In 2007, Russia and the world cultural community commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Arts, a descendant of art school and traditions of the Imperial Academy of Arts and an assignee of USSR Academy of Arts.
The Russian Academy of Arts has been classed by a decree of the President of the Russian Federation as one of the nation’s most precious cultural institutions. The Academy is not only an art educational entity, it has become a center for artistic enlightenment of world importance and a guiding force efficiently influencing the development of all types of fine arts and fostering the enrichment of museum collections. Enormous is its research work and exhibition activity.
Since its foundation, the Russian Academy of Arts has been involved in elaboration and execution of major architectural, sculptural and design projects. Teachers and alumni of the Academy participated in decoration of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, St. Isaac Cathedral, Church on the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, the largest in Russia Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, recreated in 2000. The academicians have designed the nation’s biggest war memorials of the 20th century in Volgograd, Leningrad and Moscow, as well as architectural complexes for many Russian cities. Public monuments and works by Russian academicians can be seen in cities across the world.
Nowadays, the Russian Academy of Arts embodies recognized masters of fine arts and architecture who made a significant contribution to promoting home and world culture. Among them are Zurab Tsereteli, Andrei Mylnikov, Efrem Zverkov, Tair Salakhov, Gheli Korzhev, Victor Ivanov, Dmitri Zhilinski, Valentin Sidorov, Michael Kurilko-Ryumin, Alexei Shmarinov, Eugene Rozanov, Vladimir Tsygal, Michael Posokhin, etc. Many foreign masters have been elected the Academy’s Honorary Members.
The Russian Academy of Arts comprising its educational, research and museum divisions is an unparalleled institution with an international reputation executing national interests in promotion of art culture, aesthetic upbringing and basic human values.
In the jubilee year, the Russian Academy of Arts, headed by President Zurab Tsereteli has regained its potential. Pursuing the strategy aimed at the future of Russian art culture, it strives to preserve and upgrade teaching principles of Russian art school, to synthesize its best traditions and new ideas. The goal of the new concept of art education is to shape the identity of contemporary Russian art and to make the home system of training artists competitive in modern world.
Under the auspices of the Academy and efficient support of its regional departments have been established new art schools and institutions in many regions of Russia. Recently, the oldest art institutions - V. Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute and I. Repin St. Petersburg State Academy Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture - have undergone a radical refurbishment, including studios, training facilities and building facades. The St. Petersburg foundry Casting Yard has been restructured to provide a possibility for students to perfect their skills and master new technologies.
The Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts is actively involved in exhibition activity and boasts its valuable collection of European and Russian painting, graphic art, sculpture, architectural models and plans to be used as teaching aids. The rich collection of the Museum, founded in 1758, was amassed due to generous bequests of members of the Royal family and philanthropists, gifts from artists and the Academy’s presidents. The Academy was closely connected with the foundation of the nation’s first Museum of Russian art named after Alexander III in 1889, now Russian Museum, that originally comprised works from the Imperial Academy of Arts. Today, many efforts are being made by the Academy to give artists an opportunity to see masterpieces of fine arts from world museums.