story of Psyche. An amusing character named Hermic takes a fascinating journey around the Ancient World. Users will discover how painters and sculptors with a thorough knowledge of ancient literature well employed its subjects in their works and learn what ancient authors wrote about. They will also find out how and why Maurice Denis came to create his series of decorative panels on The Story of Psyche.
The structure of both courses makes it easy to compare works on the same subject that were created in different eras and are now displayed in different parts of the museum.
The course on The Gallery of the History of Ancient Painting is an introduction to the unique interior bearing that name in the New Hermitage. The paintings decorating the gallery were produced from drawings by Leo von Klenze, the architect who designed the New Hermitage (1842-51), the first building in Russia specially built to house collections of art. According to the architect's concept, the gallery was supposed to remind visitors to the museum about the outstanding painters of Ancient Greece and Rome and provide an idea of their works that have not come down to us today. The 86 paintings in the gallery present the evolution of painting in Ancient Greece and Rome over a period of a thousand years (from the 7th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.). The course is intended for both youngsters and adults.