hermitage museum foundation

Hermitage 20/21 Project


A determined campaign to bring contemporary art and its admirers into the Hermitage Museum is spearheaded by the new “Hermitage 20/21” project. Rooms of 20th- and 21st-century art will be a feature of the new museum wing in the magnificent General Staff Building, which faces the Winter Palace across Palace Square. Its reconstruction is to be completed in 2014 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the museum’s foundation. The renovated rooms will be used not only to display paintings, sculptures and graphic works but also for installations, performances and film showing.

During the last years the State Hermitage systematically arranges exhibitions of contemporary Western European art. The aim of the “Hermitage 20/21” project is to make contemporary art accessible to all, closer to ordinary people, provoking in them positive emotions – in other words, to attract a new generation of St Petersburgers and guests of the city into the museum. Temporary exhibitions of works by contemporary artists as well as displays of 20th-century art of long duration have become part of a single long-term program.

The “Hermitage 20/21” project is to open a new important stage in the collecting activity of the museum. Within the framework of the project the replenishment of contemporary art will be continued. The museum already owns the works of some of the great artists of the 20th century – Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Malevich, Louise Bourgeois and Ilya Kabakov – but it does not have a representative collection of art of the second half of the 20th to the early 21st century. However, its exceptional position as a universal museum of international art gives it more scope than any other to bridge this gap.

Being one of the oldest museums in the world, the Hermitage deals with the history of the world culture, preserving and displaying its outstanding samples. Contemporary art, the history of which is being created today, will be studied in terms of philosophy. Within the “Hermitage 20/21” project we hope to develop a new philosophical approach to understanding art. The success of this approach will require the accurate identification of what is important in the new art and total flexibility over the manner in which it is presented to the public.

The State Hermitage is open for collaboration with collectors and artists who would like to support the “Hermitage 20/21” project with their works, as well as with individuals, companies and foundations that desire to help make this campaign a success. To realize this project a working group has been created in the museum headed by Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage. Dr. Dmitry Ozerkov, senior researcher of the Department of Western European art, was appointed a curator of exhibitions of contemporary art. The project is financed by the museum itself, its sponsors and through the assistance of the UK Friends of the Hermitage and the Hermitage Museum Foundation. HMF’s recent donation of 16 photographs, representing the work of several leading Soviet Russian photographers from the 1920s to the end of the Second World War to the State Hermitage is a contribution to the “20/21” Project.

The HMF is also focusing on helping the State Hermitage Museum obtain American contemporary art.

Among the many fine American artists the Museum would like represented are the following:

Louise Bourgeois
Alexander Calder
John Chamberlain
Willem de Kooning
Walter De Maria
Eva Hesse
Jasper Johns
Donald Judd
Franz Kline
Jeff Koons
Lee Krasner
Sol LeWitt
Roy Lichtenstein
Agnes Martin
Barnett Newman
Jackson Pollock
Richard Prince
Robert Rauschenberg
Jim Rosenquist
Mark Rothko
David Salle
David Smith
Frank Stella
Clyfford Still
Cy Twombly 
Andy Warhol


Join us in preserving and promoting one of the most important cultural treasures in the world by joining the Hermitage Museum Foundation. All donations are tax deductible under US law.

You can easily make a direct donation in the amount of your choosing.