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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


Lipman, A. Petrovskaia Kunstkamera. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
Staniukovich, T. V. Kunstkamera Peterburgskoi AN. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dr Wastawy also met with Dr Efim Rezvan, deputy director, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences.
(1) La Colline, 2072 St-Blaise, Switzerland, (2) IMAf UMR 8171, CNRS, F--Paris, France, (3) University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and (4) Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences and European University at Saint Petersburg
In 1928, Matorin returned to Teningrad, where he succeeded in becoming deputy chairman at the Institute for the Study of the Peoples of the USSR, and then, in 1930, director of the famous ethnographic museum, the Kunstkamera. At the same time, he headed the Teningrad Province Council of the Teague of the Militant Godless, where he was charged with providing the scientific basis for the mass repression of "Sectarians," Orthodox Christians and Muslims.
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) also plays an important role not only in preserving the African artifacts but also in conducting research.
Upritchard, a New Zealander, has lived in London since 1998, developing a practice that slips between hippieish ingenuousness about the Arcadian promises of "other" cultures and a knowing, postcolonial irony, as evoked by the escape from modern life promised by her luridly psychedelic figures, but also her ability to mimic the often ghoulish world-in-a-box absurdities of European collections like the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, UK, and Peter the Great's Kunstkamera in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Driessen-van het Reve, De Kunstkamera van Peter de Grote, Hilversum: Verloren, 2006, 258.
Peter's Kunstkamera presented the marvels and freaks of nature for observation.
Petersburg's Kunstkamera Museum, known today as the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography and administrated by the St.
The Kunstkamera established by Peter the Great in St Petersburg and completed in 1727 became the first museum in Russia.
(10) In these other examples, in the Orintal Museum, Durham, the Liverpool Museum, the Musee D'Orbigny-Bernon, La Rochelle and the Kunstkamera Museum, St Petersburg, the females are more conventionally 'Chinese'.