EUSP and the Hermitage open the School of Arts and Cultural Heritage and announce enrollment for the program “The Modern Museum”

School of Arts and Cultural Heritage
Press release

The European University at St. Petersburg and the State Hermitage Museum open the School of Arts and Cultural Heritage. The school will combine master's degrees in the history of art and philology, as well as a professional retraining program "The Modern Museum: Management Methods, Practices of Cultural Interpretation". The aim of the School is to form a new generation of scholars and practitioners capable of preserving the values of art and cultural heritage in the new technological environment of the twenty-first century. Applications for the program “The Modern Museum” will be accepted through September 30. The program itself will start on October 14, 2022.

The School was created on the basis of the Faculty of Art History, which became part of it. Students of the School receive foundational and current knowledge in art history, museum management and curation. They also study the modern technological environment and develop skills for collaboration with specialists in other fields of knowledge, primarily in the natural sciences and computer science. The training includes lectures, seminars and hands-on work in the exhibition halls and repositories of the State Hermitage museum and other museums in St. Petersburg. Students have the opportunity to work with the Hermitage collections together with the museum's researchers.

The School offers the following MA programs: "Languages of Art in Culture: Problems of Interaction" and "Word and Image: Literature among the Other Arts", postgraduate studies "The Theory and History of Culture and Art" and a one-year continuing education program called "The Modern Museum", which in 2023/24 will be launched as a master's degree program.

The President of the School of Arts and Cultural Heritage is Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage Museum. The organizing director is Lia Chechik, Ph.D. (Art History). The teaching staff of the School include leading specialists of the European University and the State Hermitage. Among them are: the historian of architecture and Associate Professor of the European University Vadim Bass, Ph.D. (Art History); European University Associate Professor Arkady Blumbaum, Ph.D. (Philology); Roman Grigoriev, Ph.D. (Art History), a Research Fellow at the State Hermitage Museum and curator of Dutch, Dutch and Flemish engravings of the 16th-18th centuries; European University Associate Professor and "Kommersant" publishing house columnist Kira Dolinina; Ilya Doronchenkov, Ph.D. (Art History), Deputy Director for Science of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and European University Professor; Alexey Larionov, Ph.D. (Art History), European University Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the State Hermitage Museum and curator of drawings of the Northern Schools of the 15th-18th Centuries; Oleg Lashmanov, Ph.D. (Technical Sciences),  Scientific Director of the European University Laboratory "Art and Artificial Intelligence"; Professor Natalia Mazur, Ph.D. (Philology), European University First Vice-Rector;  Marina Schultz Deputy Head of the Hermitage’s Department of Contemporary Art, and others. Guest lecturers at the School include: the art director Ksenia Diodorova; Lidia Lobanova, director of the Museum of Cryptography; Maria Sarycheva, head of the Department of Accessibility and Inclusion of the State Tretyakov Gallery; Danila Stratovich, publisher, art manager and co-founder of the magazine and website "Artguide"; Vasily Uspensky,  a researcher at the Hermitage’s Department of Engravings, and others...

New educational program of professional retraining in the field of museum management

Applications for the School’s professional retraining program "The Modern Museum: Methods of Management, Practices of Interpretation of Culture", are being accepted through September 30, 2022. This is the first educational retraining program in Russia in the field of museum management of this kind. It is intended for museum workers, curators, culturologists, art historians and other specialists who want to expand and systematize their knowledge to better address problems in the field of modern museum management.

The program lasts nine months. The full course includes 6 modules, each of which can be completed separately: "Storage", "Research", "Interpretation", "Representation", "Management", and "Participation". The program explores such museum issues as forming a museum collection, how to convey information to different audiences, designing museum space, fundraising, work with communities, as well as technological aspects such as artificial intelligence and machine learning  in the creation of museum projects.

The modules of the program consist of full-time intensive, classroom work with a teacher at the university or online, and preparation and defense of a project. Students go through six stages of project work in teams, developing a strategy, solution or concept within the framework of cases or briefs from the program’s partner museums. At the end of the program, students complete a final personal project. Among the training formats are discussions and presentations of real cases, round tables and discussions, study tours and introductions to various institutions and specialists.

The training takes place at the European University and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. A hybrid training format is possible with intensive offline sessions in St. Petersburg and online attendance at classes.


The synergy of science and art

Within the framework of the School, there are two scientific and technical research laboratories set up to establish productive interaction between scholars from technological fields and museum specialists.

The Laboratory "Art and Artificial Intelligence" is a research and educational cluster that brings together specialists in artificial intelligence, computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning. Laboratory staff develop new technological tools and programs for studying works of art and objects of material culture, and for addressing other museum-related issues. The scientific director of the laboratory is Oleg Lashmanov, Ph.D. (Technical Sciences).

The Paleogenomics Research Laboratory trains museum specialists to be able pursue research using biological samples applying approaches from the natural sciences. Laboratory staff work with DNA samples extracted from anthropological material and tissues of extinct animals and plants. The first projects of the laboratory are based on the analysis of biological remains from the Hermitage Museum’s archaeological collections. The laboratory is also developing new methods of bioinformatic data analysis obtained from genomes decoding. The academic supervisor of the laboratory is Artem Nedoluzhko, Ph.D. (Biology).

The School of Arts and Cultural Heritage also cooperates with the innovative companies Yandex, Genotech, Grotex and Braingarden.  This provides for an expanding interdisciplinary approach to the research of material and cultural heritage and facilitates finding solutions to practical problems in the field of museum affairs and art management.

The School of Arts and Cultural Heritage will be at the Cosmoscow Fair at the Hermitage Museum stand, this year’s "Museum of the Year". The stand will include a presentation of the project with showcases, lightboxes, videos and interactive panels.  This will allow visitors to immerse themselves in specific research of museum experts, art history specialists and specialists in artificial intelligence, machine learning, bioinformatics and paleogenetics. The results of the work of the two institutions, collected in book-length monographs, will also be available there


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