The Archives and Manuscripts Department holds a unique collection of documents related to Russian theatre. There are more than 200 thousand units. There are manuscripts of plays and articles, director’s notes and copies of plays, drafts, texts of roles with actors' marks, letters, diaries, notebooks, memoirs, photographs, programmes, playbills, and other documents. The collection of Aleksey Bakhrushin and the ballet historian Yury Bakhrushin reflects the history of our museum and Aleksey Bakhrushin's activity at the Council of the Russian Theatre Society, Vvedensky People’s House, State Academy of Art Sciences. There are many letters written by Maria Yermolova, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Leonid Sobinov, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Feodor Chaliapin, and other theatre people. The pre-revolution theatre collection possesses 18th century documents of the Volkov brothers and Pyotr Plavilsсhikov – the founders of Russian professional theatre. There are documents of Mikhail Shchepkin, Pavel Mochalov, Maria Yermolova, Varvara Asenkova, Vera Komissarzhevskaya, Maria Savina, the Karatygins, the Borozdins, the Muzils, the Ryzhovs, the Sadovskys, and other actors and directors. The history of capital and provincial private theatre is represented by the collections of Anna Brenko, Sergey Zimin, Fyodor Korsch, Mikhail Lentovsky, Savva Mamontov et al. The Alexander Ostrovsky collection keeps his manuscripts, letters by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolay Nekrasov, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Ivan Turgenev, and others. The Anton Chekhov collection contains the manuscript of “The Jubilee”, censored copies of “The Jubilee”, Ivanov. The Alexander Griboyedov collection owns Griboyedov’s manuscripts and hand-written copies of “Woe from Wit” that circulated throughout the country in the 19th century. There are also documents of playwrights who shaped repertoires in the late 19th — early 20th centuries: Pyotr Gnedich, Victor Krylov, Tatiana Shchepkina-Kupernik, Aleksandr Volodin, Viktor Rozov et al. Modern drama theatre collections contain documents of directors Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Fyodor Kaverin, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Alexander Tairov, Grigory Alexandrov, Natalya Sats, Anatoly Efros et al. We keep papers of Mikhail Chekhov, Alisa Koonen, Lyubov Orlova, Oleg Dal, Eugeny Leonov, Olga Lepeshinskaya, Sergey Martinson, the Mironovs and Alexander Menaker, Anatoly Papanov, Innokenty Smoktunovsky, Galina Ulanova, Nikolay Cherkasov, Evgeny Vesnik, Aleksandr Shirvindt, and other famous actors. Music theatre is mirrored in documents of composers Mily Balakirev, Igor Stravinsky, Mikhail Glinka, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev; choreographers Marius Petipa, Alexander Gorsky, Kasian Goleizovsky; ballet dancers Olga Lepeshinskaya, Galina Ulanova, Ekaterina Geltser; singers Pauline García-Viardot, Leonid Sobinov, Feodor Chaliapin, Irina Arkhipova et al. The museum treasures autographs of great Russian composers. The history of theatrical decorative art is represented by documents of Mikhail Bocharov, the Waltzs, Alexander Golovin, Konstantin Korovin, Andreas Roller, Vasiliy Polenov, Svetlana Sladkovskaya, Robert Falk. The department has archives of the Imperial Theatre's directors: Ivan Vsevolozhsky, Alexander and Stepan Gedeonov. The Vladimir Telyakovsky collection is of particular value: his diary presents a detailed chronicle of St Petersburg's and Moscow's theatrical life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are also papers of theatrologists and theatrical figures. The department holds collections of documents of organizations: theatres, studios, associations, societies, and publishers. Materials of frontline theatres and brigades occupy a special place in the museum’s collection.
Archival documents
The Video, Audio, and Cinema Materials Department was established in 1989. It keeps rare Russian and foreign gramophone records (around 11 thousand units), magnetic phonograms (around 16 thousand units), video materials (more than 2000 units), audiotapes, and compact discs (2000 units). The collection of gramophone records is based on the assemblage of Ivan Boyarsky. It has more than 8 thousand records, including the first records of Feodor Chaliapin, Leonid Sobinov, Dmitry Smirnov, Lev Sibiryakov, Antonina Nezhdanova, Nadezhda Obukhova, Nadezhda Plevitskaya, Ivan Kozlovsky, Sergei Lemeshev, and also the great Italian singers — Enrico Caruso, Titta Ruffo, Mattia Battistini, Beniamino Gigli. There are also some recordings of spiritual music. A large part of the collection is devoted to performances by the Moscow Art Academic Theatre, the Maly Theatre, the Vakhtangov Theatre, provincial theatres. The collection of video materials was found in the late 1980s. There are unique recordings related to Mikhail Chekhov, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Alexander Tairov, Alisa Koonen, Solomon Mikhoels, Anna Pavlova. The museum holds newsreel footage “The Biomechanics” (1923), “Newsreel: Ballet of the ‘20s”, films “Ivan the Terrible” (1914) with Feodor Chaliapin, “Man from the Restaurant” with Mikhail Chekhov, “Jewish Happiness” with Solomon Mikhoels. We possess fragments of performances The Government Inspector (1926), A Profitable Position (1923), The Bedbug (1929), a rehearsal of The Forest and Krechinsky’s Wedding (1933), productions by Anatoly Efros, Georgy Tovstonogov, Oleg Yefremov, Yuri Lyubimov, Pyotr Fomenko, Mark Zakharov, Galina Volchek, Eimuntas Nekrošius, Peter Brook, Giorgio Strehler, Franco Zeffirelli, Eduardo de Filippo, performances by choreographers — August Bournonville, Boris Eifman, George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Mats Ek, Roland Petit, Yuri Grigorovich, and many others. There is also a collection of museum’s video chronicles: meetings with theatrical figures, openings of exhibitions.
Audiovisual Materials
The Playbills and Programs Department is the most extensive collection of the museum. It consists of 600 thousand units and includes posters and playbills from the 18th century to the present day. The collection is based on playbills collected by the founder of the museum Alexey Bakhrushin. This material is related to the greatest theatre figures: Mikhail Shchepkin, Pavel Mochalov, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Alexander Tairov, Maria Yermolova, Feodor Chaliapin, Leonid Sobinov, and many others. A great part of pre-revolutionary playbills was transferred from the Leningrad Book Chamber in 1978. The museum possesses a valuable collection of pre-revolutionary playbills. Its uniqueness derives from its informative and artistic merits, and also its extensiveness. There are more than 300 thousand units that represent all theatrical Russia from the largest cities to the smallest settlements. Moscow and Saint Petersburg pre-revolutionary playbills (1791–1917) represent the Imperial theatres, private theatres, gardens, societies and clubs, philharmonias and variety theatres. The most known are posters by Valentin Serov, Nikolay Remizov, Jean Cocteau. The pre-revolutionary provincial playbill demonstrates a high level of mastery. The use of multiple patterns makes the picture decoratively rich and emotional. The crown jewels of the collection are the playbills and programs made by Aleksander Golovin, Ivan Bilibin, Lev Bakst, Konstantin Somov, Sergey Sudeykin, Apollinary and Viktor Vasnetsov, and others. The playbills represent imperial and amateur theatres, drama and musical performances, masquerades and benefit concerts. Especially valuable is the collection of folios — compilations of posters and playbills. The unique folio contains playbills of St Petersburg court theatres (1795). Сollection of modern playbills and programs contains materials since 1917. They represent productions, concerts, festivals of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. The collection is being constantly enriched. The rarest materials were created by avant-garde artists for the theatre “Blue Blouse” in the 1920s. The most treasured are works by Georgy and Vladimir Stenberg, Natan Altman, Valentina Khodasevich, Yury Annenkov, Boris Knoblock, Sergey Sudeykin et al. Playbills by Nikolay Akimov hold a special place in the museum’s collection. His works had a significant impact on the development of poster art. A special collection consists of playbills from the archives of the greatest theatre figures like Feodor Chaliapin, Galina Ulanova, Natalya Sats, Alisa Koonen. One of the most important is the archive that illustrates events at the Bakhrushin Theatre Museum.
Playbills and programs
The collection of the Decorative Materials Department consists of costume and set designs, portraits of theatre figures, images of theatre buildings, performances, caricatures, set models. The pre-revolutionary collection has more than 29 thousand items. There are works by Aleksandr Golovin, Konstantin Korovin, Alexandre Benois, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Lev Bakst, Petr Konchalovsky, Nicholas Roerich, Ivan Bilibin, Sergey Sudeykin, Nikolay Sapunov, Valentin Serov, Vasiliy Polenov, and others. Pre-director’s theatre is represented by Andreas Roller, Pietro Gonzaga, Karl Valts et al. The collection of Soviet and modern theatre contains more than 30 thousand sketches of costumes and scenery. We should mention works by Aleksandra Ekster, Alexander Vesnin, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Natalya Goncharova, Robert Falk, Boris Kustodiev, Alexander Benois, Natan Altman, Sergei Eisenstein, Vladimir Tatlin, Georgy Yakulov, Valery Levental, Yury Annenkov, Aleksander Golovin, Aristarkh Lentulov, and many others. The collections of iconography (paintings and graphics) contains portraits, caricatures, performance scenes, illustrations, easel paintings, engravings (including rare engravings, that depict French, German, Chinese, and Japanese theatre), lithographies, fashion pictures, press clippings. The museum keeps works by Orest Kiprensky, Karl Bryullov, Vasiliy Tropinin, Aleksander Golovin, Igor Grabar, Natan Altman. The scale mode collection houses set models created by Vladimir Favorsky, Karl Valts, Georgy Yakulov, Victor Simov, Anatoly Geltser, Isaak Rabinovich, David Borovsky, Sergey Barkhin et al.
Scenic design
The Children’s and Puppet Theatres Department was established in 2008 on the basis of materials from the Children’s Theatres State Museum. The collection includes more than 40 thousand items. There are collections of materials related to the Central Children’s Theatre, the E. Demmeni State Puppet Theatre, the Bryantsev Young Spectator Theater, the Yefimovs (the founders of professional puppet and shadow theatre), Lyubov Shaporina-Yakovleva (the founder of the first puppet theatre in Soviet Russia), Natalya Satz (the founder of children’s music theatre), actors Marta Tsyfrinovich, Igor Kovalenko, Marianna Makarova, Valentina Sperantova, and many others. The theatrical puppets collection is the most significant one. In particular, there are represented the oldest preserved Russian puppet theatres: the Efimovs’ Puppet Theatre and the Puppet Theatre under the direction of E. Demmeni. The museum’s holding also includes costumes, props, numismatic objects, and everyday items. The documentary collection keeps work IDs, letters, invitations, diaries, manuscripts, minutes, and other documents related to theatres, festivals, and theatre figures. There are collections related to Yuzef Gimmelfarb, Mikhail Kholodov, Ivan Voronov, Vladimir Talalay, Konstantin Shakh-Azizov, Galina Stepanova, Klavdia Koreneva. The museum possesses playbills and programs of Soviet (since the 1930s), Russian, and foreign theatres, festivals, photos since the 1920s, books, booklets, periodicals. The collection of decorative materials presents sketches of puppets, costumes, scenery, and portraits. There are personal collections of the Yefimovs, Yelizaveta Yakunina, Ivan Fedotov, Ivan Gumenyuk. The museum also possesses scale models.
Collection of Young Spectator's and Puppet Theaters
The Department of Memorial Objects holds more than 10 thousand units related to Russian and foreign theatrical figures. The collection was founded by Alexey Bakhrushin. The first items are dated to the late 18th — early 19th centuries. The collection “Paper — cardboard — papier-mâché” includes fans, jewelry caskets with portraits of actors, envelopes, visiting cards, props. The collection of wood presents furniture that belonged to Glikeriya Fedotova, Fyodor Chaliapin, Alisa Koonen, Alexander Tairov, Galina Ulanova, the Mironovs and Alexandr Menaker, Valentin Pluchek. There are also props and personal belongings like Glikeriya Fedotova’s snuffbox. Many of these items are kept in memorial houses and apartments that belonged to Alexander Ostrovsky, Maria Yermolova, Mikhail Shchepkin, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Galina Ulanova, and other museum branches. The metal collection has chandeliers, clocks, candlesticks, ashtrays, ironwork that belonged to theatre people. There are also wreaths of precious metals that were presented to Fyodor Chaliapin, Maria Yermolova, Vera Komissarzhevskaya, jewelry of Galina Ulanova, Maria Mironova. Many precious items that belonged to these and other great people of art you can see in our album "Treasury of Bakhrushin museum". The sculpture collection includes about a thousand sculptures made of plaster, bronze, and also metal, marble, stone, wood, and terracotta. The sculptures depict famous actors, musicians, dancers, composers, and theatre critics. Among the authors there are Paolo Troubetzkoy, Serafim Sudbinin, Yelena Yanson-Manizer, Vladimir Beklemishev, Mikhail Vrubel, Ivan Kavaleridze, David d'Angers, Léon Delagrange et al. The museum keeps self-portraits created by Alexandr Lensky, Savva Mamontov, Fyodor Chaliapin, Mikhail Fokine. The collection “Cloth, bone, leather‘” includes clothes, costumes, accessories of cloth and bone. Alexey Bakhrushin laid the foundation for the museum’s collection of prop weapons, fans, and binoculars. Of particular interest are ballet shoes of the 19th and 20th centuries. The rare gems of the collection are the ballet shoes of Maria Taglioni and Fanny Elssler. There are also the ballet shoes of Tamara Karsavina, Mathilde Kschessinska, Vaslav Nijinsky, Marius Petipa, Ekaterina Maximova, Vladimir Vasiliev, Maya Plisetskaya. Some shoes bear autographs and memorable inscriptions. The theatrical costumes refer to productions of the Imperial theatres, the Private Opera, the Musical Drama Theatre. The costumes of Fyodor Chaliapin and Maya Plisetskaya are widely presented. There are also some items that belonged to Maria Yermolova, Leonid Sobinov, Yekaterina Geltzer, Olga Lepeshinskaya, Galina Ulanova, Lyudmila Zykina, Lyudmila Gurchenko, Valentina Tolkunova et al. The porcelain collection contains wares decorated with images of theatre buildings and scenes. Some of the items belonged to Fyodor Chaliapin, Maria Yermolova, Leonid Sobinov. There are also porcelain figurines that depict famous actors — Tamara Karsavina and Michel Fokine, Anna Pavlova, Fyodor Chaliapin, Maria Yermolova, Leonid Sobinov, Maria Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, Maris Liepa, Natalia Bessmertnova, Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya. The museum also keeps commemorative medals, insignias, badges, that belonged to theatre people; plaster casts of hands and death masks of prominent Soviet actors.
Memorial objects