Constructing the National Image
Identity and Material Culture in Late Imperial Russia Public Museum Practices
During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, late imperial Russia began witnessing the so-called phenomenon of ‘museomania’. A peculiar example of this process of ‘musealisation’ was the Commercial and Industrial Museum of Artisanal Products of the Moscow Province Zemstvo, otherwise referred to as the Moscow Kustar’ Museum, established in 1885. Created as a focal point for the arts and crafts production in the ‘Russian style’ that had come into vogue at that time, the museum soon took on the role of a plural and hybrid space for reflection on and reconstruction of the national visual identity through the arts.