2009 marks the 110th anniversary of “Penaty” and 165 years since the birth of I.Y. Repin.
In connection with celebrating the anniversary date, the Scientific-Research Museum of Art and Museum-Estate of I.Y. Repin “Penaty”, are conducting a “Repin anniversary festival” with the participation and support of various federal and social organizations.
Throughout the entire 2009 many events will be organized. Exhibitions, multimedia projects, radio-broadcasts, literary-musical nights, concerts and new publication presentations dedicated to “Penaty” estate, conferences and a number of other meaningful events will be marked as colorful occurrences in the cultural life of Saint Petersburg.
Exhibitions which are announced in this project are not only assumed to be held in Petersburg but also in other Russian cities as well as in neighboring countries like Belarus and Ukraine. The birth date of “Penaty” is recorded on May 27 (May 15 old calendar) 1899. A purchase of forest land plot with a summer home in Kuokkala village located in the Karelian area was registered on this day.
Soon after, an architecturally unusual two story house with a glass roof was built in its place, and the forest was turned into a park.
At the 45th kilometer of the Primorsk highway a cozy estate had appeared, it is now a part of Russian cultural history and is know as the famous “Repin’s Penaty”
A festival dedicated to the 110 year existence of Repin’s estate and 165th year anniversary of I.Y. Repin is opening on May 27, 2009 with two exhibitions in “Penaty”.
The Photo exhibition “History of Penaty estate”110 years” introduces the life of the estate throughout all the years of its existence.
For the first time it will exhibit copies of archive documents linked with the purchase of the estate; N.B. Nordman’s bill of purchase in particular.
The “Penaty” estate did not only become the place of Repin’s creative seclusion, where he actively continued to work, but it also became an attractive meeting place of the most famous Russian people.
The “Penaty” estate truly belongs to the cultural center group of the end of XIX, beginning of XX century. It has embodied the significant sides of spiritual life of its time, where the every day life was tightly correlated with social and literary artistic interests of the epoch.
When Ilya Yefimovich Repin and Natalya Borisovna Nordmann had acquired “Penaty”, photography had already transformed from an exotic invention to an ordinary way of recording the external environment; capturing people in their casual surrounding.
The “Penaty” estate became the center of attention for photographers.
Photographs of the garden, the home, its interiors, and first of all, its inhabitants and multiple guests would not leave pages of the popular magazines and newspapers. In such manner the estate had acquired its photographic history.
Here, not only famous artists like K. Bulla took photos. N.B. Nordmann had also worked a lot in this field; she had finished photography courses of the Russian technical society, and although her photographs are not always perfect they carry historical truth about the everyday life in “Penaty” and about the reconstruction of the house and work performed in the park.
”Penaty” was not only photographed as it was being created, the following years are documented as well. The history wheel, which had destroyed so much, had also rolled through here. However, thanks to the carefully collected photographs it was possible to reconstruct that which was thought to be forever lost.
All of this is contemplated to be presented at the exhibition, which is organized with the energy of the museum’s employees.
”History of Penaty estate”110 years” exhibition will be shown at the museum of I.Y. Repin until June 30, 2009.
Starting on July 1 and until the 30 of 2009, the “History of Penaty”110 years” exhibition will be presented at the Rafael hall at Scientific-Research Museum of the Russian Art Academy.
A presentation of a unique multimedia project “Gift of Repin to Finland” will occur on the opening day of the exhibition at the Catherine hall of the Scientific-Research Museum of the Russian Art Academy.
Visitors will be able to attend the only video showing of the collection of Russian artist’s work, which Repin had stored in “Penaty” and which in 1919 he had presented as a gift to the Finland’s Art Society.
In 1920, these pieces as well the 8 sacrificed pieces of Repin’s work were transferred by him to the Ateneum museum, thus laying the foundation of forming the Russian art department at the Finland’s National Gallery. Besides Repin’s paintings, which were presented to the Ateneum museum and were shown at foreign temporary exhibitions as well as in Russia, the collection contained 20 works by masters of Russian Art School, out of the collection of Repin and Nordmann. Among these were the creations of Polenov, Shishkin, Bogolubov, Serov and other painters which had not been presented at earlier exhibitions and were never publicized. These paintings are not even known to specialists. In connection with the anniversary dates, electronic copies of these most interesting materials were kindly presented by the photography department of the Central art archive of the Finland’s National Gallery for exhibition in Russia.
Part of the exhibitions:
Showing of “Penaty” museum collection videos.
The second anniversary exhibition is named “When Repin lived here”.
The exhibition will display over 100 specific pictures (replicas of the before revolution postcards from the museum’s archives)
Unique views of villages from the Gulf of Finland’s Northern embankment will attribute to the photographic narration of the life of the estate. They will help to familiarize you with the settings surrounding “Penaty”, displaying roads, streets, homes and nature of these places, which at the beginning of last century were jokingly called “From Repin to Leonid Andreev”.
You will likely feel their unpretentious comfort and beauty.
However all of the surroundings have been unrecognizably changed. Today you will already not see those houses which were captured on the old post cards. Two wars rolled over these areas, not only destroying structures but nature as well. What helped us to recreated the image of these places was the wonderful collection of the now deceased Nicholas Spiridonovich Tagrin, who had during his time presented to “Penaty” over 300 postcards with images of these places.
The museum got lucky even further. People that had spend their childhood in the Karelian area began to visit us and with their help were able to decipher many of the titles and street directions and were able to find out about events linked with the lives of the summer villages. Great support was given to us by the respected and now deceased Dmitry Sergeevich Lihachev, who had spent his summer youth in Kuokkala.
We hope that it will be interesting for you to review these documents just as it was interesting for us to study them. In any case, we were trying to show and describe what we had found out ourselves.
July-August 2009. Estate of I.Y. Repin “Zdravnevo” Vitebsk. Belarus
Municipal museum of Komorov
August 7-17 Exhibition hall “Kurortny” city of Sestroretsk