The Imperial Porcelain Factory was the first porcelain factory in Russia. It was opened by a decree of Empress Elizabeth in 1744. It’s hard to imagine a product that the factory has not produced since then! From classics and modern works to Soviet realism and the deliberate simplicity of the times of Khrushchev Thaw. The Imperial factory predictably was a supplier of the imperial court by making amazingly beautiful original knickknacks - snuff boxes, figurines, dishes and vases. Many of them already occupy their deserved place in museums.
The period of the 1920s is particularly noteworthy, when the nationalized factory began to produce "propaganda porcelain" - statuettes and other items dedicated to the revolution and the changes that were happening in the country in the difficult post-revolutionary times. Some distinguished artists, including Kustodiev and Petrov-Vodkin, took part in their creation.
The factory’s museum was founded in the 1940s and nowadays its collection includes over thirty thousand items. In 2001 it was taken over by the Hermitage and became one of its departments. The museum (like the factory itself) is located in Saint Petersburg, in the Avenue of Obukhoskaya Oborona.
Today the product range of hard and thin-walled bone porcelain is divided into seven separate collections (Imperial, Animalistic Sculptures, Russian Style, White Gold, Art Studio, Avant-garde and Traditional). Moreover, the factory offers souvenirs, items to order and original products manufactured one of a kind, or in very limited quantities.