Beginning of the history of the collection

The history of the collection of the art gallery dates back to the middle of the XIX century. In 1866, in Tver, on the initiative of Governor P.R. Bagration, local historian N.I. Rubtsov, poet, decembrist F.N. Glinka, the mayor of A.F. Golovinsky, a public “museum” was created - one of the first in the Russian province . According to its content, it was conceived as a historical, archaeological and industrial, but already in its first exhibition, opened on August 9, 1866 in the presence of the Tsarevich Alexander Alexandrovich (future Emperor Alexander III) and the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, there were works of art - portraits of Admiral Kornilov, engraver Utkin, inventor of the astronomical clock Voloskov, merchant Savin. It was these four works that were then included in the section of “memorabilia” and became the basis of the future extensive art collection. The replenishment of the museum with art monuments in the pre-revolutionary years was rather random and chaotic, dominated by the objects of decorative and religious art. However, among the acquisitions of that time, one can single out a number of works that occupy a prominent place in the collection to this day. These are two wooden painted reliefs from the late 18th and early 19th centuries “Peasant Wedding”, received from a private collection in 1883, an icon of the 17th century “Michael and Arseny of Tver with the Tver Kremlin and the Transfiguration”, donated by the famous Moscow collector P. I. Schukin in 1893, paintings by P. S. Drozhdin, G. V. Soroka and A.V. Tyranov, “Shop Signs” are unique samples of 18th century genre painting, handed by Tver craft council in 1904.