“Saint-Petersburg Artist” gallery/museum exhibition centre or “Петербургский Художник” I passed by hundreds of times, but never thought about going inside, which was a shame as I discovered in the summer of 2014. I (we in the city?) don’t have a well-developed culture of small private galleries: museums have to be big, state-owned, reside in huge buildings and offer tickets to foreigners at a price twice more expensive than for Russian citizens (not proud of that!).
Yes, Saint-Petersburg Artist is located in a building with a classic look, however inside it is different, modern and friendly. The heat of August left me almost on my own in the exhibition halls. The gallery specializes on very traditional realistic paintings by Leningrad School of Painting, primarily the 1950-1990s. The last time I visited was during the temporary exhibition of Victor Korovin, a Soviet Russian painter well-known for his landscape pictures and, as I figured out while watching the paintings, also for impressions of industrialisation and beautiful Saint-Petersburg city images in various seasons and moods.
Wandering in through the permanent collection you can travel across ex-Soviet Union in a couple of hours: from Karelia to Crimea, see strong-willed and meaningful farmers’ faces and observe snowy pictures side by side with broad prolific fields.
Grab a coffee with the complimentary cookie or sweets, chat with the friendly English-speaking staff, buy a postcard and later you can boast that you’ve seen much more than Hermitage on your Saint-Petersburg trip.
They are on Facebook and Foursquare.