Amphibious Trilogies

Lore, passage, change

Founded in 1837, the Arkhangelsk Regional Lore Museum houses a comprehensive collection of historical material and exhibits. The main brochure list 265 000 exhibits and presents the main thematics of the venue, less though its 20th century content. A video (in Russian) rich in detail provides a detailed journey through the institution, it history and content.

Located within the oldest building in the city, the Merchant Yards, displays and pieces are gathered in and across numerous galleries. These cover early settlement, living and trade, with focus on the 16th and 17th centuries. With a strong urban and maritime theme, present too are religious works from monasteries and churches, including vestments, icons and manuscripts that shine brightly in the illuminated halls on this bright sunny summer’s day.

Taking photographs is itself an amphibious experience, with reflections of elements overlaid on others, wonderful models of settlements with ships flying above their representations of land.

Ships sit in window alcoves, the carefully restored building is filled with embroidered religious gowns and painstakingly crafted panoramas of trade in movement of people and goods across the sea, delta and islands, river and passages, lakes and ponds.

The more one dwells in these multitudinous halls and displays, the more their vast shared passages that link them works as parallels between the different ‘islands’ of representations.

This is a large museum that requires a lot of movement: bodily, informationally, mediationally and mentally. The overall effect is a wide ranging yet connected assertion that this is a city that has been central to the northern passage of trade, ideas, people, goods and administrative strategy over centuries.


Click & Drag: Rotate the view.
Right Click & Drag: Pan the view.