Exhibition "IE Zabelin - Chronicler of Russian Life" Automatic translate
с 21 Октября
по 7 Декабря
Красная площадь, дом 1.
In 2020, the Russian scientific community celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of an outstanding Russian historian, archeologist, archivist, one of the founders of the State Historical Museum and its long-term actual director - Ivan Yegorovich Zabelin (September 17, 1820 - December 31, 1908).
The Historical Museum could not pass by such a significant date and prepared an exhibition for this occasion. Its goal is to reflect the enormous role of I.E. Zabelin in the study and popularization of Russian history, to try to reveal the originality of his personality, to show the outstanding contribution of the historian to the creation and development of the Historical Museum, as well as the formation of museum collections. His biography is one of the examples of the formation of a scientist who created himself - with intelligence, perseverance, great diligence, an amazing thirst for knowledge.
Ivan Yegorovich Zabelin was born in Tver in the family of a minor official of the Treasury. Soon after moving to Moscow, the father died suddenly, leaving his wife and two young children without a livelihood. The youngest son had to be assigned to the Orphanage, and the eldest, Ivan, was practically left to himself. As a naturally gifted child, he independently learned to read and write. At the age of 12, through the efforts of his mother, he was assigned to state support in the Preobrazhensky Orphanage School. It was the only educational institution in which the future historian received a systematic education. It was within its walls that I.E. Zabelin’s love for Russian history and literature was born, here he got acquainted with the basics of philosophy, rhetoric, natural science.With his success and efforts in his studies, young Zabelin attracted the attention of the teachers and trustee of the school D. M. Lvov. But there were no funds to continue further education. On the recommendation of Lvov, who noticed the young man’s interest in historical knowledge, Zabelin was assigned as a second-class clerk to the Armory, where the palace archives were kept - one of the richest collections of historical documents of the 16th – 17th centuries, reflecting the life of the royal court. Thus, I. Ye. Zabelin entered the vast and mysterious world of Russian history, which became his destiny. Gradually mastering his research skills, he went from an ordinary scribe to an archivist, and then a consultant to scientific visitors, at the same time starting to conduct independent scientific work. In 1842, the first article by I. Ye.Zabelin on the pious campaigns of the Russian tsars to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
By the early 1850s. about forty serious scientific articles of the young historian have already been published, outstanding scientists drew attention to him: M.P. Pogodin, S.P. Shevyrev, T.N. Granovsky, KD Kavelin, I.M.Snegirev, P. M. Stroyev and others. Zabelin was supported by the trustee of the Moscow educational district and the chairman of the society of Russian history and antiquities at Moscow University, Count SG Stroganov.
The circle of acquaintances of the young historian expanded, among his friends were the art connoisseur and collector of engravings D. A. Rovinsky, the doctor and writer, the famous translator N. Kh. Ketcher, the great Russian actor M. S. Schepkin. Ivan Yegorovich communicated closely enough with I.S.Turgenev. In the 1850s. Zabelin’s scientific authority grew so much that, despite a formal lack of education, he was invited to teach courses in Russian history and archeology in educational institutions.
In June 1859, the titular adviser IE Zabelin was transferred to serve in the Imperial Archaeological Commission. So began a new stage in his life - a field archaeologist, which lasted almost two decades. During this time, the historian explored a number of Scythian burial mounds in the Dnieper and Taman. It was I.E. Zabelin who carried out excavations of the famous Chertomlyk mound, items from which significantly added to the gold treasury of the Hermitage. In 1876, the scientist submitted a letter of resignation already with the rank of a full state councilor.
Service in the Archaeological Commission and fieldwork did not become an obstacle to research activities. In the 1860s. The most famous works of the scientist, devoted to the everyday life of the royal court, were published - “The Household Life of Russian Tsars in the 16th – 17th Centuries” (1862) and “The Household Life of Russian Queens in the 16th – 17th Centuries” (1869). These works opened the world of Russian antiquity to the Russian reader as directly and vividly as no other historian has yet been able to do. Zabelin’s main idea was that it is from the everyday side of life, from everyday life that the so-called great events of history, various phenomena of social and political life arise. Before him, no one covered history in such an aspect.
In the 80s. Zabelin took an active part in the work of the commissions for the restoration of ancient monuments - the renewal of the iconostasis and murals of the Assumption and Annunciation Cathedrals in the Moscow Kremlin, the restoration of the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir. He believed that it was necessary to preserve the samples of ancient Russian architecture in their pristine state, carry out work to remove later extensions and the consequences of rebuilding, and clear oil painting from frescoes.
Ivan Yegorovich acquired immense prestige as a recognized expert on Russian antiquity, was the chairman and honorary member of various scientific societies. He did not adhere to any of the historical schools that existed in his time, having his own understanding of Russian history and statehood, in which he saw the product of the people’s consciousness, the natural development of society as an integral organism. He tried to present these ideas in a two-volume work History of Russian Life from Ancient Times (1876, 1879), but did not meet with the approval of leading Russian historians and once again heard reproaches in his address that he did not have a formal education.
It should be noted that I. Ye. Zabelin had a special relationship with Moscow - he was the “official historiographer” of the ancient capital. Through his research, the historian actually opened their hometown for Muscovites. Of the 200 various scientific works of the scientist, the overwhelming majority covered the history of Moscow. It was he who was invited by the Moscow City Duma to write a study on the Mother See. In 1902, while the scientist was still alive, the first volume dedicated to the history of the Kremlin was published. Only a hundred years after the death of Ivan Yegorovich, the staff of the State Historical Museum, where the archive of this great Moscow scholar is kept, prepared and published the second volume based on Zabelin’s drafts and notes, which has already become a bibliographic rarity.
And, of course, a huge segment of the scientist’s life is associated with the Russian Historical Museum (since 1925 - the State Historical Museum), in which for almost a quarter of a century he was the assistant chairman - the chief scientific director of the Russian Museum of History. In 1874 Zabelin became a member of the Commission for the construction of the museum building. The process of creating the center of Russian history was difficult; disagreements often arose among the organizers. Thus, Ivan Yegorovich actively criticized the accepted design of the building, proposed by the architect V.O. Sherwood, often argued with the outstanding scientist-archaeologist Count A.S. Uvarov, who was one of the main ideologists of the museum’s creation. After the death of Count I. Ye. Zabelin, on April 6, 1885, he assumed the post of Deputy Chairman. From now on, the Russian Historical Museum becomes its main brainchild.On the shoulders of Zabelin lay the solution of a huge number of organizational and legal issues related to the functioning of the museum: when he finished the interior decoration of most of the halls on the first floor; collections were formed and the exposition was designed; the staff was formed.
Service in the Historical Museum allowed Zabelin to rise even higher up the career ladder. In 1891, he received the rank of privy councilor, and literally a month and a half before his death, Nicholas II conferred on the scientist the rank of real privy councilor (II rank according to the Table of Ranks, equal to vice-chancellor and full general). For a lower class person, self-taught, who did not have a title of nobility, this is almost a unique case! At the turn of the XIX – XX centuries. Zabelin becomes one of the most famous cultural figures in Moscow. His name is associated with the main museum of Russian history. Writers, artists, collectors, grand dukes, going to visit the museum, went exactly "to Zabelin."
The attitude to the museum was expressed in the historian’s spiritual testament, according to which he appointed his daughter, Maria Ivanovna Zabelina, and the "Alexander III Imperial Russian Historical Museum" as heirs. According to his will, the museum received the entire collection of the scientist, as well as his personal belongings and archive. In addition, the museum received a capital of 70 thousand rubles. to replenish collections at the expense of interest accrued on it. Until 1918, the most interesting ancient monuments were constantly acquired with income from capital.
The jubilee exhibition dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Yegorovich Zabelin will take place in the historical space of the museum, the so-called Chairman’s Office. Ivan Yegorovich’s study, located nearby, will also be available to visitors.
Thematically, the exhibition is divided into three main sections.
The first will tell about the biography of the scientist, his family, youth, stages of personality formation. Visitors will be able to see a portrait of the father of the future scientist, a daguerreotype of Ivan Yegorovich himself, paintings representing Zabelin, an employee of the Armory, an archaeologist, a famous scientist; documents, photographs, portraits of persons who influenced the formation and scientific activity of the historian. His main works will be shown - the publications "Household Life of Russian Tsars in the 16th-17th Centuries" and "Household Life of Russian Queens in the 16th-17th Centuries", materials related to his activities in the Archaeological Commission and field archaeological research, as well as the study of the history of Moscow…
The exposition in the ceremonial round hall is dedicated to the Historical Museum, in the field of which Ivan Yegorovich worked selflessly for many years. Here are presented various monuments of history and culture, which added to the collection during the life of the historian, as well as acquired by the museum after his death on the income from the capital bequeathed to him. They reflect the uniqueness of the museum collection as a repository of monuments of Russian history.
The last hall of the exhibition is a memorial corner of I.E. Zabelin’s office: furniture and personal belongings, the scientist’s manuscripts, scientific publications that were published both during his lifetime and published after his death, I.E. Zabelin’s will and documents on the transfer of his collections to the museum and archive.
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