Museums: the spirit of the place plus lighting design Newspaper "Petersburg Diary"

How can museums in the digital age maintain their uniqueness and attract new visitors without scaring away old ones? This was discussed at the international conference Lighting Design at the Hermitage's General Staff Building.

How many of us thought about why this or that picture hangs in this place? Or why do people take pictures in one hall, while the other slips instantly? And hardly anyone thought about what role light plays in all this. Meanwhile, 80% of all information a person receives is through vision, and therefore, thanks to light.


“In the life of any modern museum, light plays an important role, as it is present almost everywhere,” Elena Kalnitskaya, General Director of the Peterhof State Museum Reserve, set the tone for the discussion. She recalled that it was their museum that was one of the first to build three-dimensional models and use the possibilities of multimedia.

The course on new technologies turned out to be justified. For example, according to Elena Kalnitskaya, the cultural and historical project "Peterhof Summer Residents" in the Farm Palace of the Alexandria Park was a success. Thanks to the combination of classic museum exposition and modern design, guests could not only immerse themselves in the atmosphere of summer holidays, but also feel like happy vacationers.

No less convincing is the example of another project - "House of Playing Cards". The creators called it a "museum-performance". Virtual installations, videos, showcases with an interactive lighting system, exhibits coming to life, and even the “August gamblers”, where one of the roles is played by the People’s Artist of Russia Ksenia Rappoport, have done their job.

“I confess to you that in two months the attendance of the museum has grown significantly. But word of mouth has become our advertising. Everyone who came told about him to his friends. We want to continue the idea already in Oranienbaum,” said Elena Kalnitskaya.


Ekaterina Balakhnina, the museum's leading lighting manager, calls the rebranding of the Soviet Stairs, the main entrance to the building of the Old Hermitage, the most striking project of the year in the Hermitage. This object did not enjoy special attention of tourists, so the museum staff decided to change the situation. They modernized the lamps and provided them with modern light sources, while maintaining all the uniqueness of historical interiors. “Now the Soviet staircase has ceased to perform only utilitarian functions. People linger on it, take pictures, ”said Ekaterina Balakhnina.

Other innovative projects include the creation of virtual models of statues and the VR film The Hermitage. Dive into history. You can make a virtual journey into the past of the Hermitage with the help of a guide - Konstantin Khabensky, who will introduce you to Catherine the Great and Nicholas the First, take you to the museum's storerooms and, by the power of magic, will allow you to fly over the Hermitage.

“It has always been very important for us to make people admire the objects they see,” emphasized Alexei Bogdanov, Deputy Director of the Hermitage.


New technologies are radically changing the life of small museums as well. Lidia Adair, senior researcher at the Museum-Apartment of N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, admitted with what trepidation they took up the modernization of the historical exposition. “We had to fit the new multimedia equipment in such a way that it would not be discordant with the original objects and interiors,” she explained.

As a result, the apartment on Zagorodny, 28, has changed dramatically. The exposition hall has become a multimedia space where guests can not only get acquainted with the life of the composer, but also listen to his works, imagine themselves as a conductor, see all the facets of music in a color kaleidoscope, and even try to compose music.

“If earlier visitors ran through our exposition in ten, maximum thirty minutes, now they cannot be kicked out even in three hours. At the same time, the price of tickets remained the same, quite democratic - 50-100 rubles, ”said Lydia Adair.


60 times - this is how much the attendance of the museum-performance "House of Playing Cards" in the State Museum Reserve "Peterhof" increased in 2 months after the creation of a virtual exposition there and the introduction of elements of a multimedia show.

Author: Marina Alekseeva

Link to the publication: https://spbdnevnik.ru/news/2019-11-06/muzei-duh-mesta-plyus-svetovoy-dizayn