Hermitage Days - 2011
Exhibiting a unique "chronicle" of the life of the museum through the eyes of our photographers in the foyer of the Hermitage Theater has become a pleasant tradition during Hermitage Days at the end of December. Day after day, they photographed the events that make the Hermitage what it is.
This exhibit is a series of photographs from the life of the museum in 2011. The center of attention for the photographer is the Hermitage as a living organism, with a soul of its own. The Hermitage is not simply a museum with elegant halls and permanent exhibition. The Hermitage is made of the people that surround it and the events that take place there. It is multifaceted and diverse, with its own friends and guests, employees and visitors, exhibits and concerts, educational programs and receptions.
Just as a family photo album tells a story about a person, year after year, about the internal and external changes he experiences, the important events and people in his life, the Hermitage in Photographs exhibit and the associated catalogue tells a story about what this year at the museum will be remembered for.
A museum is a repository of memories about the past, but at the same time, it is oriented towards the future. This year saw the ceremonial opening of the first construction stage of the East Wing of the General Staff Building. The exhibition spaces created there, which satisfy the very latest standards, will increase the museum's ability to display works of art from its collection and allow it to give due attention to both traditional and contemporary art.
The opening of new exhibits is like a museum's pulse, striking evidence of its life and activity. One of the most significant events of that sort in 2011 was the exhibit of masterpieces from the Prado Museum held as part of the Year of Spain in Russia and Year of Russia in Spain.
It is impossible to fit the entire life of the museum into one exhibit,
yet we have tried to present a portrait of the museum that reflects as
many of its facets as possible. This is the Hermitage precisely as the
photographer's lens captured it this year.