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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
(5) Horst Bredekamp, The Lure of Antiquity and the Cult of the Machine: The Kunstkammer and the Evolution of Nature, Art and Technology, trans.
This from a man who had created a most lavish chacircteau housing a superlative collection of royal treasures, set in rooms clad in antique paneling from venerable Parisian mansions the perfect venue for entertaining the fashionable world who marveled at his extraordinary Kunstkammer. Although he was famous for his hospitality, Ferdinand was quite sickly and while serving the most sumptuous food prepared by a French chef and Italian pasticcere, he dined on cold toast and water, surrounded by medicine bottles.
And lastly, Rembrandt's kunstkammer shows an artist deeply invested in collecting Indian and East Indian objects and costumes.
Arriving in Vienna, the jewels of this voyage become even more opulent, with visits to the Schonbrunn Palace, the Winter Palace and the Kunstkammer Wien, which houses some of Europe's greatest treasures.
A passionate collector, the Emperor procured at least one mechanical musical instrument for his Kunstkammer from Hassler's workshop.
One of the prime attractions inside is the Kunstkammer Vienna (chamber of art and wonders), reopened in 2013 in a stunning permanent display, which includes precious artworks and knick-knacks from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque era collected by various royals across the centuries.
Krausk., NewYork Kukje, Seoul Lampronti, London Kunstkammer Laue, Munich Simon Lee, London Lefevre, London Dominique Levy, New York Salomon Lilian, Amsterdam Lisson, London Luxembourg & Dayan, London Matthew Marks, New York Marlborough, London Fergus.
The Collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts of Vienna's Kunstkammer is largely the legacy of the powerful Habsburg family.