The Academy is an interesting example of city homestead building of the beginning of the XIX century and of the architecture of the period called “eclectical”.
The main building had been erected by the 1770s. And the city homestead had been formed by 1811. Its then owner and the future hero of the Patriotic war of 1812 major-general A. A. Tuchkov expanded the main house and built office premises in the court. The rest of the annexes appeared much later. The mansion got its modern appearance in 1870-1871, when it was completely rebuilt by a famous Moscow architect A. S. Kaminsky according to Rastrelly’s variant of neo-baroque. The architect enlarged the house, having preserved the main structure of the facade. He decorated it with beautiful stucco moulding, half-windows, a parapet with vases over the crowning cornice.
The main rooms were perfected in the same style, though the original layout of the building with its vaulted rooms of the first and second floors had been preserved. In 1899 the homestead passed into the hands of a well-known Moscow collector and manufacturer I. A. Morozov (who founded the famous collection of the West-European paintings and mainly French sculptures of the second half of the XIX century).
In order to place his enormous collection Morozov charged a famous master of Moscow modern style L. N. Kekushev with the task to eliminate all unnecessary decoration from the halls so as to give them “museum severity”.
In 1904-1906 the interiors of the mansion were redecorated in the neo-classical style. The only thing left from the former decorations was the Oak Hall. In 1908 the concert hall and the main staircase were adorned with ordered ornamental panels created by M. Denni and sculptures (by A. Maiol and P. Bonnar) which are now in the GMII collection. The building began to be called Morozov’s Gallery. After the collections had been nationalized, the Second Museum of modern Western painting was opened there in 1919.
In 1923 it merged with the First Museum of modern Western painting, which was formed on the basis of S. I. Shukin’s nationalized collection and was opened in 1918. The new-organized museum was called State Museum of modern Western Art.
Beginning with 1925 a branch of the Museum of the Fine Arts was located in the building. In 1948 the museum was eliminated and its funds were distributed between the Hermitage and Moscow Museum of the Fine Arts named after A. S. Pushkin.
The building was passed on first to the Academy of Arts of the USSR and then the Russian Academy of Arts. The Academy was created in 1947 and in 1992 it was reorganized into the Russian Academy of Arts. The stone two-storied dwelling-annex, located at the back of the court, is of great interest. It preserved its XIX century appearance: embossed first floor, elevated second floor, a jutted out cornice, a pediment over the central risalita and vaulted basements.
At the end of the XX century the inner court of the complex was covered with a glass vault. This fine decision gave a splendid opportunity to use that space as an extra show-room.
Address: 21, Prechistenka St., Moscow