The Russian Museum of Ethnography is the museum of the Russian peoples. There are more than 150 peoples who have lived on the territory of Russia for centuries and finally engrained there. These peoples are called the citizens of Russia.
Such museum was a desirable object in thoughts of the Russian emperors: Alexander III was dreaming of the museum where he could place the whole Russia, treasures of its national and folk culture, its arts and crafts, and its main treasure – its peoples in an indispensable image and variation of their ethnic cultures.
The Emperor Nicholas II, Alexander's heir, who came to the throne in 1894 had accomplished father's dream by establishing the Russian Museum and erecting the Palace of the Peoples – the Russian Museum of Ethnography.
This museum today is a great scientific and research center with more than half a million of exhibits and photographs of the native peoples of Russia in its collections. Inevitable fate of the museum articles is their being in captivity of the museum collection. But was it ever possible to capture folk spirit embodied in objects, symbols, signs of ethnic and folk culture?
The Russian Museum of Ethnography carries out its museum policy with absolutely clear understanding of the nature of its holding – ethnic collections on culture of the Russian peoples. The museum not only preserves the past but brings it back to life, gives back to the peoples lost in goulags of history or sometimes just forgot and unclaimed ethnocultural past of Russia in all its inmost details.
After the scientific research and conservation work the museum articles become more than just material pieces but they form an exhibition portfolio of the museum and having left their home, they deliver knowledge about the Russian peoples to the places beyond Saint-Petersburg and Russia borders.
The range of demand for the ethnocultural information contained in objects of traditional culture is extremely huge. Looking for the self-identity, interest in life of their ancestors, the offspring who are now the citizens of Russia, ask for an answer not only in the contemporary multinational Russia but also abroad.
The museum is glad to discuss various possibilities of organization ethnographic exhibitions from its collections. The museum is also open for the cooperation and considers its collections to be the bank of ethnocultural data which value cannot be estimated.
During recent years the exhibition portfolio was supplemented by the new exhibits which the museum is pleased to offer to the concerned partners.