Pushkin House

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London


Pushkin House

 

Pushkin House library

In 1954 a small group of Sovi­et emi­grés set up a polit­i­cal­ly neu­tral Russ­ian cul­tur­al cen­tre at a house in Kens­ing­ton Park Gar­dens. Two years lat­er they moved to 46 Lad­broke Grove, which they named Pushkin House in hon­our of the influ­en­tial author and poet, echo­ing the famil­iar name of the Insti­tute of Russ­ian Lit­er­a­ture in St Peters­burg.

In 2006 Pushkin House relo­cat­ed to a more spa­cious and refined home, a grade II* list­ed Geor­gian town­house at 5a Blooms­bury Square. Dat­ing from the begin­ning of the 18th cen­tu­ry, the house was sub­stan­tial­ly rebuilt in 1744 by Hen­ry Flit­croft, who added the Pal­la­di­an façade.

Unlike most of Lon­don’s for­eign cul­tur­al cen­tres, Pushkin House oper­ates as an inde­pen­dent char­i­ty rather than a gov­ern­ment-fund­ed arm of an embassy. It lays on a var­ied pro­gramme, focus­ing on the arts but with a smat­ter­ing of his­to­ry, phi­los­o­phy and pol­i­tics. Events include talks, sem­i­nars, exhi­bi­tions, films, con­certs and read­ings, most­ly in Eng­lish or with Eng­lish sub­ti­tles in the case of Russ­ian film screen­ings.

Russ­ian lan­guage cours­es are run here and Pushkin House also has its own ref­er­ence library of Russ­ian cul­ture, a cor­ner of which is shown in the pic­ture above.