History of the Museum

The National Museum of the Komi Republic is one of the oldest scientific and cultural organizations of the Komi Region. It was founded in October, 1911. The Museum is obliged by the birth to enthusiasts. They repeatedly undertook the attempts to open a museum in Ust-Sysolsk (now Syktyvkar) at the beginning of the XX-th century. In 1911 by the initiative of a local intelligentzia (K.F. Zhakov, A.A. Tsember, N.B. Cheusov, A.F. Starovskij and others) the Ust-Sysolsk branch of the Arkhangelsk Society of the Russian North Studying was created. It suggested to open in the city an archeological and ethnographic museum.
On October 17 (4 – in the old style), 1911 the district assembly accepted the decision to allocate 100 roubles for purchase of some collections. This day is considered as the birthday of the Museum. The foundation of the Museum was connected with growth of ethnic consciousness in Russia at the beginning of the XX-th century caused by fast social and economic development of the country.
The Museum arose on the basis of a small assemblage of ethnographic archeological and paleontological artifacts, and a small library. The Arkhangelsk Society of the Russian North Studying addressed to private persons and organizations with the request to help fill up the collection. The Museum existed due to private donations and the means allocated by the zemstvo and the municipal duma. It was placed in one of the rooms of the city library.
Up to 1916 A.A. Tsember (1874-1957) was at the head of the Museum. He was a chairman of the Ust-Sysolsk branch of the Arkhangelsk Society Russian North Studying, a teacher, an ethnographer, a specialist in folklore. After his departure from Ust-Sysolsk the Museum suspended the activity and was opened for visitors again in December, 1918.  From 1918 to 1925 A.V. Holopov (1880-1942), a professional painter, was the public director-volunteer of the Museum. At the same time he headed a section on protection of ancient monuments and arts of the national education district department.
In the 1920th the work of the Museum was closely connected with the Society of the Komi Region Studying and its leading figures (D.A. Batiev, A.N. Gren, A.S. Sidorov, A.A. Cheusov, etc.). Some times the Museum actually was in charge of this Society. In 1923 the Museum received the regional status. In these years there was active work on acquisition of different collections for funds of the Museum. At this time it got the geological collection of professor A.A. Chernov, the archaeological collection of  A.N. Gren, cult subjects and books from two local monasteries (Troitse-Stefano-Uljanovskij and Kyltovskij Krestovozdvizhenskij), subjects of  daily life and ethnographic artifacts, which had been collected by A.S. Sidorov and D.T. Janovich. Today these exhibits are the most valuable part of the our collection.
On October 29, 1940 by the decision of the Komi Government the Museum was transformed to the Republican Museum of local History. In 1943 the art department of the Museum became independent and was renamed into the Republican Museum of Arts.
During the Second World War the Museum continued to work: there were new exhibitions in halls of the Museum; lectures were read for farmers, lumbermen, builders, etc.
After the War the activity of the Museum was directed on perfection of existing expositions. In the end of the 1950th and in the beginning of the 1960th years the expositions were restored in three departments of the Museum (departments of presoviet History, History of the Soviet period, and Nature).
In 1969 the exposition of the literary-memorial museum was opened, devoted to I.A. Kuratov (he was a founder of the Komi literature).
To the VI-th International Finnish-Ugric Congress (July, 1985) it was created a new exposition «The Komi region from ancient times up to nowadays».
In 1989 the building of Church of the Risen Christ was restored in Syktyvkar. The exposition «Culture and daily life of Komi people (from XIX-th up to the beginning of XX-th centuries)» was settled down here. Subsequently the temple was transferred to the local orthodox community.
In 1994 the Republican Museum of local History received the National status and now it is named the National Museum of the Komi Republic.
During the last 10 years some new expositions were opened: in 2000 it was opened a new ethnographic exposition «Traditional culture of Komi in ceremonies of life cycle»; in 2004 it was opened a new department of the Museum, devoted to I.P. Morozov (House-museum of I.P. Morozov); in 2009 it was opened the Literary Museum in restored House of S. Sukhanov, devoted to the first Komi poet I.A. Kuratov.