1911, Novgorod, 15th
By virtue of his being President of the Academy of Arts in the era when Johann Winckelmann’s ideas were giving archeology direction, Olenin can be credited with teaching Russia’s first courses in it. Personal friends with Alexei Uvarov’s father, Sergei, Olenin enjoyed the classical education of the men of his social standing. Moreover, he was one of the first directors of Publichka.
A. I. Musin-Pushkin was quite simply Imperial Russia’s premier antiquarian. Nikolai Karamzin depended upon his manuscript collection to write his canonical 12-volume “History of Russia.” Musin-Pushkin is also credited with the “discovery,” which essentially means “making public information about” essential primary sources: the Tmutarakan Stone, the earliest example of Russian epigraphy; “The Lay of the Igor Campaign,” a foundational bylina, or epic poem; and the Laurentian Codex of Russia’s Primary Chronicle. He served as both Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, 1791-97, and President of the Academy of Arts, 1794-97. A significant portion of his library fell victim to the burning of Moscow in 1812, during the Napoleonic Wars.