In the art museums of Russia, women sit in the galleries and guard the collections. When you look at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artworks themselves. Andy Freeberg found the guards as intriguing to observe as the works over which they watch.
‘In conversation, they told me how much they like being amongst Russia’s great art. A woman in Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery Museum said she often returns there on her day off to sit in front of a painting that reminds her of her childhood home. Another guard travels three hours each day to work, because at home she would just sit on her porch and complain about her illnesses, “as old women do”. She would rather be at the museum enjoying the people looking at the art, surrounded by the history of her country.’