Museum Collections


Obraztsov Theatre Museum is an extensive collection of different objects. We store theatrical puppets, sketches, documents, photographs, and films. To organize all these different objects into a clear structure, our museum has a system of collections, that is, subsections that combine objects according to a single feature.

Theatrical Puppet Collection

The museum contains an extended collection of theatrical puppets and attributes of puppet performances from more than 50 countries of the world. The Collection has more than 4000 theatrical puppets of all known systems from antiquity to the present day. Undoubtedly, the largest number of items collected in the museum reflect the life and activities of the Obraztsov Theater. Items admissions began from the early years of the theatre and still occurs quite intensely. In 1938 - 1939, the first puppets of the performances were transferred to the museum. At the same time, the museum was replenished with puppets from performances that were taken off from the repertoire. Often, the theater's workshops made exhibition copies of puppets from the performances of the current repertoire.  The Collection reflects the history of the world's largest puppet theatre starting from productions in the 1930s to the premieres of recent years.

Archival Collections

The assembling of the museum collection and its transformation into a museum started with the archival collection, or to be precise, with the first documents on the creation of the State Central Theater Commission in 1931, information about its repertoire, cast, directorial developments. The museum has materials on the history of Obraztsov Theater (plays, musical scores, literary sheets, newspaper and magazine clippings, reports on tour trips, etc.).
A separate section presents materials about Russian and foreign theaters (information about the time of creation, composition of the creative team, repertoire, participation in festivals, touring trips, booklets, reviews of performances, posters, photos).  The section on the history, theory and technique of the world puppet theater consists of plays, articles, translations. 
A separate section of the collection consists of personal archives of puppet theater figures (S.V. Obraztsov; researcher of puppet theater N.M. Barkhash; the founder of the museum, theorist, author of numerous books on the technique of puppet theater A.Y. Fedotov; actor and playwright E.V. Speransky; director and artist O.L. Aristov and many others). The personal collection is a living testimony of a person, their creative life and involvement in the activities of a huge organism called the theater.

Fine Materials Collection

The fine materials collection consists of sketches of puppets and scenery, pictorial and graphic portraits, cartoons and caricatures, images of the theater building. The majority of the collection consists of sketches for the performances of the Obraztsov Theater from 1931 to the present day.  These are works of such significant for the history of puppet theater artists as T.B. Alexandrova, B.D. Tuzlukov, V.N. Terekhov, V.V. Andrievich, A.A. Speshneva, M.A. Sokolova, S.A. Alimov and others. With the help of the items from the fine materials collection, it is possible to trace the stage solutions of the performances from the concept to the implementation on the stage.

Scale Models Collection

A collection of scale models (three-dimensional models of performance design) is adjacent to the collection of fine materials. As a rule, a scale model is created in the process of working on a performance. Along with sketches of puppets and scenery, the artist makes a small-scale copy of the screen and places the scenery decorations there. Such scale model is needed in order to clearly explain the design of the screen and other features of the spatial layout of the performance.
Almost all scale models from the museum collection were made especially for the museum. Those are models for the design of performances which for various reasons cannot be watched "live". A scale model depicting the theater with puppets and actors is one of the best ways to present the theater in a museum exhibition and to acquaint viewers with its structure. 
Scale model admissions to the museum began from the very first years of its existence. In 1938, scale models of the design of the first performances of the Theater and several mock-ups of traditional folk performances were made by the request of the museum.

Collection of Posters and Brochures

Currently, the museum has posters, show bills and brochures from theaters of different countries and time periods. Show bills began to be collected as soon as the theater received its own building. Gradually, the collection of posters, brochures and show bills developed to become one of the largest sections of the museum.
The base of the collection is made out of posters and brochures from the productions of the Obraztsov Theater. Show bills and brochures carry a lot of useful information about authors and performers.
Their design, which reflects the idea of the performance, is of no less interest.

Photo-negative Materials Collection

 The collection of photo-negative materials reflects the history of the Theater. The collection has everything from glass negatives of the 1920s and 1930s and photo prints of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the data base of electronic photos of our days. The photographic material is extremely extensive.
These are photographs of performances and rehearsals, tours and festivals, photographs of actors, directors, artists in roles and in everyday life, guests of the theater. 


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