The Russian Cultural Centre is the official home of Russian culture in the United States. It is created pursuant to a bilateral agreement between the United States and Russia providing for cultural centers in both countries. This institution is a public private partnership between the Russian Government and the supporting American nonprofit organization, the Friends of the Russian Cultural Centre. The purpose of the RCC and FRCC is to develop and maintain positive relations between the Russian and American people by sponsoring activities in the areas of Education, The Arts, Commerce, Athletics and Science. The RCC cooperates with the numerous Russian-American organizations in both countries and has liaisons with universities, museums and other cultural institutions across the U.S. and Russia. This Russian government building, whose early American occupants owned the Hope Diamond and Washington Post, is a museum, research library and classroom of Russian culture and a stage for exhibits and the performing arts. The Russian American Room chronicles and exhibits examples of Russian-American cooperation from 18th century commercial trade, to Catherine the Great and John Paul Jones, to allies in World War II, to our continuing joint ventures in space. The 21st century goal of the RCC is “That our two nations never again polarize”. We have been too long deprived of each other’s company. It is high time we became reacquainted.
The walls of the Russian American Room display the names of those American and Russian volunteers who contributed their time, effort, funds and expertise to help make the RCC a reality. The central painting “Flags”, Russian American Cooperation Through History, by American artist Matt Willey depicts some milestones of US-Russian relations. In the background are several landmarks of cooperation from Catherine the Great and John Paul Jones, to allies in WWII, to the end of the Cold War, to our continuing joint ventures in space. The crossed Russian and American flags in the center of the painting signify that the United States and Russia are allies in war and partners in peace. The Lamp of Knowledge represents both the mission and the goal of the institution — «Knowledge of Each Other's Culture is the Key to Peace in the 21st Century» — "That Our Two Nations Never Again Polarize."
The Mirror Room is decorated with two gala portraits of the Russian Emperor Peter I and the Russian Empress Catherine II painted specially for the Russian Cultural Centre in 2000.
The Moscow Room is cream and gold leaf like many grand rooms in Russia, and includes scenes at the top of each wall, painted by Russian artist Valery Arkhipov: The Bolshoi opera and ballet theater, the Kremlin, Moscow State University and Christ the Savior Cathedral.
The Alexander Pushkin Library of the Arts and Humanities houses over 2000 volumes of Russian books, as well as feature and documentary movies on DVD and VHS, audiobooks, music CDs , Russian newspapers and magazines. The library is free and open to the public.
Re-construction of the Pushkin Library room (2003) was done to replicate Pushkin's «Last Cabinet», his study in St. Petersburg. The centerpiece of the Library is the 4-wall and ceiling mural, From Competition to Cooperation. The mural is a timeline tracing the U.S. and Russian development of space: Tsiolkovsky and Goddard… vonBraun and Korolev... Sputnik ...Gagarin, Glenn, Tereshkova, Armstrong... Moon landings ...Soyuz-Apollo... Lunakhods and Lunar Rovers... Skylab...Mir...Space Shuttle... International Space Station… Venus and Mars missions. The mural also includes visions of the Solar System.
Hidden to most RCC visitors is the RCC kitchen or the Friendship room in the basement of the building. The kitchen contains a painting, Russian and American Cuisine, by Irina Sinitsyna, and shows Russian caviar, blinis, Samovar, Sturgeon, Beef Stroganoff and tea, as well as American lobster, steak, Vichysoisse, Crab, corn-on-the-cob, Pineapple, citrus fruits, apple pie a la mode and coffee. The kitchen is used to prepare RCC reception dinners.
Address: 1825 Phelps Place NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 265 - 3840, Fax: (202) 265 - 5697