St Petersburg Museum of Avant-garde (Matyushin's House)


The St Petersburg Museum of Avant-garde is located in an old wooden house at 10 Professor Popov Street (formerly Pesochnaya Street). The wooden house was built in 1840s – 1850s in the garden, which in the second half of the 20th century came into possession of the Literary Fund – charitable organisation supporting writers and scientists. The house had been reconstructed for many times. Since 1891 it was occupied by the writer and publisher Vladimir Mikhnevich until his death in 1899. In 1904 the Literary Fund purchased the house fr om Mikhnevich's widow. The flats in the building owned by the fund were rented to the poor writers at a reduced rate or free of charge.

Mikhail Matyushin (1861–1934), the leading member of the Russian avant-garde, moved into the flat 12 of the house on Pesochnaya Street in 1912 together with his wife, artist and writer Elena Guro (1877–1913). A professional musician, Matyushin played in the Royal court orchestra for many years, and he was carried away by painting as well. He had finished an art school at the Society for the Promotion of the Arts, wh ere he met Elena Guro. Their works were first shown to the public at exhibition of impressionists in 1909. It was around the same time that they met representatives of futurist art movement and became eager participants and hosts of numerous Futurist art shows, debates, lectures and publications.

For several decades their house had been one of the major centres of St Petersburg’s cultural life. In the 1910s – 1920s Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov, Matyushin's students the Ender brothers and sisters, Valida Delacroix, Nikolay Kostrov and Eugenia Magaril, as well as poets Alexey Kruchenykh, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Velimoir Khlebnikov, were frequent visitors to Mikhail Matushin's house.

During the Siege of 1941–1944 many wooden buildings in the city were pulled down for firewood, but the Communist Party commission agreed to preserve the house as the monument of history and culture. The second wife of Matiushin, Olga Matiushina, lived here until 1975. Owing to her efforts, the memorial interiors of the flat have remained untouched, as well as personal belongings, paintings and graphic works by Mikhail Matiushin and Elena Guro, which were subsequently acquired by the Museum of the History of Leningrad.

In 1977 Matyushin's house was affiliated to the State Museum of the History of Leningrad (St Petersburg). The St Petersburg Avant-garde Museum was opened to the public in 2006.

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  • Address: 10, Ulitsa Professora Popova
  • Phone Number: +7 (812) 347-68-98
  • Site:
  • Working time:
    Monday: 11:00 - 18:00
    ТВ: 11:00 - 17:00
    Wednesday: Free
    Thursday - Sunday: 11:00 - 18:00
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