Gorky Park Museum

by Alexandra Filippenko

With its magnificent trees absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, Gorky Park can be referred to as the “lungs” of polluted Moscow. Green open spaces, deck chairs, sun loungers, bean bag chairs to put your feet up – are everywhere. Gorky Park helps Muscovites and tourists recharge their batteries in this tough and exhausting city. Upon entering the park you pass through the monumental Triumphal arch / Main Entrance, but don’t rush, since the most impressive view of the park and a chance to learn and feel its history is offered right here, inside the arch!

  

 

Photos ©Daria Artemieva for Museeum

 

The park used to be private lands of Russian nobility, but in 1928, after the Revolution, it was opened to public. The main entrance was designed by architect Georgy (Yury) Shuko and Assen Spasov in 1955. 24-meter (74 foot) triumphal arch with semi-secular wings and metal fence reflected the monumental importance of the Park. The colonnade was decorated with the emblem of the USSR, attic gate – with a composition of flags and the Order of Lenin. The grandiose entrance became the symbol of the Park, but visitors just passed by it and were not allowed inside. At different times it housed Park's administration, cinema and photo studio and technical departments. In 2011 the new director began park’s total reconstruction and in 2015 the Main Entrance was opened to visitors. June 11 we will celebrate Museum's 1 year anniversary visiting the Museum once again and we want to take you with us!

 

Related: Gosta Serlachius Contemporary Art Museum

 

Photos ©Daria Artemieva for Museeum

 

Go to the left pillar and you will find yourself immediately surrounded by historical elements – chandeliers, doors, decorations – from 1950s. But the museum is not merely a reflection of those years, it offers a loving view of the past with the help of the XXI century technology. Interactive permanent exhibition with gigabytes of scanned historical documents, images, portraits and photographs, Oculus Rift glasses to virtually jump with a parachute from the tower that appeared in the Park in 1930’s, interactive layouts to see the chronology of the Park from the middle of the XVIII century to the present day, 3D Park plans – it all helps you realize where you are in the historical context. Just don’t forget to look outside the windows to realize the geographical context! When you are inside, you don’t feel like you are in the Entrance zone, it feels like a museum in its classical sense, but once you look outside (fortunately the museum has large windows) you realize where you actually are.

 

Relayed: Denver Art Museum 

 

Photos ©Daria Artemieva for Museeum

 

Of course the best way to SEE where you are is from the top of the Main Entrance. Breathtaking views of central Moscow and free binoculars with 25m magnification allow you to study architectural details of the city’s best-known buildings and admire the light and music fountain right in front of the entrance. Even Muscovites rarely have a chance to see their city like that.
When you have taken all the panoramic photos and compared the view with the map, you can walk back to the 4th floor Gallery, where temporary exhibitions are usually held. At the time of our visit the museum collaborated with the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines and with the Design Department of the Moscow School of Economics. In the Museum you can also take English language courses, lectures on the history of cinema, visit various master-classes and concerts. The interactive approach to history makes the expositions interesting to visitors of all ages.

 

Related: Faberge Museum

 

 

Photos ©Daria Artemieva for Museeum


When we visited the museum, we met historian Anatoly Rublev, who once worked in the Park together with his wife and is currently writing a book about it. Him and his wife walked around the museum, enjoyed the interactive jump from the parachute tower, the vista point. We will keep you updated on the Gorky Park book and hope its valuable input will be demanded and sought-for by the Park’s museum. And we are again off to virtually jumping with the parachute!

 

 Photos ©Daria Artemieva for Museeum

 

 

 

Cover Image: ©Daria Artemieva for Museeum

All Images are ©Museeum unless indicated otherwise.