Museum In The Cultural Space Of The City


In modern society, the problem of preserving cultural heritage and creating urban cultural space is of particular relevance. On a certain territory there are architectural monuments and cultural institutions that form the cultural environment of the city. The cultural space of historical cities has its own salient features. The creation and implementation of the town-planning concept, the construction of unique objects is the basis for the formation of urban space. Currently, among the criteria for evaluating the historical significance of cities, they note significant events associated with them, the names of famous natives, the presence of architectural monuments. At the same time, the preservation, study and use of the historical and cultural heritage of cities, its role in the formation and development of culture and education is of particular importance. An important role in the formation of the cultural space of both large and small cities is played by museums, which are collectors, keepers and distributors of historical knowledge and cultural traditions. The activities of museums as cultural centers are aimed at the general population. Despite the fact that most of the services of museums are paid, the museum remains one of the most accessible cultural institutions for citizens. Among the key functions of museums there is educational, pedagogical and advocacy function. In this article, a specially constructed building of the Historical Museum in Moscow and the Historical and Art Museum located in the provided premises in the city of Pavlovsky Posad near Moscow are used as examples.

Keywords: Cultural space, cultural heritage, museum, Moscow, Pavlovsky Posad, urban space


Various aspects of the creation and functioning of urban cultural space occupy an important place in modern urbanism. The cultural space created by humans constantly reflects the processes that take place in society. The city is a complex social organism, in which the image of the urban, its soul, is formed (Antsiferov, 1978). The city is a system of spatio-temporal expression of human creativity (Landry, 2008). The historical environment of the city is being formed (Mumford, 1961). Researches on the role of architectural monuments in the context of socio-cultural processes allow us to see the relationship between the history of the creation of these objects and the socio-political processes in the country (Molokova, 2019). The study of construction and technical aspects and engineering surveys of cultural heritage objects are carried out for their subsequent exploitation and restoration (Almazova et al., 2004). Of particular interest are the architectural monuments that are organically integrated into the historical environment of the city, which have become some of its symbols: palace ensembles, industrial and civil buildings, religious buildings, theaters, estates, mansions, museums. In this context, the museum is a combination of showing authority to the population and asserting authority in the ruling class (Bennett, 1995).

Problem Statement

The theoretical aspects of the problem of the role of museums, their significance in the creation of cultural space and the formation of personality are considered in the works of the founder of "Russian cosmism" Fedorov, who served in the Moscow Public and Rumyantsev museums. The museum should combine three functions: educational, pedagogical, and unifying. An ideal museum is a "museum of all sciences", "a temple-museum that combines all the arts", "a cathedral of faces" (Fedorov, 1995).

The problem of the attitude of the state and society to the preservation of the architectural heritage, the formation of a modern cultural space in the historical valuable environment of the city is one of the most relevant problems at the present time. It is studied by historians, philosophers, cultural scientists, sociologists, etc. (Kolokolchikova, 2014; Krivykh, 2017; Paliy, 2017). In the collective monograph "Philosophical and socio-cultural problems of city development", the authors consider the phenomenon of the city taking into account the conditions for the formation of cultural space (Mezentsev & Molokova, 2020). In the context of globalization, the problems of expanding interculturality, preserving the cultural space and cultural identity of regions are of interest (Bernyukevich et al., 2018; Chistanov, 2019; Guseva, 2018; Tatarkina, 2018),

Urbanisation made it necessary to create a new structure of the city by building wide squares, straight avenues, monumental objects and facilities.

An example is the cultural landscapes of such cities as St. Petersburg and Moscow, which occupy an exceptional place in the development of Russia, and have their own characteristics that form their architectural image. Urban space involves and forms the construction of unique buildings and ensembles for state institutions, social and religious facilities, theaters, libraries, and museums. Such structures can become architectural symbols of a particular city. An example is the State Historical Museum, which occupies a special place in the cultural space of the city of Moscow. The presence of a local history or historical and art museum in small towns is even more important in the life of citizens, in the formation of urban space, and the cultural environment, since the number of cultural institutions in a provincial city is often small. As a private, but at the same time illustrative example of the museum's activities in small towns, the Historical and Art Museum of the Pavlovsky Posad near Moscow was chosen.

Research Questions

The subject of the study was the following aspects of the formation of the cultural space of the city:

  • the role and place of museums in the cultural space of the capital and the provincial city,
  • features of the creation and activities of museums on the example of the State Historical Museum in Moscow and the Historical and Art Museum in the city of Pavlovsky Posad near Moscow.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the work is to identify the features of the formation, place and significance of museums in the urban cultural space on the example of the Historical Museum in Moscow and the Historical and Art Museum in Pavlovsky Posad.

Research Methods

The research is based on a comprehensive approach that allows us to consider different aspects of the study of cultural heritage, urban cultural space and determine their relevance.

The study of the role of the museum in the cultural space of the city is based on the principles of historicism, science and objectivity. On the basis of archival documents and published literature, information was collected, analyzed and summarized. In the course of the research, the problem-chronological, comparative, and ideographic methods were used.


Museums play an important role in forming the cultural space of cities. A unique monument, the Historical Museum, occupies a special place in the cultural life of Moscow.

The decision to create a Historical museum in Moscow was taken by Emperor Alexander II on February 9, 1872. The museum building was constructed in 1875–1883 by architect Sherwood and engineer Semyonov. The design of the halls was made by prominent Moscow architects and painters Bondarenko, Popov, Aivazovsky, Vasnetsov, Serov, Repin et al. Historians Uvarov and Zabelin took an active part in the creation of the museum vault. Zabelin. The museum was opened on May 27, 1883 in the presence of Emperor Alexander III.

The Historical Museum fits into the cultural life of Moscow and Russia. Its exhibition, educational, and publishing activities attracted visitors, whose number has steadily increased and at the beginning of the XX century exceeded 27 thousand per year. Exhibitions were held in the free halls. The museum's publishing activities were aimed at publishing descriptions of its exhibits (Byzova, 2017).

Prominent scientists and painters got acquainted with the expositions, students of art schools copied museum exhibits. For educational purposes, the museum was visited by up to 110 groups of students per year. Groups of Moscow workers got acquainted with the collections. For example, in 1903, among the visitors were 50 workers of fur production, 20 people from the Kudryashov cloth factory, 20 people from the Ding factory, 10 people from the Jacobson plant. In the same year, the museum was visited by 2047 students from 69 educational institutions, as well as 23 managers of educational courses from St. Petersburg. It is remarkable that on February 23, 1912, 45 schoolgirls of the 4th and 5th grades from Pavlovsky Posad visited Moscow on an excursion to visit the Historical Museum and other monuments. There was no own museum in Posad at that time.

After the revolutionary events of 1917 The Historical Museum continued its work in the new socio-economic conditions of the construction of socialism. In 1936–1937, in preparation for the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution, part of the decoration was whitewashed and destroyed. In 1986–1997 The Historical museum was closed for restoration to restore its original appearance. The organization of major repairs of the Historical Museum was carried out by Mospromstroy. The design work was carried out by the institute "Specialproektrestavratsiya". The restoration was carried out by specialists of the Mosrestavratsiya workshop.

The museum was constantly replenished with new exhibits. In different years, 160 owners gave him 236 collections (Kargapolova, 2001). Currently, the Historical Museum is the largest vault of monuments of Russian history and culture.

In small cities of Russia and, in particular, in the Moscow region, the situation of museums today is complicated by the fact that cultural facilities of the capital and regional centers have become more accessible, and the development of local cultural institutions in provincial cities is often limited by underfunding. At the same time, it is important to preserve and develop regional cultural facilities and traditions.

The largest museum region in Russia is the Moscow Region. The museum network of the Moscow region includes 11 regional museums, 71 municipal museums and 6 exhibition halls.

The Pavlovo-Posadsky Historical and Art Museum, opened to the visitors on November 5, 1971 in the bell tower of the former Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is among them. The bell tower was restored and a two-story extension was built for the formation and placement of the museum's exhibits. In the 1970s, local historians and local residents of Pavlovsky Posad collected more than 2 thousand exhibits reflecting the history of the region's development. In 1996 the bell tower was transferred to the church, and the museum did not have its own premises for several years, its funds were temporarily placed in the Pavlovo-Pokrovsky Palace of Culture. In 1999, the museum opened its doors in the building of the former Staro-Pavlovskaya Factory on Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street, where it is currently located. The museum was able not only to increase the number of permanent exhibitions, but also to prepare temporary thematic expositions by expanding its space.

In the middle of the XIX century. Pavlovsky Posad has become a recognized center of handkerchief-printing production in Russia. The talent and hard work of its residents created the world-famous Pavlovsky Posad shawls, so the museum has a large number of exhibits on the history of production and a unique collection of shawls, tablecloths, fabrics, panels is presented.

In the halls of the museum, in all its variety and diversity, the life of a provincial city is shown, objects of labor and everyday life of workers, burghers and merchants are presented.

The museum presents exhibits dedicated to the participation of Pavlovsky Posad residents in the military campaigns of the Russian state. A Hall of Military Glory was created in the museum, which includes expositions: The Patriotic War of 1812, the First World War of 1914–1918, the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945. During the Patriotic War of 1812, local peasants united in a partisan detachment under the command of Gerasim Kurin and defeated several units of the French army. Since 2003, with the participation of the museum, a military-patriotic festival has been held in the city, which is of great interest to residents and guests of Posad.

The vault contains a collection of Soviet posters from the 1920s to the 1980s, which are exhibited in several halls. The collection was donated to the museum by the brothers Alexander Georgievich and Pavel Georgievich Markov, natives of Posad.

A number of expositions of the museum are dedicated to famous countrymen. The hall called "Theater Lounge" contains personal belongings, documents, and photos about the life and work of the People's Artist of the USSR Tikhonov, People's Artist of the Georgian SSR Rusinov, head of the city theater Tade. The museum also presents a space theme: a hall dedicated to the twice Hero of the Soviet Union, cosmonaut Bykovsky, has been opened.

A separate hall is occupied by an exhibition dedicated to the history of the Pavlovo-Posadskaya fire station, founded in 1868. Of particular value are genuine items: the banner of the volunteer fire brigade of 1897, its crew, a fire pump, ceremonial helmets of the late XIX – early XX centuries, uniforms of firefighters of different times.

The Historical and Art Museum has organically entered the cultural life of Pavlovsky Posad and the district. The types of its activities include viewing the exhibition, the work of the visitor in the funds, organizing and conducting excursions, conferences, electives, lectures and consultations. In connection with the spread of the coronavirus infection COVID-19 in 2020–2021, new forms of work are being sought to attract visitors: interactive excursions, online classes and master classes, publishing activities.


The city covers a certain territory, where the architectural monuments and cultural institutions that form its cultural image are concentrated. The cultural space of cities has its own distinctive features. Urban space is formed by planning and zoning development, creating and implementing urban planning concepts, construction and reconstruction of unique objects. Museums play an important role in forming the urban space and cultural landscape.

During the construction of the Historical Museum, red brick was chosen, as a result, the building organically fit into the architectural ensemble of the historical center of Moscow, in harmony with the walls and towers of the Kremlin. During the construction and exploitation of the building, repair, construction and finishing works were carried out. Since the end of the XIX century The Historical Museum has occupied an important place in the cultural space of Moscow, becoming widely known in Russia and abroad.

The main types of work of the museum are scientific, archaeological, exhibition, educational, publishing activities.

The Historical Museum is a unique monument in the architectural ensemble of Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The collections include about 5 million museum items. About 3 thousand exhibits are restored in the scientific and restoration workshops of the museum every year,

The center of historical and local history work in a provincial city is considered to be the local museum. In the Pavlovsky Posad near Moscow, it is a Historical and Art Museum, the funds of which include about 16 thousand units of storage. Its educational, exhibition, and publication activities attract residents and visitors of Posad. On the eve of its 50th anniversary, the museum became a prominent object of the cultural space of the Moscow region.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a search for new forms of museum activity, and the importance is attached to the remote form of work with visitors, including virtual excursions, interactive classes, and master classes.


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29 November 2021

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Mikhailovna, B. O. (2021). Museum In The Cultural Space Of The City. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in The Context of Modern Globalism, vol 117. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 357-363). European Publisher.