Russian Empire

200 years of innovation and controversy in the new project of the Historical Museum
Project Type:

600 sq. m

400 items

State Historical Museum
Scope of works:

Interpretative planning

Exhibition design and Creative direction

Design concept and architecture


Graphic design

State Historical Museum
August 2021 — November 2021
The project team:

Julia Napolova

Elizabeth Tsaplina

Julia Ozhiganova

The Russian Empire is a new large-scale project of the State Historical Museum. The period covering almost 200 years has given us a rich cultural and scientific heritage. The exposition includes 400 items, such as paintings, archival documents, sculptures, masterpieces of arts and crafts. Most of the items are exhibited for the first time. The existence of the empire is based on continuous development and changes by the challenges of time. The running lines integrated into the exposition reflect the movement literally and metaphorically: quotations from the correspondence of monarchs, reflections on the future, and discussions of reforms

The entrance leads to an axial corridor with projections of Peter’s the Great – Visitors can follow his transformation from a young ruler to a great emperor. The hall resembles a journey through time and space: the glare of golden lamellae and running lines make the space look like a portal. The exhibition space’s axial composition expresses the state’s dichotomy: the monarchy as opposed to estates, geopolitical achievements – to scientific discoveries, attributes of supreme power – to masterpieces of folk art.

The portrait gallery is built on the same principle: the entire hereditary branch of the emperors looks into the eyes of the best representatives of their people. Strict wall decoration with decorative plaster of gray shades combines all the riot of colors and textures into a single palette.