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in the past, the name for various collections of historical, artistic, and natural-science rarities and the places that housed them. In the 16th and 17th centuries, many princely and royal courts had their own Kunstkameras. The term is no longer used.
Peter I founded a Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg in 1714; it opened in 1719. Originally it primarily contained objects from Peter’s private collections, acquired during his travels in Western Europe, but it was soon supplemented by a variety of national and foreign materials. In 1724 the Kunstkamera was made part of the Academy of Sciences and transformed into a multifaceted museum. In 1727 the collections were relocated in a single building designed and built for them.
In the 1830’s, because of the abundance of materials, the Kunstkamera was divided into several museums by subject, including anatomy, ethnography, botany, and zoology. The Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR inherited the Kunstkamera’s ethnographical and anatomical collections and its premises.
REFERENCESLipman, A. Petrovskaia Kunstkamera. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
Staniukovich, T. V. Kunstkamera Peterburgskoi AN. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.
T. V. STANIUKOVICH