New exhibits and a themed competition: VDNKh Museum marks its first anniversary

August 7

The VDNKh Museum, which opened for the park’s 80th anniversary, marked its first “birthday” on 1 August. Over 35,000 people have visited it since 1 August 2019.

“The VDNKh Museum has become the first stop on a journey through the country’s main exhibition park. The museum collects historical data related to the complex and artifacts that are stored in its Mediatheque and depository,” the VDNKh press service said.

Renewed display

The museum’s collection received new items and exhibits for its first anniversary. For example, visitors can see an interactive diagramme based on VDNKh’s 1959 general plan. It shows what VDNKh and its famous pavilion buildings looked like in the mid-20th century, as well as their location. Simply touch the image of any pavilion on the screen to see a detailed description. It is also possible to leaf through archive photos. The museum exhibition has also received some new rare items with the VDNKh logo from private collections.

The Museum also features plaster models and rough sketches of the outdoor sculptures for the historical Estonian SSR pavilion, now called Pavilion No. 4 Biology. The sculptures were discovered during restoration work inside the building. The bas-reliefs that now decorate the pavilion’s northern façade were restored based on the models and rough sketches.

The Museum also keeps items from Russia’s national pavilion at the 15th International Architectural Biennale, the largest and most prestigious international themed exhibition. In 2016, this pavilion was completely dedicated to VDNKh and displayed copies of famous sculptural décor, including small sculptures, statues and sculptural details. Today, they are displayed in showcases and on podiums in the museum’s main exhibition hall.

Photos of Exhibits

A Photos of Exhibits competition has been launched on VDNKh official Instagram page. Those wishing to take part can visit the museum from 4 August through 1 September, take pictures of any new exhibit or record a short video with it. Contestants should post these photos on their Instagram accounts with the hashtag #VDNKh Museum Exhibit. The Museum’s employees will select the three most interesting posts. The winner will receive a new VDNKh guidebook, and the first and second runner-ups will get an abridged guidebook version and a catalogue of a VDNKh exhibition. The results will be published on 5 September.

Online projects and educational meetings

Over the past year, the Museum has hosted several educational meetings, including a public talk called Images of the VSKhV Era on 19 December prior to displaying suits dating to the first few years of the main national exhibition centre. On 30 July, the museum was the venue for unveiling the first full format guidebook on the resurgent VDNKh. The museum has been open online during the recent lockdown, and its official Odnoklassniki account hosted a live guided video tour of the displays, which received over 148,000 likes.

The online project, The History of a Division: Unknown VDNKh Heroes was launched for the 75th Victory Day anniversary, honoring the memory of the Exhibition’s employees. In early July 1941, they joined the 13th Rostokino Division of the Moscow People’s Volunteer Corps redeployed to the battle front. A themed quiz on the exhibition centre’s history was held on VDNKh’s official social media accounts.

The museum also became a leading research centre whose experts collected historical VDNKh artifacts. Most of them are stored at the VDNKh Museum’s Mediatheque, an online archive documents database, which received over 170,000 likes from 1 August 2019. The Mediatheque is regularly updated. In January 2020, the museum published rare photos showing sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich at work on the high relief, Glory to the Soviet People, the Colour-Bearer of Peace. By 9 May, experts had digitised over 700 articles on this memorable date from VDNKh magazines and newspapers that were published in the 1950s and through the 1990s. Themed galleries on Medical Worker’s Day, Photographer’s Day, and the 40th anniversary of the closing of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow were added this summer.

The museum is open every day from 11 am to 10 pm, except Mondays. So far, tickets are available online only. All visitors must wear face masks and gloves, and they need to social distance.

VDNKh, a unique public space with an 80-year history, comprises 49 cultural landmarks, including historical pavilions and fountains, and covers an area of over 325 hectares. Over 33 million people visited VDNKh in 2019.


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