Lonely Planet Writer

Moscow Museum celebrates 120 years with ‘Alphabet of the Museum’ exhibition

The Moscow Museum , one of the oldest in the Russian capital, is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year with an encyclopaedic exhibition called ‘The Alphabet of the Museum’.

A view of the Kremlin in Moscow.
A view of the Kremlin in Moscow. Image by Pavel Kazachkov / CC BY 2.0

Apart from its permanent exhibition about the history of city, the Moscow Museum often hosts interesting exhibitions with artists’ and other local perspectives on the capital. The impressive collection includes more than one million artefacts such as archaeological finds, tools, jewellery, maps, photos, posters, costumes, accessories, furniture, books and movies, all dating from different periods from the city’s ancient beginnings to the present day.

The jubilee exhibition will feature more than 2000 items dating from the 4th century BC to the Soviet times, including some of the most significant archaeological findings and paintings and some exhibits that have never been shown to the public before. Instead of a chronological approach, the curators have opted for a more inventive way of organising the exhibition around the letters of the alphabet. The central exhibition hall is divided into sections based on 33 letters of the alphabet, placed in random order. Each letter represents a theme (such as Archaeology, Legend, or Metro) linked in some way to the city’s history or infrastructure. There is no suggested path for visitors as they are encouraged to explore the collection in any way they like.

Red Square, Moscow.
Red Square, Moscow. Image by Budget Travel

Some of the highlights are exhibits about the mysterious, ancient Dyakovo culture, maps of Moscow from different eras, Soviet-era metro posters and school books, 19th-century clothing and the city’s major fashion houses, old-fashioned tea boxes and even an entire vintage car. Moscow’s townspeople themselves, key myths about the city, the Red Square from the 1920s and 1930s are also featured in the exhibition, which is open until the end of November.