Sharlene has always loved the architecture of this museum/church. So I decided to take a look. It is beautiful, definitely worth your time to visit. As Sharlene mentioned in 2009, the historic former church was transformed into The Russian Museum of Art.
The building itself is notable because its architectural style is so unexpected in Minnesota…an unlikely design borrowed from the southwest because the pastor of the church at the time it was built fell in love with the style.
It is also unexpected to find the only museum in North America dedicated exclusively to the presentation of Russian art and artifacts in Minnesota!
When you put the two together you have a unique treasure tucked into a southwest Minneapolis neighborhood…yet another hidden gem that reflects our diverse community and its love of the arts.
With a recorded Russian history that spans over a thousand years, the museum has a rich heritage from which to draw. Their current exhibitions, The Seige of Leningrad and Born in the USSR: Paintings of Childhood and Youth, are wonderful examples of how art provides a gateway to understanding history and heritage.
Certainly one of the most tragic conflicts of WWII, the museum has assembled a multimedia presentation of the 900-day siege of Leningrad in 1941-1944. The exhibition focuses on the city’s struggle and survival through photographs, films, maps, and stories of the war period. It highlights not only the sad side of the war, but also the life-affirming effort of the people who lived through the horrible ordeal. Little known stories fill the exhibition that is co-organized with the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg, Russia.
The other current exhibition, Born in the USSR: Paintings of Childhood and Youth, presents about sixty works created near the end of the Soviet era. Portrayals of schoolchildren in uniforms with red ties ties, working children, and more, uncover the rich story of childhood and youth developed by Soviet artists.
The museum isn't large so it doesn't take a big time investment to visit. Its beautiful setting and enlightening exhibitions make it a tranquil respite…and it also has a wonderful gift shop. Don't miss this hidden gem at the southwest corner of I-35W and Diamond Lake Road in the Tangletown neighborhood of south Minneapolis.