The St. Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy named after A. L. Stieglitz is one of the most famous creative universities in Russia.
The history of the academy as an art school is rooted in the second half of the 19th century, in the era of rapid development of Russian industry, which, striving to make its products competitive in the world market, posed the problem of preparing artists for production.
January 9, 1876 with funds donated by Baron A. L. Stieglitz (1814-1884), the Central School of Technical Drawing was founded. The school was created by analogy with the art-industrial educational institutions of developed countries of Western Europe: England, Austria, Germany, the goal, objectives and principles of instruction, which were largely determined by the reform concept of art-industrial education, by the German architect and art critic G. Zemper. The programs of these educational institutions represented a synthesis of art and technical disciplines and were based on the practical experience of past eras.
Students of TSUTR of Baron A.L. Stieglitz mastered not only the artistic craft, but received a versatile education. The history of the school before the revolution is the intensive formation of the school, when new classes of majolica, woodcut and porcelain were opened, the library and museum were replenished.
In 1917, the Central School of Technical Drawing of Baron A.L. Stieglitz was transformed into the Higher School of Decorative Arts.
After the revolution in October 1918, the Higher School of Decorative Arts was reorganized into the State Free Art Training Studios; in 1920, the State free art training workshops were renamed the State labor training workshops of decorative arts; in 1922, training sessions were discontinued - the State labor training workshops of decorative arts combined with the former Academy of Arts in the Higher Art Technical Workshops (VKHUTEMAS). In the premises at Solyanoy per., 13 located the Faculty of Printing and workshops VKhUTEMASa. The institution lasted until 1925.
On the basis of the order of the People's Commissariat of the Communal Services of the RSFSR dated 02.02.1936, No. 38, the School of Finishing Artists was organized at the Leningrad Institute of Public Utilities Engineers, to which the building of the former Central School of Technical Drawing of Baron A.L.Stieglitz was transferred.
Today SPbGHPA in the name of A. L. Stieglitz is one of the leading schools in the country for the training of highly qualified specialists in the field of design, applied and monumental art, with powerful artistic traditions, the highest professionalism, and European fame.
The pride of the Academy and the world-famous landmark of St. Petersburg is the Museum of Applied Art in Solyaniy Lane.
The history of the Museum began with the opening in St. Petersburg in January 1876 at the expense of the Russian philanthropist A.L. Stieglitz advanced for Russia at the end of the XIX century school of technical drawing. The director of the school and the architect of the museum building, built in 1885-1896, was the famous St. Petersburg architect Maximillian Mesmakher. The museum opened on May 12, 1896 in the presence of Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fedorovna.
The museum building is a unique architectural monument of the period of historicism. In its appearance, the features of some famous works of Italian architecture of the 16th century are guessed. Mesmacher not only borrowed individual compositional techniques and decorative elements of famous buildings, but creatively rethought their forms, filling them with new content and creating a generalized image of Italian Renaissance architecture.
Today, the museum has about thirty thousand objects of applied art from antiquity to the present day. This is an extensive collection of Western European porcelain and oriental ceramics, furniture of the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, a collection of Russian tiled stoves of the eighteenth century, art metal and fabrics, as well as the best student work over the past half century, reflecting all areas of Soviet decorative and applied art.
The decoration of thirty-two museum halls reflected almost all historical eras and styles. In the fourteen rooms located on the ground floor, you can see more than 1300 works of decorative and applied art and crafts from the 9th century BC. until the beginning of the twentieth century.
An exhibition of Dutch and French cabinets of the 16th-19th centuries has been launched in the Italian gallery; Italian and Spanish majolica, French and English faience, German “steinguts” (products from clay-stone masses) and “jasper masses” by J. Wedgwood, Meissen and Berlin porcelain.