The Rybinsk State History, Architecture and Art Museum-Preserve museum - Russian language only, one of the oldest and the best museums of the Upper Volga Region, was founded in 1910. Now the museum houses more than 120 thousand exhibits: from saurian bones to paintings of famous artists. The main museum building is on the Volga bank, and was built in 1912 by Moscow architect A. Ivanov for the Corn Exchange. The building resembles a fairytale house. Inside the building may still be found the original decoration including wrought iron banisters and ceiling plasters.
The exhibition space of the museum includes a part of the corn, or flour trading yard. This is a square with two-level shops built at the end of the XVIII century. The museum also occupies the classic style Old Exchange building (1806 - 1811), now closed for reconstruction. This is the first exchange building in Russia outside Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.
17 October 1910 the Rybinsk branch of the Yaroslavl Natural History Society has opened a natural history museum. By 1913 the museum had 5 departments: mineralogical, geological, zoological, botanic and anthropological. 14 December 1919 one more museum was opened in Rybinsk to keep several private collections of noble people nationalized by the Soviets after the revolution. 5 January 1927 the natural history museum and the art historical museum were merged to form one large regional museum. In 1920 - 1930 the museum integrated hundreds of museum items from small museums of the region. Now these collections are kept in the museum of Mologa district history situated in the former oratory of the Afanasiev women's monastery, this is a branch of the Rybinsk museum. When the town of Mologa and some nearby villages were submerged in the thirties when the Rybinsk reservoir was created, the inhabitants moved to Rybinsk.
The Rybinsk museum's collection of Foreign Art is the most valuable in the region. West European graphics of the XVI-XIX centuries includes works from Italy (Ag. Carracci, O. Fialetti, S. della Bella, G. B. Galestrucci), the Netherlands (H. Goltzius, I. Swanenburg), Germany (I. Major, Ch. W. E. Dietrich), France (R. Nanteuil, G. Edelinck, C. Gillot, F. Boucher) and the United Kingdom (F. Bartolozzi, R. Earlom, V. Green). The West European painting collection represents the Netherlands, French, German and Italian art schools (M. de Hondecoeter, A. Edelfelt). The department of West European Sculpture of XVIII - XIX centuries keeps valuable works of P. F. Thomire, M. Clodion, A. Barye, C. Fratin. The museum possesses samples of the leading ceramic and porcelain centres of Europe