Ruth Addison, art historian, previously ran a gallery in Moscow and worked for British Council in Moscow, Cairo, Manchester and London.
Your secret art venue when you seek peace and quiet
I love the New Tretyakov. Thanks to legendary collector George Costakis, it has an unparalleled collection of works by the Russian avant-garde and, for some strange reason, very few visitors. I think this must be one of the few places in the world you can be on your own with a Kandinsky or a Malevich, other than if you own one. Fortunately for the museum, and unfortunately for my secret art venue, I predict that dynamic new Tretyakov director Zelfira Tregulova will change this very soon. I think I’d better plan another visit immediately!
The best food experience in an art space
The restaurant at Tate Britain is great. It’s quite small and cosy and they don’t rush you, so you can have a proper lunch. If you’re not driving and don’t have to work in the afternoon, bear in mind that there’s a fantastic wine list! The room itself is beautiful as it’s decorated with a massive mural by Rex Whistler (1927), commissioned specially for the space.
A museum gift shop that you never leave empty handed
I rarely leave any museum shop empty-handed as I’m a compulsive book buyer. From my point of view every museum shop has something to offer. When I’m in London I always call in to the National Gallery bookshop. As well as books it has a great range of gifts based on present and past exhibitions. It’s a good place for stocking up on birthday presents.
Your museum with a wow-factor
There are some museums with wow-inducing architecture (the newly-opened Garage Museum of Contemporary Art comes to mind), but for me the wow-factor always comes from the art. I adore the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. It’s housed in an imposing imperial building and is home not only to a fabulous collection of paintings, but also to the Kunstkammer Wien, which is one of the most important collections in the world of artistic curiosities. It’s a place to get lost in and marvel at the imagination and skill of some of the world’s finest craftsmen.
Please share with us a special personal memory related to a museum experience
About ten years ago, I was lucky enough to take a tour of the Kremlin with actress Helen Mirren and her husband, film producer Taylor Hackford. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, we bumped in to Oleg Menshikov, who was filming in some restricted part of the Kremlin palace. Oleg had been a guest star in Helen’s TV detective series “Prime Suspect” but he didn’t know she was in Moscow, so they had a happy reunion in the baroque surroundings of the Kremlin and I basked in the reflected glow of their stardom.