Rare Books Collection



         The rare books department was founded in 1987. A basis of the collection, its historical part, makes the books separated out of the fund of scientific library of our museum. The major portion of them has arrived to museum from the library of the M.A. Vrubel Artistic - Industrial Technical School after its closure in 1932. The collection replenished also due to purchase of books in secondhand bookshops of Moscow, Leningrad, Omsk, from private owners. Some editions have been brought from scientific expeditions in the Omsk Region, and some were presented by people.

         The rare books collection of the M.A. Vrubel museum is historical and art monument not only Russian, but also Siberian culture as in the greater degree its structure included books which bought and kept the intelligentsia of the city of Omsk according to the owners’ notes, autographs, ex-libris, stamps, seals of private and public libraries and institutions: the Siberian Military School, the Siberian Military Grammar School, the Siberian Cossack Army, the Classical Man's Grammar School, A.S. Aleksandrov's Bookshop.

         In the fund’s collection activity of many publishing houses which released masterpieces of book art is widely represented: Academia, Aquilon, Brockhaus and Ephron, R. Golike and A.Wilborg, A.F. Devrien, I. Knebel, A.A. Plushar, Petropolis, Dispatch of Preparation of the State Papers, etc.

         Of the prayer books a special interest causes the Apocalypse created in 1841. Its magnificent color miniatures and initials show a sample of artistic decorating of the hand-written book.

         Russian and foreign editions of the 18th – 20th centuries are represented in the rare books department in a significant part by books on Russian and modern art, including illustrated ones. Among not numerous foreign editions there are some unique books. For example “Recueil D'Estampes Gravees D'Apres Les Tableaux Du Cabinet De Monseigneur le Duc de Choiseul/Par les foins du S. Basan,” published in Paris in 1771. Each page of this book is an original work of graphic art - engraving on copper.

         The illustrated books collection gives an evident idea about a history of development of the book graphics and art of the book in its best samples. To the medalist art is dedicated an edition published in Saint Petersburg in 1838, it shows Fyodor Tolstoy's medallions in memory of military events of 1812-1815 reproduced in technique of engraving on steel. The book is unique, as it was the first successful experience of engraving of the relief forms, creating illusion of a convex medallion. A vivid example of the realistic illustrated book and one of the best editions of the 1840s is “The Tarantass or Traveling Impressions” by V. Sollogub. A great skill distinguishes the illustrations by A.A. Agin who worked with engraver E.E. Bernardsy.

         The Russian books of second half of the 19th century is represented by illustrated catalogues, directories, dictionaries, practical manuals, landscape albums and monographs. In technique of phototypy are executed illustrations - unique drawings of academician P.P. Sokolov - in an album to the novel “Eugeny Onegin” by A.S. Pushkin which was issued in 1892 by publishing house V.G. Gaultier.

         Sufficiently full is reflected in the collection a period of brilliant flowering of art of the book - the end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th centuries. First of all, it’s the editions illustrated by the artists of the World of Art Association: “ The Copper Horseman” by Pushkin with illustrations by A. Benois, “Khadzhy Murat” by L. Tolstoy decorated by E. Lansere, “Paris on the Eve of the War in monotypies by E.S. Kruglikova,” A. Benois’ “Tsarskoe Selo”.

         The considerable section in the collection is allocated to the editions published in the first decades after the revolution. First of all, it’s the books of mass demand printed on a cheap paper, but illustrated by the big masters.

         In 1934 publishing company Academia issues a monument of the Old Russian literature “The Song of Igor's Campaign” with illustrations by the artist from Palekh I. Golikov which became a sample of art editions of that time, Golden book of Palekh.

         Rather valuable and claimed part of the fund is made by magazines on art: “World of Art,” “Art and the Art Industry,” “Old Years,” “The Golden Fleece,” "Apollo," "Sofia," “The Firebird," which played a huge role in development of the Russian culture and included the whole galaxy of known names of the literary and art world.