Biological Museum

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Biological Museum


(full name, K. A. Timiriazev Biological Museum), in Moscow, cultural-educational institution devoted to general biology. Opened May 7, 1922, under the biology subdepartment of the Ia. M. Sverdlov Communist University.

The first director of the museum was B. M. Zavadovskii, who played an important role in working out the organizational principles of a museum with a new world view. N. K. Krupskaia wrote, “When I saw the natural history museum at Sverdlov University, organized by Comrade Zavadovskii and his group, I thought to myself how Il’ich would have welcomed the establishment of such a museum . . .” (Sovetskii muzei, 1934, no. 1, p. 5). In 1934, with the assistance of A. M. Gorky, the museum found a permanent location on Malaia Gruzinskaia Street. The museum’s collection has a number of unique objects and exhibitions, including materials connected with the lives and activities of K. A. Timiriazev, I. V. Michurin, and other scientists; a collection of sculptured portraits of primitive people, created by M. M. Gerasimov; a collection of representative fauna of the USSR—stuffed figures and skeletons of animals and birds (including those from the collections of the Russian scientists E. P. Spangenberg, M. A. Menzbir, P. P. Sushkin, and others); stuffed figures and sculptures of farm animals; and valuable botanical collections of natural and botanized materials, reflecting various stages and methods of work in developing new varieties of agricultural crops and new breeds of animals. In 1966 the exhibit “Fundamentals of Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Selection” was organized at the Biological Museum. The law of homologous series in hereditary variation, discovered by N. I. Vavilov, is demonstrated in the museum, and the map he drew up showing the centers of origin of cultivated plants is displayed.

In 1970 exhibits on the following themes were demonstrated in the 17 halls of the museum: structure of the solar system—formation and development of our planet; origin and development of life on earth; origin and formation of man; the diversity of the plant world; diversity of the animal world; plant biology and physiology (life of plants); life and work of K. A. Timiriazev; biology and physiology of animals and man; evolutionary teachings of C. Darwin; the teachings of academician I. P. Pavlov on higher nervous activity; life and work, principles, and work methods of I. V. Michurin; work methods and achievements of Soviet plant breeders; work methods and achievements of Soviet animal breeders; fundamentals of genetics and selection; and man and nature. Periodically, displays are organized in the museum on floriculture, orchard culture, aquarium fish breeding, and so on; tours are conducted on more than 40 themes. The museum conducts more than 3,500 thematic tours annually based on its own exhibits.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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