Primorskiy State Picture Gallery on Aleutskaya (Aleutian) Street is the pillar and bulwark of Primorye Territory’s fine art in its traditional sense. You are unlikely to see dubious installations or trendy performances here; it is a public institution, and all exhibits go through a specific planning and professional selection process.
Being a state museum does not mean it is boring, however. Subsidies from the regional budget and private donations provide permanent funding, comprehensive planning, maintenance of exhibits and buildings, as well as continuous updating of collections through gifts and acquisitions from owners and their heirs.
A complete art collection began to take shape in Vladivostok in the 1930s due to a governmental decision to redistribute funds from the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum, the Academy of Arts Museum, and the Hermitage to regional museums. At present, the permanent collection galleries have about 250 exhibits of Russian and Western European art, including works by authors of international renown: Chagall, Kandinsky, Popova, Lebedev, Falk, Lentulova, Kuprin, Konchalovsky, Serov, and Aivazovsky.
Works in the permanent gallery generally considered heritage assets are "Portrait of David's Brother with a Mandolin" by Marc Chagall (1914) and "Improvisation" by Wassily Kandinsky (1913):
"Improvisation" - a typical example of the founder of abstract art Wassily Kandinsky - has international stature and is exhibited abroad regularly - in Italy, Belgium, and Brazil. The painting came to the museum from the Tretyakov Gallery and was supposed to go up for auction, but it miraculously escaped such a fate. Vladivostokians and guests of the city can see the masterpiece in the permanent exhibition hall when it returns home from its "road trip."
"Portrait of David’s Brother with a Mandolin" (drawing, paper, opaque watercolor) cannot be displayed to visitors for more than three months in a row due to preservation concerns; it must be given a "rest" after being actively exhibited. The painting came from the Tretyakov Gallery about 70 years ago; in the meantime, the masterpiece has traveled to Germany, the USA, Finland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Austria, and Switzerland and has brought Primorskiy Gallery worldwide fame.
The Picture Gallery has also been active in "Asian" destinations where there are regular calligraphy and print exhibits, as well as special projects and joint exhibitions.
In Primorye, they pay special attention to the development and support of local schools of fine art. In the gallery’s holdings, there is an extensive collection of works by representatives of various historical periods. Among the famous artists who have left their marks on this coastal region, the first to come to mind is an iconic figure and graduate of the Düsseldorf Academy of Art - Karl Kahle. An artist with a tragic fate, he played an important role in the formation of maritime impressionism. Kahle was not a native of Primorye, but he lived here for a certain period after 1911 and managed to capture the seaside scenery on his canvases. Currently, there are nine masterworks stored in the gallery donated by Russian and Japanese collectors, most notably, the unique "Portrait of a Woman" (artist was not a portraitist).
After large-scale restorations to mark its 50th anniversary, the gallery offered exhibitions of various trends and formats: individual, group, stand-alone masterpieces, art projects, permanent exhibitions of Old Russian art and works from the 18th to early 20th century.
The average cost of a ticket to visit the exhibition is 200-350 rubles for adults and 50-150 rubles for children over 7 years old. Guided tours are available for visitors upon request; the cost is 50 rubles in addition to the basic ticket price.
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