The museum was founded in 1895 by imperial decree of Tsar Nicholas II. Initially, he instructed that it be called the Russian Museum of Emperor Alexander III, in honour of his late father. The main building is the Mikhailovsky Palace in central St. Petersburg, but the vast museum complex comprises several other palaces and buildings in the city, as well as the Mikhailovsky and Summer gardens.
The collection initially consisted of paintings transferred from the Winter, Gatchina and Alexander Palaces, from the Hermitage and the Academy of Arts, as well as from private collections donated to the museum. After the 1917 Revolution, many newly nationalized artworks were moved here. Today, its depositary contains more than 400,000 pieces, ranging from ancient Russian icons and avant-garde to socialist realism and modern art
Member since July 27, 2022
I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.
Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.
Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A pack of cards depicting characters from the famous play "The Wedding of Krechinsky" by Sukhovo-Kob...
Scenic Tarock deck produced by Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), Suisse.
‘Branle’ playing cards inspired by a 12th-century dance, produced by Noir Arts, USA, 2015.
American President Lines shipping souvenir playing cards, early to mid-1950s.
Official souvenir pack showing 52 coloured exhibits from the New York World’s Fair, 1964-6.
‘Century of Progress’ Exposition playing cards produced by Western Playing Card Company, USA, 1933. ...
Multicoloured Belgian/Genoese pattern cards, probably printed by Fournier for Lebanon.
New York City souvenir playing cards with 53 different views of interest, USA, 1915.
Nation’s capital souvenir playing cards published by the United States Playing Card Company, USA, 19...
Kyoto Souvenir playing cards by Nintendo aimed at the up and coming tourist industry, 1950s.
A celebration of some of Ireland’s most famous patriots, politicians and poets.
Calendar events and visitor attractions to be found in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
Alaska scenic playing cards featuring scenes of Alaskan life, USA, c. 1960.
Presidential playing cards with portraits from Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, USA.
Bold designs by Jacques Auriac representing people and enterprises for which the town of Issy-les-Mo...
‘Amusements and Attractions’ playing cards showing the fun and excitement of America’s amusement par...
Pack devised by Volker Scheub depicting characters associated with the city of Tübingen.
Theatre of Pain / Teatr boli playing cards depicting politicians and leaders in the Caucasus territo...
Famous people and places of the Somme department in northern France, with designs by James Hodges.
Museo del Prado: Pintores y familias reales / Painters and royal families playing cards.
Ases de la pintura / Masters of painting playing cards made by Naipes Comas, Spain, c.1990.
Soviet and other Communist celebrities depicted on every card, designed by Vladislav Pankevitch.
Art Genius playing cards with illustrations by Rebecca Clarke and published by Laurence King Publish...