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Ceramics Department

One of the biggest at the Museum, the collection of ceramics contains exhibits diverse in their material, ranging from crude ceramics to exquisite porcelain, and in their purpose, starting with the pottery for everyday use, and ending with unique authored artworks of high quality, ranging from the archeological finds dating back to the XV century to artworks produced in the XXI century. The geography of the collection covers practically all the territory of modern Russia, the former USSR republics and foreign countries.

The majolica mantelpiece decoration titled The Meeting of Volga Svyatoslavich and Mikula Selyaninovich (a part of the permanent display) is a true pearl in the collection of the museum, it is a version of the mantelpiece produced after the sketch by M. A. Vrubel and displayed at the 1900 Expo in Paris. The ceramic plate with a decorative ornament and a splendid Cock bratina bowl (a grace cup) by A. Ya. Golovin were also displayed at the Expo 1900 in Paris.

The collection of faience of the Konakovo Faience Factory named after M. I. Kalinin, comprising more than 300 objects, is a major acquisition of recent years. It contains both the best mass-produced sculptures and pottery forms of the second half of the XX century, and extremely rare authored products by prominent Soviet sculptors working in ceramics, such as I. G. Frikh-Khar, V. A. Favorsky, I. S. Yefimov, I. L. Slonim, S. M. Orlov, P. M. Kozhin, and many others.

The collection of the propaganda and decorative artistic porcelain of 1920–1930s stands apart in its integrity, comprehensiveness and diversity. It is based on the remarkable private collections of L. O. Utesov, M. V. Mironova and A. S. Menaker. The Utyosov collection amplified through purposeful efforts of the museum is represented in the permanent display; the collection of Mironova and Menaker is displayed in a separate hall, according to their will.

Besides well-known, textbook works of the artists working for the State Porcelain Factory (former Imperial, and the Leningrad Porcelain Factory named after M. V. Lomonosov since 1924) whose names are familiar to everybody (S. V. Chekhonin, N. Ya. Danko, A. V. Shchekatikhina-Pototskaya, A. M. Adamovich, R. F. Vilde, Z. V. Kobyletskaya, and many others), the collection contains rare works, and many of them are not represented in other museum collections. The large decorative dish 1st of May with an ornament after the drawing by Z. V. Kobyletskaya and The Woman Reaper, an oval dish produced after the sketch by M. I. Ivashintseva. Other unique exhibits include a full "tête-à-tête" table service with The Expulsion themed motifs painted by M. V. Lebedeva.

The collection of the XVIII–XIX centuries Russian porcelain is represented with the exhibits produced at the Imperial Porcelain Factory and by numerous private porcelain producers.

The XVIII century porcelain collection comprises individual objects from famous palace table services, such as the "Office" one (Imperial Porcelain Factory), the "Order" table services: of the St. George, St. Andrew, St. Alexander and St. Vladimir (Gardner Factory) orders, and pottery and works of small plastics, including figures from the Peoples of Russia series produced after models by sculptor J.-D. Rachette (Imperial Porcelain Factory): Kirghiz and Samoyed.

The XIX century is represented at its best by artworks in the Empire style and other historical styles that became widespread since 1830s. Besides that, a number of such works is often absent in similar museum collections. In the display of the museum, in particular, you can see the tête-à-tête table service in the Russian Revival style produced at the Kornilov Brothers Factory that has no analogues.

The collections of folk ceramics and folk toys reflect the variety of materials and the technologies used in processing, shaping and decorating the products of folk art. The exhibits demonstrate original shapes and methods of their decoration in different regions and centers of Russia, ranging from small, local craft centers, to major folk crafts centers, such as Gzhel, Skopin, Dymka, of global fame.