The online course is a virtual workshop on creating original dolls. In 20 lessons, the participant will learn all the steps of the process: from the technical drawing of the doll to the sewing of the costume.

Since 2015, the School Centre of the State Hermitage Museum has been running a studio for creating original dolls in historical costumes. The studio’s curriculum is closely tied to the museum’s collection: for three years in a row, students have been inspired by the Renaissance when choosing characters. Beyond technical work, creation of such dolls required deep immersion in the era, studying the history and art of the Renaissance and biographies of particular historical figures. The studio already has dolls in the image of Dante Alighieri and Lucrezia Borgia, Girolamo Savonarola and Raphael Santi and many other characters.
In 2020, due to the coronavirus restrictions that made it impossible to hold live workshops, Olga Yuryevna Atamanova, head of the original doll studio at the School Centre of the State Hermitage Museum, decided to create an online workshop. During the lockdown, Olga Yuryevna has prepared 20 workshops covering all stages of the original doll creation: from preparation of technical drawing and basic plasticine models to sewing the costume with the observance of all characteristic details. The course is designed so that the potential participant does not need any special training. For the online course, Olga Atamanova chose the topic "Russian Empresses". Almost every lesson was accompanied by a brief historical reference; to illustrate her story, the author of the course selected portraits of Empresses from the Hermitage collection. Thus, course participants had a unique opportunity to get acquainted with an important part of the museum’s collection and learn more about the history of Russia and its rulers in the 18th–19th centuries.
Video lessons were published in the official communities of the State Hermitage Museum on social media and remain freely accessible from there. The main value of the online course is its unprecedented accessibility. Only school students could attend the offline studio, but the online course has opened up new opportunities: everyone from 12 to 75 years old across Russia and even beyond has become a potential student of the course. The goal of the project is to offer unique knowledge and skills to the widest possible audience in a single online course, previously available in offline format only to a narrow audience (schoolchildren) in a unique location that is difficult to access (the State Hermitage Museum). Objectives: to expand the outlook of the audience, to introduce the collection of the State Hermitage Museum, to teach specific skills and technologies of creation of original dolls in historical costume.