Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Russian-guest artist Toma Vagner, celebrates the State Historical Museum, one of the most important repositories of the nation’s centuries-long culture and history. Established in Moscow 150 years ago today with the mission of both commemorating Russian history and archiving its cultural development, the storied museum holds artifacts from antiquity to the start of the 20th century.
The museum’s 39 halls include relics such as an excavated longboat; Scythian gold artifacts; glass and ceramic masterpieces; belongings of Tsars such as Ivan IV the Terrible and Peter I; and the birch bark manuscripts of Novgorod, Russia’s first city. In total, there are an estimated 4.5 million pieces of Russian history and culture showcased in various themed exhibitions, including the largest collections of coins in Russia. A comprehensive genealogical tree of Russian rulers, accompanied by their portraits, is one of the museum’s centerpieces.
From 1986 to 1997, the giant crimson museum was restored, allowing visitors a glimpse into the building’s former grandeur of the late 1800s. Its permanent collection includes rare artifacts found nowhere else in Russia such as maps, iconography, engravings, early printed books, ancient textiles, and masterful works of art—all of which tell the nation’s story to each guest who walks its halls.
Happy 150th Anniversary, State Historical Museum!
Today’s Doodle was illustrated by Russian-guest artist Toma Vagner. Below, she shares her thoughts behind the making of this Doodle:
Q. Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: The State Historical Museum is the biggest historical museum in Russia, where I was born and grew up.
Q. What were your first thoughts when you were approached about working on this Doodle?
A: I was super excited to finally work with Google and my art director Erich on this project. The topic hit close to home.
Q. Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: I drew inspiration from the museum architecture with its symbolic red facade and white spires. “Google” lettering is based on Old Church Slavic scriptures and manuscripts.
Q. What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: I would like my Doodle to serve as a reminder of this beautiful place, of its majesty and the vast collection it contains. I hope to induce others to visit Moscow, the museum, and learn about Russian history in person.
Early drafts of the Doodle