The Samoilov Family Museum was opened in St.Petersburg on January 28, 1994. The museum is a tribute to His Majesty Actor whose private life is closely connected with his creative work.
For eighteen years (1869-1887) the second floor of #8 on Stremiannaya Ul. was occupied by the famous actor of Alexandrinsky Theatre Vassily Vassilievich Samoilov (1812-1887). He was the most gifted representative of the Samoilov dynasty, many members of which were well-known theatre people.
By the time of the creation of the museum the former Samoilov's apartment, which had been turned into a shared flat, happened to be included in the complex of a five-star hotel which was being built there. As a result of thorough restoration and construction work, fulfilled by the joint venture, and due to the scrupulous research, preceding the organization of the museum, the museum with an inimitable atmosphere and a very interesting exhibition appeared.
Two of the halls are fully devoted to the history of the Samoilov family. Here there are portraits of the three generations of the dynasty, their personal belongings, furniture, paintings, expertly made by V.V.Samoilov himself.
A large portrait hall narrates the story of the artistic surrounding of the family, the history of the Imperial Theatres in St.Petersburg of the 19 - early 20th cc. Besides the portraits here there are articles connected with the theatrical life of the 19th century, personal belongings of the brilliant actors of Alexandrinsky Theatre.
A small concert hall revives the musical traditions of the Samoilov house, where regular musical soirees were held. Among the guests there were A.Dargomyzhsky, A.Rubinstein, L.Auer. Nowadays chamber music concerts and other events take place here.
In 2001 we opened here an exhibition dedicated to the characters and events of the Russian ballet theatre from old days into present. Among the umpteen titles, gained by St.Petersburg during its glorious history, "the capital of Russian ballet" remains one of the most important. It was out city that gave the world greatest dancers of the 20 c.: Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Galina Ulanova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev… Our exhibition gives a unique chance to meet these outstanding masters. Here one may see genuine costume and set designs by Leon Bakst and Alexander Benois, unique photos and posters, costumes and personal belongings of the dancers, preserving the memory of Marius Petipa's legendary productions, gems of Diaghilev seasons and celebrated first nights of the Soviet period