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Circular on the celebration of 110 years of the “Penaty” Estate and 165 anniversary of Ilya Repin’s birth


In 2009 it will be 110 years since the “Penaty” Estate was bought and 165 years since Ilya Yefimovich Repin was born (1844-1930).
The date of “Penaty” Estate birth is considered to be 27 May (15 May, o.s.), 1899. On this day the deed of purchase was executed for the acquisition of the lot with utility structures and a small one-storey Finnish cottage in Kuokkala village on Karelian Isthmus in forty four kilometers from Petersburg. Soon, due to Repin’s efforts, the two hectares of the estate woodland turned into a park, while a storey was added to the small house and two wonderful light studios were arranged under its glass roof.  It is here where the celebrated artist spent over a third of his life, i.e. his part of the 20th century.  Here, in the estate garden, his grave is located on the place, which he indicated himself.
The estate was not only the place of artistic seclusion, where the artist continued to intensively paint, draw and sculpture, but the meeting place for the most renowned people of Russia.  The “Penaty” are justly referred to as a cultural center of the late 19th – early 20th century.  
In the “Penaty” V.M. Bekhterev sat for Repin to paint his portrait, and Leonid Andreev read his new works.  Repin worked together with artists I.I. Brodsky, Yu.P. Annenkov and also with Yuri Repin.  Here the music was played by young B. Asafiev, Cecilia Hansen, Cesar Cui; Chaliapin was a regular guest of the house.  From the first days of the estate existence V.Stasov, M. Gorky, A. Kuprin, N. Garin-Mikhailovsky, later V. Rosanov, Alexey and Tatiana Svirsky, T. Shchepkina-Kupernik, S. Sergeev-Tzensky, V. Kamensky and V. Mayakovsky, S. Yesenin and N. Klyuev used to come here.
In 1940 the Academy of Fine Arts opened a memorial museum in the "Penaty".  But as soon as in 1941 it was necessary to evacuate everything from the house.  In 1944 the estate burned down when the Leningrad Siege was breached on Karelian Isthmus.
The “Penaty" Estate-Museum of Ilya Repin was restored in 1962, and now it is a world renowned memorial of Russian culture of the late 19th – early 20th centuries. Together with other landmarks of St Petersburg suburbs, the estate was put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The museum is very popular with visitors. Since the estate was restored, it has been visited by almost 8 million people.
On 21 August 2008 at the meeting of the methodological council of the State Academic Institution – the Museum of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, the following proposals were made with respect to the anniversary celebration:
1. To celebrate anniversaries on 5 August 2009.  (Ilya Repin’s date of birth).
2. To establish an organizing committee for the celebration of anniversaries.


Exhibitions offered to be held by partners

1. “110-year History of “Penaty” Estate-Museum” exhibition. Documentary photographs (1899-2009).
The exhibition will represent over three hundred photos devoted to the life of the estate from the first years of its existence to the present day (1899-2009).
When Ilya Yefimovich Repin and Natalia Borisovna Nordman bought in Kuokkala village on Karelian Isthmus a house with a parcel of land, the photography was no longer an exotic invention, but it became an ordinary way of fixating the surroundings and portraying people in their habitual environment.
“Penaty” estate, purchased in 1899, found itself in the center of new discoveries. The photographs of the garden, the house, its interiors and, first of all, its inhabitants and visitors never ceased to be published on the pages of popular magazines and newspapers. Thus, the “Penaty” acquired its photographic history.
Not only celebrated photographers took pictures here. A lot was done by N.B. Nordman, who graduated from photography classes at the Russian Technical Society. Although her pictures are not always perfect, they reflect historical truth about everyday life in the “Penaty”, the house reconstruction and works in the park.
The "Penaty" were photographed not only during the times of the estate construction, but also over the whole period of subsequent years. The wheel of history rolled here too, having destroyed many things. But thanks to photographs, which were carefully collected and kept for many years, it was possible to restore what seemed to have been lost forever.
The museum staff arranged the exhibition in order to tell about it.

Within the scope of the exhibition:
A. Presentation of “110-year History of “Penaty” album.
B. “Penaty” multi-media project – the show of documentaries and video programs of St Petersburg television from the collection of “Penaty” museum.

Anniversary album “110-year History of “Penaty” (1899-2009) in Russian and Finnish languages will be published based on the exhibition materials.

2.“Nordman's Sketchbook” exhibition
(Multimedia project)
The exhibition will show graphic portraits made by Repin in the “Penaty” in 1905-1911 in the personal sketchbook of Natalia Borisovna Nordman-Severova.
38 drawings from this sketchbook were shown on the World Exhibition in Rome in 1911 as “Nordman’s sketchbook”. Nowadays the works are kept in various museums and private collections, and it is the first time when they will be shown together again in the summer studio of Repin’s house.
The demonstration of originals will be supplemented by the reproduction of works in facsimile copies and electronic form.

3. “When Repin lived here (Karelian Isthmus from Repin to Leonid Andreev)” exhibition.
The exhibition will demonstrate over 100 landscape photographs of villages on the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland (facsimile copies of pre-revolutionary postcards from the museum collection).
The exhibition can be supplemented by the materials from the museums and archives in Finland.






 
































 

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