1920 - 1930: Acquisition of items from nationalized private collections
During the 1920s a process of nationalization of private property took place all over the new Land of the Soviets. Valuables from imperial residences and the palaces of the Russian nobility both inside and outside the city were transferred to museums, including the Hermitage. At the same time a number of other museums were rationalised, re-allocating works to more suitable locations.
Works of art from the Anichkov and Marble Palaces, from the private collections of the Yusupov, Stroganov and Sheremetyev families, from the suburban imperial residences at Gatchina, Peterhof , Tsarskoye Selo and others, all flowed into the Hermitage. The Museum gained remarkable collections of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons and coins, old documents, including an Oriental group (Egyptian papyrus and cuneiform inscriptions) put together by the Russian scholar Nikolay Likhachev. One very important acquisition for the Museum was the collection of medieval Mohammedan bronzes which had belonged to Count Alexey Bobrinsky, Chairman of the Archaeological Society.
In 1922 the Kushelev Collection of fine paintings was transferred from the Academy of Arts to the Museum. It had been amassed by the Bezborodko family and bequeathed to the Academy in 1862, when this group of fine 19th-century paintings formed a magnificent addition to the Academy Museum, sadly lacking in contemporary work at that time. A large and remarkable collection of European and Oriental applied art was transferred in phases from the Museum of the Stieglitz School, while from the Russian Museum came collections which did not fit in with its specialization on Russian art, among them the rich complex of finds excavated at the ancient city of Khara-Khoto. The Hermitage was expanding to become a museum of world culture