Curator-led tours of the Hermitage
and other St Petersburg museums and galleries
Curator-led Hermitage Tour Options
Open Russia Tours is proud to offer Curator-led tours of the exceptional and vast collections of the famous St Petersburg Hermitage Museum.
Please note that prices for the Curator-led tours are dependent on group size, the type of tour and your particular preferences. Please either call us, send us an email or tell us your requirements using our Enquiry and Booking Form
1. General Tour of Hermitage Collection Highlights (2.5 - 3 hours)
A tour of the huge collections of the Hermitage led by a Museum Curator makes a big difference. You will be guided by a person of expert knowledge, familiar with the famous items of the collection and able to recount the fascinating stories of individual pieces, their acquisition by the Tsars, life in the Museum, evacuation during World War II and restoration into the current and magnificent Hermitage Museum collection.
Your Curator will take you to parts of the Museum not usually open for visitors: the Hermitage Theatre auditorium, the Private Rooms of the Tsars in the Winter Palace and other rarely seen areas. The Curator's depth of knowledge will provide a unique insight into the history and treasures that you view.
2. Culture of Scythians and the Golden Store (2 hours)
This fascinating tour led by the Curator of the Hermitage Prehistoric Department tells about the world-renowned collection of Scythian antiquities and gold (7th to the 4th centuries bce) of the Hermitage Museum collection. Visitors will be taken on a journey round the stunning treasure trove of this mighty and mysterious people of a bygone era. It will also visit the magnificent golden jewellery worn by Scythian noblemen, decorative weapons and horse harnesses found in barrows in the Crimea, Kuban Basin and Dnieper and Don river-valleys.
Your Curator guide will also take you into a special vault where the world's oldest pile carpet is displayed (2500 years old), an ancient artifact found in the burial mounds of Pazyryk, in the High Altai mountains.
3. French Impressionists Collection in the Hermitage (1.5 - 2 hours)
The French Impressionist Curator-led tour acquaints with the vast exhibition of French painting of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that is displayed newly renovated General Staff building, across from the main Hermitage complex. Almost all the great figures of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism are well represented: Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, Degas, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso – those who rendered their fleeting impressions in vibrant colours and ushered in a new perspective on reality, a new concept of beauty, a new era.
The tour will place the Impressionists in the company of their predecessors, contemporaries and successors, including both kindred spirits and competing movements. As many of these paintings were nationalized in the revolution from private collections and some were taken as trophies from Germany in 1945, the Curator will also discuss touchy subjects such as reclamation of the works, private claims of ownership and the decision of the Hermitage to show its collections "plainly and openly" to everyone.
4. Hermitage Furniture Tour (2hrs+, depending on preferences)
The Western European Furniture Collection comprises some 1,000 objects made in Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands and England. This Curator-led Hermitage tour will acquaint you with some of the earliest pieces in the collection, including German and French dressers of the 15th and 16th centuries, decorated with Gothic carving, and 16th-century Italian Renaissance chests. The tour will include particularly interesting items, such as French 17th-century Baroque style, austere classical items, best represented by prominent cabinet-maker AC Boulle and the magnificent cabinets commissioned from David Roentgen by Catherine the Great in the late 18th century, amongst other exceptional items from the outstanding furniture collection now to be found at the Hermitage.
The tour will also visit the Russian Department, to view Russian furniture from the 17th up to the 20th centuries including intact original suites of 19th-century furniture designed especially for the Winter Palace and St Petersburg mansions.
Your Curator guide will also discuss details of furniture design, revealing some of the secrets of their construction.
5. The Hermitage Museum Russian Department
A wide variety of Curator-led tours of the Hermitage Russian Department are available. Please note that prices for the Curator-led tours are dependent on group size, the type of tour and your particular preferences. Please either call us, send us an email or send us your requirements using our Enquiry and Booking Form
Curator led tours of other St Petersburg galleries and museums
At Open Russia Tours, we are also able to arrange Curator and other Specialist (Professor of Art History, etc.) tours of some of St Petersburg's other major museums and art galleries, including:
Curator-led tours of Paul's Palace, Pavlovsk
Curator-led tours of St Petersburg's Literary Museums: Alexander Pushkin Memorial Apartment (River Moika, 12, St. Petersburg) and Fyodor Dostoyevsky Memorial Apartment (Kuznechny Pereulok, 5, St. Petersburg)
Curator-led tours of the St Petersburg Erarta Museum of Modern Art
Curator-led tours of the St Petersburg Russian Museum
Curator-led tours of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), St Petersburg