The Global Mobilities of Russian Museums: The State Russian Museum Goes to Málaga
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Museums are establishing foreign branches and satellite museums abroad, illustrating a growing trend among both public and private museums. Guggenheim, Louvre, Centre Pompidou, The State Hermitage Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum are a few of the cultural institutions that have presence abroad in the form of physical exhibition sites. In addition to creating permanent venues in foreign countries, many museums also cooperate internationally through temporary circulating exhibitions that engage expert exchanges and diplomatic relations. This article frames the discussion about the role of art museums as practitioners and actors of international cultural diplomacy and cultural relations. It delves into the interplay between the state actors and non-state actors that are involved in the museums’ trajectories, further extending the understanding of constituent and influential actors in international relations. In particular, the focus is on the State Russian Museum’s first foreign branch that was opened in Málaga, Spain in March 2015. First, the paper identifies the key actors, who contributed to the project, paying attention to both the state actors and non-state actors. Second, the paper reviews the purpose of establishing the museum in Málaga in the context of the interests of each of the selected actors. The paper concludes with a brief discussion on how the analysis of foreign branches and satellite museums could be deepened and what methodological instruments would be beneficial for further research.
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