The sumptuous building of the Academy of Art and Design, designed by its first rector Maximilian Messmacher and inaugurated in 1876, is one of St. Petersburg’s hidden treasures. The school was founded with the help of renowned Russian entrepreneur and arts patron Alexander Stieglitz, and its museum still bears his name. Originally created for teaching purposes, the Stieglitz Academy of Art and Design has eventually grown to house a remarkable collection of ceramics, porcelain, glasswork, textiles and handmade furniture. Many of the artefacts were made by the school’s students and graduates. The museum is no less renowned for its interiors. Its halls offer a striking contrast of influences; some of them were inspired by the Italian Renaissance palaces, while others echo traditional Russian terem halls.
Only guided visits are allowed. Russian language group tours take place Tuesday to Sunday and start at 1pm and 3pm. English language tours are also available and must be booked in advance.