Playbills and programs
Playbills and programs
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 programmes 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 programmes consists of 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.