The exhibition is devoted to the first women in Russia to receive higher education. St. Petersburg Higher Women’s Courses, also known as the Bestuzhev Courses (after the name of the founder, K. N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin) were a notable phenomenon in the public life of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It was the students and graduates of — bestuzhevki — who paved the way for the new woman, an educated and independent female citizen.
The Courses were attended by St. Petersburg natives as well as by young women who moved to the capital from other parts of the country. Their everyday life, daily routines, classes and leisure time are represented in the original photographs from the Bestuzhev Courses Archive, held in St. Petersburg State University.
The exhibition project presents the history of women’s empowerment in Russia, their struggle for equality in education, private life, and civil status. Not only did bestuzhevki make up the core of Russian women’s movement, but they also played an important part in the entire student movement, which was a significant force in the country’s social and political life at that time. The history of the first women’s university in Russia is shown within the context of the First World War, the Revolution, and other events of 1914–1918.
Bestuzhev Courses: First Women’s University
On the 140th Anniversary of Women’s Higher Education in Russia
12 October — 18 November 2018
Yard Building Exhibition Hall, 2nd floor
Saint-Petersburg, 35 Bolshaya Morskaya street