Day four would prove to be the most varied and dynamic day yet. In the first half of the day, Geoff would speak at the Museum of Moscow to a group of museum directors and cultural professionals.

Founded in 1896, the Museum of Moscow is one of the oldest institutions in the city. Today located in an old military garage from the Stalin era, the museum focuses on the history of Moscow and outlying areas.

The security that one must pass through, complete with KGB-types at the entrance (we were oh so tempted to take pictures of the gestapo-like trench coats hanging in the guard house) gives a first impression of it STILL being a military garage from the Stalin era. [Guest appearance in this shot of Irina Chernushkina of the US Embassy in Russia. Irina was instrumental in keeping us all on schedule.]

Once in however, everything changes. The enormous courtyard has the feel of a Hollywood studio lot, especially with the occasional…

… World War II truck rocket launcher thing lying about.

Geoff gave a talk on cultural branding, discussing various Base projects including The Palais des Beaux-Arts, Haus der Kunst, the Children’s Museum of the Arts…

… which led to what can only be described as a highly spirited debate. It was fascinating to witness how incredibly vocal the younger generation (including Julia Balandina from the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, pictured standing) was about wanting to pursue more marketing & branding for their institutions, à la their western counterparts. One feels that this generation craves knowledge and wants to be inspired. We heard many times throughout our trip, that those in the 18-35 age range are (their words, not ours) “desperate to catch up.” We certainly felt this from those in the cultural audience today.

Let’s get a close-up of that poster on the wall of the auditorium. We asked for a translation. After several attempts, we understood it had something to do with “printing” and “serving the people.”

Following the talk, we got a tour of the museum. Here, what a make-shift medical station looked like during WWII.

We again saw incredible, historical posters throughout.

The museum staff thought it would be funny to dress Geoff up as a WWII soldier. It was. Despite the shenanigans, we left feeling immensely proud of the Russians and thankful that in 1941, millions gave their lives to turn back Hitler’s forces…what many regard as the turning point in WWII. If they hadn’t, the world may very have been a very different place today.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part II of day four, Geoff’s talk at Digital October.