200 thousand exhibits down the drain: A unique toy museum is dying in Sergiyev Posad

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200 thousand exhibits down the drain: A unique toy museum is dying in Sergiyev Posad
200 thousand exhibits down the drain: A unique toy museum is dying in Sergiyev Posad
11 November, 15:27CulturePhoto: Фото Владимира Куприянова
Due to insufficient funding and an incomprehensible status, a huge collection of toys from the last century is actually doomed to extinction.

In recent years, a strange process has been going on in Russia: on the one hand, by the will of the state, some “traditional values” are glorified, and on the other hand, real values disappear not without the active “help” of the same state. One of the egregious examples of this: the fate of the unique Nikolai Bartram Toy Museum in Sergiev Posad near Moscow, which, according to eyewitnesses, is “killed by insane mediocrity”. The fact is that this museum, by some wild coincidence, is in the department not of the Ministry of Culture, but of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education! Moscow journalist Dmitry Grazhevich writes about this blog.

Exiled to be forgotten and destroyed

I spent two days in Sergiev Posad, I'm just horrified. The main reason for which I went there with my fellow associates was to professionally remove some of the works from the collection of the Museum of Toys for the design of a publication in the journal "Decorative Art" - an article by St. Petersburg art critic Maria Saltanova about the Museum of Toys by Nikolai Bartram. An excellent material that tells how the Bartram collection was created before the revolution and how the Soviet authorities, on the basis of this collection and under his leadership, created the Toy Museum in 1918, which until 1933 was located in the building of the Khrushchev-Seleznev noble estate on Prechistenka, where it is now Pushkin Museum (literary). Until after Bartram's death he was transferred to Sergiev Posad.

This is often the case in Russia. The one who created his own business dies, who fights with all his might for his cause, and after death he is taken out together with his work to the dustbin of history. To "we are ours, we are to build a new world." Bartram was almost not forgotten, the case was not closed, but simply taken out of the capital for 75 km. In the quiet church town of Zagorsk (now Sergiev Posad). There, the further fate of the Toy Museum continued, in which about 200,000 exhibits are stored, many of which are unique. Where else can you see children's toys of the 20s, 30s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, created at Soviet enterprises according to the sketches of artists? Some of them are already crumbling, as all the restorers who could maintain the collection in a professional form have left the museum (not gone themselves, but theirs). From an exposition point of view, everything is also very bad here. Despite the fact that the museum is located in an excellent old building of the former school for boys, it looks like a neglected soviet garden, where special fruit trees die without water. But first things first. (…)

And what about science and education when it comes to art collections?!

I was asked not to take dirty linen out of the hut. The few employees who work at the Toy Museum are afraid that their bosses will fire them. I'm sure he won't get fired. I'm not a talker. I am not indifferent to the fact that tyrants are destroying a museum with a unique history, with a unique collection.

I am writing this to the fact that if I had known before that there is such a museum here, then I would come here on purpose, bring both my daughter and the children of friends, and I would simply come with friends who are interested in looking at those toys in that they once played themselves and those played by their parents and grandparents. Here is a Red Army soldier from the Cerso children's game in 1931, here is a May demonstration of collective farmers in 1931, here is the ship "Kalinin" in 1935, here is a woman with two children in her arms in 1925, here is a pioneer leader in 1927, here is a fire truck and a passenger bus in 1933, here is a clown A pencil of 1957, Oleg Popov of 1961, a clown on a bicycle of 1962, clown Yuri Nikulin of 1971, here is a rag monkey of 1932, here is a pioneer of the 50s, but here is just a pop singer of 1968 in my palm, here, here, here…

Up to the present day, where there are almost no analog toys left, everything has gone digital. So what? Progress is hard to argue with. I would continue to replenish the collection and not only figurative objects, but also digital games. After all, it is interesting to look at what our grandfathers and grandmothers played and now to watch what our granddaughters and grandchildren play. Or maybe even invite artists to think about the toys of the future... Yes, this museum alone can attract a huge number and not only Russian tourists.

Who is the mayor of Sergiev Posad? What is the name of this member of United Russia? Well, he took a shovel in his hands and forward. After all, you can first get the museum separated from the subordination of the Ministry of Education, to which it is like a sleeve to the leg, and transfer it to the Ministry of Culture. Where, at least, I hope, they will be able to put the museum in order, return professional staff to it in order to preserve and replenish the collection, and make new exhibitions with new exposition concepts. In order to prepare exhibitions in the cities of Russia and in other countries, for the preparation of which employees are needed, budgets are needed. Now the museum is unable to respond either to requests from the Hermitage or to requests from the Tretyakov Gallery in order to provide items from the collection for exhibitions - for objective reasons.

There is no money, but you do not complain!

Interestingly, several thousand visitors a month go to the museum, who buy tickets that are not so cheap, and all the funds raised go to the ministry, which at the same time delays the tiny salaries of the museum staff up to four months. And this is not in the crazy 90s, this is today. Even at the beginning of the 2000s, some German museum brought an exhibition of its toys here. I made professional, but one-time designs for the exposition, showcases with good lighting. And after the exhibition left this equipment here. This usually happens, especially since this equipment was made for a one-time exhibition, and not for a permanent exhibition.

So what do you think? The ministerial authorities decided not to throw away the already shabby cabinets, placed old toys in them, but refused to connect the light to them. Why waste expensive light on displaying small toys? Children will be able to see everything. And those few expensive showcases that were made under Bartram also require restoration. The museum even has a small, well-equipped theater hall, where performances were shown to children and lectures about the museum were given. The ministry simply closed the hall - there is nothing to spend money on energy and heating.

I see these intimidated people who sometimes restore toys with their own money, which are nowhere else left, who are afraid to even mention the culprits of their troubles. There will be a desire to help - to begin with, I ask you to repost this message, the sectarians are a little, but they are afraid of publicity. And there you will see.

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