The former mansion of Counts Sheremetev is a unique historical and cultural monument, which represents rare for St.Petersburg pattern of an urban mansion.
Up to 1917 the Palace and the land had belonged to the five generations of the senior branch - the Counts - of the old Russian family of Sheremetev.
At present the majority of the Sheremetev halls, given to the museum in dramatic state, have been restored. The exhibition is arranged in three directions: a) The history of the Sheremetev family and life of Russian nobility in XVIII - XX cc. b) Open stores of the unique collection of musical instruments c) The exhibition of private collections.
The permanent exhibition "The Sheremetev family and the Musical Life of the 18–20th cc." was organized in 1995 in collaboration with the State Hermitage, the Russian National Library, Pushkin House, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Ostankino Memorial Palace, the Russian Porcelain Museum in Kuskovo, as well as owners of private collections.
Another notable exhibition is a private collection of A.M.Sarayeva–Bondar (wife of V.V.Strekalov–Obolensky - a Petersburg collector). The collection numbering over 700 works of fine and applied arts (18–20th centuries) is one of the most precious recent acquisitions of the museum.
The permanent Musical Instruments Collection displayed at the Palace has three thousand exhibits. "The Open Stores" exhibition opened in the October of 1997 in the Gallery Wing of the Fountain House. Here one can hear the Russian bells, replicas of antique musical instruments, copied in the 19th century from authentic pieces, which had been discovered during the excavations of Ancient Etruria.
The fancy shapes of the baroque instruments of the 17–18th centuries - the old harps, viols, harpsichords- go extremely well with the style of the Palace, the delicate design of the iron railings, the stucco moulding of the interiors.
The famous collection, framed by the old baroque architecture, is perceived as a new page in the musical–historical annals of the Fountain House, in which there are the names of famous artists of the past, renowned historians, painters, architects.
The museum has become a popular place for concerts.
The principal exhibition projects initiated and carried out by the museum: