MUSEUM IN THE 20TH CENTURY

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The 1917 February Revolution caused rough interest of the public to the treasures of the Moscow Kremlin. Well-known historians and critics developed plans of transformation of the Kremlin into a city-museum. However, events of autumn 1917, transfer of the Soviet government to Moscow, the Civil war raised questions of a museum’s organization and preservation of valuables of the Moscow Kremlin in a new way.

During November fights in Moscow curators and employees of the museum who were in the building of the Armory Chamber, managed to save up treasures stored in it. In the early 20-s, the concept of the museum was changed as under new social and political circumstances the museum was to present the history of Russian and foreign decorative an applied art, to show work of imperial workshops, etc. Such restriction in the approach to the display of museum treasures might have been compelled, dictated aspiration of heads of the museum M.S. Sergeev and D.D. Ivanov to keep exhibits, attending attention not to their historical importance, but to the skill of execution.

In July, 1922, the museum except for the Armoury Chamber included the Assumption, Archangel’s, Annunciation Cathedrals, the Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe and the Patriarchal Chambers of the 17th century. So, the museum complex repeatedly changing the name and submission appeared in the Kremlin territory.

In the second half of 1929, the situation in the museum became extremely intense. Since 1 December 1929 Director of the museum D.D.Ivanov was taken off the job. On 13 January 1930 he died.

The 1930-s were tragic in the museum history. All leading research assistants took their discharge, and partly exposed to reprisals. In 1934 Deputy Director In Science V.K.Klein was arrested on the so-called “Kremlin case”. After D.D.Ivanov's leave, people without either formations or skill of museum work were appointed Directors one by one.

Research work in the was practically stopped. Access of tourists in the museum in the closed Kremlin territory became extremely limited. In the early 1938, the museum complex was transferred to the Administration Commandant Office of the Moscow Kremlin. The research work in the museum was practically stopped. Access of visitors was limited. In the early 1958, the museum complex was transferred to the Administration of the Commandant Service of the Moscow Kremlin.

In June, 1941 employees of the museum, with the active help of the Commandant of the Kremlin General N.K. Spiridonov, hastily packed and evacuated treasures of the Kremlin museum to Sverdlovsk. The museum items were brought back from evacuation on 20 February 1945 and in April the exposition of the Armoury Chamber was open first time after the War.

In summer 1955, the Moscow Kremlin accepted first tourists. Process of revival of the museum began. In the mid 50-s new expositions in the Armoury Chamber and cathedrals of the Kremlin were created, techniques of guiding were developed. The museum staff considerably increased.

On the Order of the Government of 5 February 1960 the Armoury Chamber and cathedrals of the Kremlin were transferred to conducting the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and received the new name - the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin.

1970-80-s became time of rapid development of a museum in all the directions of activity. The end of 1970 and first half of the 1980-s were marked by carrying out the largest in the museum history research and restoration works both in cathedrals of the Kremlin and in the Armoury Chamber. In 1986 a new display of the Armoury Chamber was open, and in May 1987 the Museum of Applied Art and Life Style of 17th century Russia has appeared in the Patriarch’s Palace.

In October, 1991 the museum received the status of the Moscow Kremlin State Historical and Cultural Museum and Heritage Site. The charter of The Federal Goverment Agency of The Moscow Kremlin State Historical and Cultural Museum and Heritage Site was confirmed on 19 July 2001.

There the post of the General Director was established. In April 2001, Elena Gagarina was appointed the General Director.

The management of research, exhibition and methodical activity is assigned to the Science Director of the museum - Andrei Batalov (since 2010).