The Vologda State Museum-Preserve is the most comprehensive and significant exhibition of Russian art including more than 400,000 artworks from the 13th century to the present.
It was founded in 1885. The museum is situated in the centre of the city on the territory of the Vologda Kremlin. There are several branches of the museum. They are the House of Peter the Great , Batyushkov Memorial Flat, the Memorial estate of A.Mozhaisky (the village of Mozhaiskoe), the Museum of Architecture and Ethnography (the village of Semenkovo), Museum «Literature. Art. XX century», an exhibition called «Exile in Vologda» (devoted to the renowned Russian statesmen, researchers and cultural figures that went against the policies of the leading party and were exiled to Vologda) and a lace museum.
First-ever Russian Lace Museum started its work in Vologda in 2010 in a two-storeyed building situated along the embankment of the Vologda River, right in the heart of Vologda. Put together throughout several years, the museum features needle and bobbin lace from the 17th century onward, of Austrian, French, German, Polish and Belgian origin, costumes and accessories of the same eras, photos and other materials covering the history of lace. It includes more than 700 laceworks. The Lace Museum also provides on-going lace making classes with experienced instructors.
Founded in 1954 the Vologda Picture Gallery is one of the best galleries in the North-West of Russia. In the spacious halls of the Gallery one can see Old-Russian painting, West European painting, Russian painting from the 18-20th centuries, Russian graphic art dating back to the 19-20th centuries and the works of modern Vologda artists. All in all it includes 30,000 exhibits.
The town of Veliky Ustyug is a sort of an open-air museum. The city is noted for its architectural monuments and works of art. The unique cathedrals, churches and monasteries of Veliky Ustyug attract many tourists. Veliky Ustyug boasts 26 architectural monuments – the Church of the Assumption (17th-18th centuries), Procopious Cathedral (17th century), Mikhailo-Arkhangelsky Monastery (17th century), Gleden Monastery of the Trinity (18th century), Church of the Ascension (17th century), Church of St. Demetrius of Salonae (18th century) and others.
Veliky Ustyug has always been a centre for handicrafts. Even in the heathen times it achieved renown of a town of skilled craftsmen. No account of the artistic development of the town would be complete without mentioning decorative, applied and fine arts. The northern niello is one of the most unique handicrafts which has gained the world fame. The Veliky Ustyug Museum stands out for its rich collections of niello, decorations, kitchen utensils and hand-made goods made of birch bark.
Belozersk, the oldest city in the Russian North (it was first mentioned in a chronicle of 862), boasts over 50 monuments of history and culture – earthen rampants, churches and a number of dwelling houses.
The architectural ensemble of the Belozersk museum of local lore comprises monuments of Russian church architecture – the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of our Lord (17th century), a wooden church of the Prophet Elijah (17th century), Church of Peter and Paul (18th century), Cathedral of the Saviour, the Kremlin in the form of an earthen rampant (15th century) and a three-span bridge across the Kremlin moat (19th century). The Belozersk museum has natural-science, historical, and art exhibition halls.