Anniversary exhibits, dedicated to the 110 anniversary of “Penaty” estate and the 165th anniversary of I.Y. Repin’s birth, will open their doors on August 5, 2009 at 15:00 in the Staterooms of the Scientific-research museum of the Russian Academy of Arts.
A photo exhibit “History of “Penaty” estate, 110 years” will be presented in the Rafael hall.
This exhibit familiarizes us with the most interesting moments from the life of the estate throughout the years of its existence. Copies of archive documents associated with the acquiring of the area will be displayed, particularly the purchase bill of N.B. Nordman.
The birth date of “Penaty” estate is established on May 27 (May 15 according to the old calendar), 1899. This day marks the purchase of a section of forest land with a summer Finland home in the Kuokkala village in the Karelian Isthmus.
Soon after, an architecturally unusual two story home under a glass roof was built in its place and the forest was transformed into a comfortable park.
A cozy estate, which became a part of Russian culture as the famous “Repin’s Penaty”, appeared on the 45th km from Petersburg, on the Big Sea road (currently Primorskoe highway).
“Penaty” estate not only became the creative seclusion of Repin, where he actively continued to work, but also an attractive place for the meetings of famous Russian people. “Penaty” is respectively classified as a cultural center of the end of XIX, beginning of XX century. It embodies significant aspects of the spiritual life of its time, where everyday life happened to be tightly associated with public and literary-artistic interests of the epoch.
When Ilya Yefimovich and Natalie Borisovna acquired the estate photography has long been transformed from an exotic invention to an ordinary way of capturing the outside environment; imprinting people in a familiar for them surroundings.
“Penaty” became the center attention for photographers. Photographs of the park, home and its interiors, and first of all of its inhabitants and numerous guests would not leave the pages of popular magazines and newspapers. This is how the estate has acquired its photographic history.
Not only famous photography masters like K. Bulla but also many hobbyists were taking pictures here. Among them was N.B. Nordman, who completed photography courses at the Russian technical society. Although her photographs were not always perfect they depict historical truth about the life at “Penaty”, the reconstruction of the home and about the works in the park.
“Penaty” were not only photographed during the construction of the estate and Repin’s life but also throughout all of the following years. The history wheel, which destroyed so much, has rolled through here as well, but thanks to the carefully preserved photographs it was possible to recreate what was thought to be forever lost. The exhibition, which was organized with the efforts of employees, is said to tell about all of this. The exhibit displays over 100 unique historical photographs.
An exhibition by the name of “Nordman’s album” will be opened at the Titsianovsky hall. Photocopies of graphic portraits which were done by I.Y. Repin in “Penaty” in 1905-1911 in the personal album of Natalie Borisovna Nordman-Severova will be displayed there.
38 sketches from this album were presented in 1911 at the Worldwide exhibition in Rome as “Nordman’s Album”. Currently they are kept in various museums and in private collections and it is impossible to collect all of the originals at this time. For the first time the works from the “Nordman album” will be shown together although in form of photocopies. The models of sketches are guests of “Repin’s Penaty”: V.V. Stasov, N.A. Morozov, M.B. Chukovskaya, professor L.V. Sventorzhetsky, actress L.B. Yavorskaya and other friends of the family. The exhibition is complemented with the photographs of “Penaty’s” guests, many of them were captured while posing.
A video, from the collection of “Penaty” museum, about Repin and his estate in Kuokkala will be shown during the exhibition.
In addition to that, a presentation of a unique multimedia project “Repin’s gift to Finland” will occur during the opening day of the exhibit at the Scientific-research museum of the Russian Academy of Arts.
Visitors will be able to attend the only video-showing of the art collection of the Russian painters which was kept by Repin in “Penaty”, and in 1919 was presented by him to the Finland’s Art Society. These works as well as 8 sacrificed works by I.Y. Repin himself were presented in 1920 to the Ateneum museum and laid grounds in the formation of the Russian art department at the Finland’s National Gallery. Previously, you could see these pictures from the gift of I.Y. Repin at the permanent exhibit in the Ateneum museum and also at temporary exhibitions in Russia, however the other 20 works by masters of the Russian Art School from the collection of Repin and Nordman were never presented at exhibitions and were never publicized. Even specialists had never seen these works.
In association with the anniversary dates, electronic copies of this extremely interesting material were kindly presented for presentation in Russia by the Central Art Archive department of the Finland’s National Gallery.
The exhibits will be open until August 30, 2009.