The Museum of Russian Art

Coordinates: 44°54′12″N 93°16′33″W / 44.90333°N 93.27583°W / 44.90333; -93.27583
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The Museum of Russian Art
The Museum of Russian Art
The Museum of Russian Art
Established2005; 19 years ago (2005)
LocationMinneapolis, Minnesota
Coordinates44°54′12″N 93°16′33″W / 44.90333°N 93.27583°W / 44.90333; -93.27583
TypeRussian Art Museum
CollectionsRussian Realist Art Soviet Era Art Soviet Non-Conformist Art Christmas/New Years Ornaments Matryoshka Nesting Dolls
Visitors36,285 (2017)
DirectorMark J. Meister
CuratorMaria Zavialova, Ph.D.
Nearest car parkFree public lot

The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA), a nonprofit museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, is the only major institution in North America devoted entirely to Russian art and culture from the entire scope of Russia's history.[1][2] The Museum was founded by prominent art collectors Raymond and Susan Johnson, owners of the largest collection of Russian Realist paintings outside the borders of the former Soviet Union.[3] TMORA was incorporated as a nonprofit in 2002 and opened at its present location in 2005. The museum shows 8-10 exhibitions per year, and hosts over 50 annual events ranging from notable lecturers to classical concerts to theatrical readings.[4] TMORA is open daily, located between Downtown Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Saint Paul Airport.[5]


Founding (1991-2005)[edit]

Raymond and Susan Johnson held the first retail exhibition of Russian Realist Art in North America in 1991. The largest collectors of Soviet-era paintings outside the former USSR, the Johnsons showed their work privately until envisioning a public museum in 2002. It commenced exhibition activities open to the public in 2002, initially in loaned space in a corporate office park located in Bloomington, Minnesota. The organization initially showcased Russian Realist-style paintings from the late 19th century as well as from the Soviet era (1917–1991). Ray Johnson was appointed an Honorary Consul for the Russian Federation in 2003, and in recognition of their respective contributions "to international cultural diversity and education," both Johnson (2005) and TMORA's first Director Bradford Shinkle (2009) were awarded Russia's Order of Friendship Medal, the highest civilian honor accorded to non-Russian citizens.[3]

In 2005, TMORA acquired and thoroughly remodeled the former Mayflower Church in south Minneapolis, a 75-year-old building that previously served as a Congregational church and funeral home. The building received special recognition for adaptive reuse from the Minnesota Heritage Preservation Commission, and opened to the public in 2007. TMORA now operates a state-of-the-art exhibition facility that includes 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) of display galleries and administrative offices.

TMORA: an American Museum of Russian Art (2005-current)[edit]

The Museum of Russian Art: Main and Mezzanine Galleries
Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the museum replaced their sign with the Flag of Ukraine[6]

The renovated gallery space has been host to over 70 exhibitions from Masterpieces of Soviet Era Painting,[7] to historical topics like World War I[8] and the Siege of Leningrad[9] and Russian art forms such as Faberge,[10] Lacquer Boxes, Nesting Dolls,[11] and Ornaments.[12] TMORA also presents shows by living artists, such as Leon Hushcha[13] (a Minnesotan artist of Ukrainian descent) and Canadian-Armenian artist Garen Bedrossian.[14]

TMORA has established international relationships with numerous Russian cultural organizations and museums including Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russian Embassy in the United States - Washington D.C., the Russian Cultural Center, the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), State Museum of Yaroslaval (Yaroslaval). The museum works with both private collectors as well as institutions throughout the United States; the mutual cultural embargo established between Russia and the United States in 2010 currently prevents collections from state institutions in Russia to travel to the United States.[15]

In addition to its exhibition calendar, TMORA hosts a variety of events throughout the year including concerts, lectures, theater, dance, artist talks, and book clubs.[16]

In April 2022, a late night break-in occurred and a donation box of cash was stolen. No other theft was reported.[17]


  1. ^ "Don't Miss These Artful Summer Outings". Twin Cities Business. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  2. ^ "Museum of Russian Art Director Vladimir von Tsurikov announces departure". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  3. ^ a b "What is the Russian Order of Friendship, and why does Rex Tillerson have one?". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  4. ^ Staff, MPR News. "How Russia's history informs its present and future". Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  5. ^ "Visit". 18 September 2015.
  6. ^ Massey, Michelle (February 25, 2022). "TMORA Stands with Ukraine". The Museum of Russian Art. Retrieved 19 April 2024.
  7. ^ "Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis showcases masterpieces of Soviet-era painting". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  8. ^ "Museum of Russian Art shines a light on the tragic 'Faces' of World War I". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  9. ^ RBTH (2017-02-20). "An exhibition in Minnesota tells Americans about the Siege of Leningrad". Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  10. ^ "Double feature". Southwest Journal. 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  11. ^ "5 Of The Best Museums In Minneapolis". 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  12. ^ "Russian holiday decorations on exhibit at Museum of Russian Art | MinnPost". 21 December 2016. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  13. ^ "Work that shimmers with water and glitter reflects Minneapolis artist's complex story". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  14. ^ "Inside the Beehive: Art of Garen Bedrossian". The Museum of Russian Art. 2018-04-30. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  15. ^ "Minnesota, Russia create a way to skirt Russian arts embargo". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  16. ^ "Can't play outside, can't stay in? Amuse yourself at a museum". Twin Cities. 2018-04-05. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  17. ^ Omastiak, Rebecca (April 7, 2022). "Cash from Museum of Russian Art stolen during break-in". KSTP Eyewitness News. Retrieved 19 April 2024.

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