29 september – 19 march

“The VESHCH! Talking objects” is an exhibition/installation telling a story about striking samples of Russian design of the XX century, and about their impact on the works of contemporary authors, from rethinking traditions of folk art and Russian Avant-Garde to the design of the “space age,” author’s “art design,” sustainable development concepts and high-tech solutions for the smart home. The museum will present to the visitors multiple exhibits, from mass-produced products to prototypes to collection design samples: interior items, household appliances, clothing and fashion accessories, all displayed in the open storage format.

“Our museum is building an object design collection,” says Artyom Dezhurko, head of the Object Design Sector at the Fashion and Design Center. “This is a big deal: there is not a single state-owned design collection in Russia now, ours will be the first one. The exhibits of this display will form the basis of the collection, the core, to which new acquisitions will be added one by one. Thanks to the exhibition, our holdings, having barely emerged, immediately acquired their own ‘capsule’ design collection, a small, but meaningful, and reflecting its history in this country quite well”.

“Whether it is necessary to collect design items, and how — it’s a question that’s still relevant in the museum community,” says Natalya Loginova, head of the Fashion and Design Center of the All-Russian Museum of Decorative Arts. “But we have embarked on the journey that our colleagues from the world’s largest museums of decorative arts and design have already completed: the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, as well as museums in Austria, Germany, the U.S. and other countries. Every one of them started their design collections at some point. And for us this is a very logical step, because the collection of our museum already has real gems of the XX century design,” she adds with conviction.

Within the framework of this project, we are starting a discussion with the museum’s visitors and experts, dwelling on a number of topical issues. What things can be considered significant and landmark for the history of Russian design? What ideas of the past inspire designers today and what works are worthy of becoming part of the museum’s collection?

The exhibition will feature works of more than forty contemporary authors and, likewise, over forty famous designers of the last century. In particular, museum patrons will see a unique series of 25 reconstructions of significant Russian design projects of the XX century that have not survived to this day, carried out with the support of the Presidential Grant Foundation. Among the works presented at the exhibition will be projects by El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, Gustav Klutsis, Nikolay Suetin, Abram Damsky, Evgeny Bogdanov, Alexander Ermolaev, Dmitry Azrikan, as well as iconic works of contemporary designers Boris Berlin, Constantin Boym, Elena Kitaeva, Vadim Kibardin, Dima Loginov, Maria Kazakova (Jahnkoy), Ilia Potemine, Max Kasymov, NinaDonis, Victoria Andriyanova, Sergey Smirnov, NotAnotherOne, and others.

“The project showcases new facets of the abundant heritage of Russian design. During its preparation, a lot of materials were collected, so this is not the end yet!” says Alena Sokolnikova, the project curator, sharing her plans for the expansion of the exhibition. 

The project was implemented in partnership with the Russian Wine House Abrau-Durso, the Foundation for the Development of the All-Russian Museum of Decorative Art and for the Support of Creative Initiatives, the Manders wall decor store chain, the Maotai company, private individuals Dmitry Chepenko and Olga Mironova.