Exhibition: How Moscow Got Moving
18 April – 31 May 2015 – Museum of Moscow
The Museum of Moscow is a regular subject for our blog, because it keeps putting on new, interesting and thoughtful exhibitions. The place somehow manages to preserve its own ‘house style’ across widely divergent subjects. That style is one of historically accurate, intellectually sound modesty – where most museums would make a noise, this one talks gently – whilst the more famous galleries make their points with an impact, this one touches the arm of the visitor with a gesture of suggestion. So it is with the current exhibition, ‘How Moscow Got Moving’. It is relaxing, informative and familiar.
The curator has produced a short ride through the long and fascinating history of the development of the most diverse public transport system in the world. No other city uses so many different ways of getting from A to B or, as they do here, A to Я. Moscow has taxis, buses, trolley buses, trams, a monorail, electric trains and famously, the most impressive metro system anywhere.
The speed of development of the city itself is phenominal, and somehow the transportation provision seems to keep pace with this ever-expanding megapolis. The statistics speak for themselves: The population of the city grew during the first 10 years of the USSR from 1.3 to 2.7 million – more than doubling. In 1980 there were 2.5 million metro rides per day – now it’s 10 million – a fourfold increase in just 35 years.
It would have been good to see some more interactive exhibits on display – the archways in the supporting wall that bisects the gallery look absolutely perfect for a ‘metro driver’s view’ of a journey through the tunnels, providing something really unforgettable – but perhaps I ask too much – that sort of thing is probably the preserve of the Museum of Transport, whilst the Museum of Moscow concentrates in documenting and displaying not only on the infrastructure but also the lives of its citizens. In this respect, this exhibition is a success.
Zubovski Bulvar, 2 – Building 1
Park Kultury Metro