The Russian State Museum of Oriental Art was established 81 years ago as a combination of private collections (Prokhara, Ostroukhov, Faberge) related to the Far East and Middle Asia. The first exhibition opened in 1919.
At present the Museum holds 150,000 pieces: paintings, graphics, sculpture, and handicrafts from more than 100 countries. There are fine examples of art collected during expeditions to the Caucasus (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia), Middle Asia (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kirgizia), Chukotka, etc. The Museum also collects art pieces from China, Japan, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, and Thailand. Some of these pieces represent unique ancient and medieval Buddhist culture, classical and modern painting (including pictures on silk), lacquer boxes, textile and jewelery articles, carving, miniature sculpture like "netske" and "okimono", weapons, metal things, household utensils, etc.
Recently an exhibition of famous painters and philosophers Nikolay and Svyatoslav Rerikh has opened. The Museum also publishes brochures, catalogs, books, etc., and promotes the study of eastern culture through the Club of Young Oriental Researchers, which is attached to the Museum. The Museum of Oriental Art itself has the status of a scientific center.