Museum of town and district history (103 Gagarin Street)

A new department titled “Museum of town and district history” was established in the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve in 2010. The building where the museum exposition was placed was a typical dwelling house of local town dwellers of the late 19th century. In 1901, the wooden one-storey house in Large Embankment (now at 103 Gagarin St.) belonged to the heirs of peasant Alexey Borisovich Kuznetsov. According to the old residents’ recollections, the doctor of the town hospital Joachim Yakovlevich Nodelman who served in the Kirillov district council during 35 years and died in 1919, lived in the house in the early 20th century. Later there was an office of the logging enterprise, a childrens unit of the district hospital, a kindergarten, and an elementary school (till 2009) in this building. In February 2010, upon the application of the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve, the Kirillov District Administration handed the empty house over to it for the free use. After the renovation, the museum department which studies and presents the history of the town of Kirillov and the Kirillov district is located there.

The new museum cannot fully present the history of the Kirillov district yet, but it gives an opportunity to reflect on the past and to see how people lived in Kirillov hundred years ago, what things town dwellers were surrounded with in their everyday life, how the household furnishing changed on festive days.

The permanent exposition of the Museum of town and district history presents the interior of the whole dwelling house constructed in the late 19th century. Designers of the museum reconstruction didnt set themselves aims to show really existing interiors of the rooms in this building, to reconstitute them with historical authority for this or that period. Nevertheless, they reconstructed the original lay-out of the house, restored the walls with original doorways and walled up doorways made later. The mixture of town life items of different epochs in one room reminds us of several generations of Kirillovs inhabitants. Wallpaper, curtains, stylized chandeliers give visitors a chance to get to the atmosphere of the late 19th century when the building was constructed.

Halls of the exhibition have conventional names: a drawing-room, a study, a bedroom, a room for servants, a dining room, and a doctors room. A considerable part of the exhibited furniture, plates and dishes and other household items comes from the houses of people living in the town and in the Kirillov district. Many things which are out of use now have got a second life thanks to collecting, expeditions, preservation and restoration work carried out by several generations of employees of the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve. Repository collections made it possible to fill the interior of the dwelling house with original items typical for the local town life of the late 19th – early 20th centuries. Stands with materials telling about the history of Kirillov in the second half of 18th early 20th centuries are located in the corridor. Views of the town of Kirillov at the beginning of the 20th century can be seen in the old postcards and photographs depicting town buildings and streets.

Two high floor mirrors and a massive wooden chest for keeping clothes and personal things an indispensable attribute of any 19th-century house in Kirillov attract visitors attention in the corridor.

Suite of soft furniture (a sofa and chairs), a piano made by the Becker plant, a gramophone, a music box, a card-table are displayed in the drawing room. Exhibited pictures were painted by the artists of Kirillov - D.V. Malkov (1867 1885) and B.I. Gorbunov (1922 1989).

Two corner Dutch stoves covered with white tiles have come down to us in the study. On the shelf of the cupboard, you can see a desk diary with a thermometer published in 1913 on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty and an azimuth circle an instrument used for land surveying to get the site-plan. There is an ancient inkstand, a paper-weight, and an oil lamp Matador on the writing-table. Photographs of the local merchants S.P. Andreev, A.V. Sveshnikov, N.A. Kozlov, Z.I. Markelov, and A.A. Kotov hang on the wall of the study. Besides, there is a self-portrait of D.V. Malkov (18671885) the artist of Kirillov who graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1833. An armchair characteristic of the 19th century is exhibited under the Malkovs self-portrait.

The interior of the bedroom consists of a traditional metal bed with a lace coverlet, a valance and festive pillow-cases, three pictures painted by D.V. Malkov portraits of a boy with the ball, the artists sister and mother over the bed. An oil lamp, a box, a photo album and a wooden frame of the early 20th century with a photo can be seen on the table covered with a white knitted table-cloth. There is a table for womens needlework with a toilet mirror in the corner of the room. The Singer sewing-machine is exhibited at the window. An alcohol iron with a special container attached at the back is displayed near the sewing machine. Typical for the early 20th century womens clothes and footwear are presented in this room. There are candlesticks made of sea-shells at the beginning of the 20th century and womens magazines on the bamboo what-not.

A German metal stove-oven decorated with painting is of real interest in the kitchen. There is a copper samovar which held a specific place among the household articles in the late 19th first half of the 20th centuries on the cook-table. Woodenware, earthenware, delft ware, and china-ware mainly from the houses of local residents are displayed in the kitchen.

One of the rooms located at the back entrance (the door leading to the yard and used for housekeeping needs) served as a room for domestic servants. There is a metal bed with a patch-work quilt, a Russian stove used for cooking, a large table with woodenware and earthenware. Various tools remind us of the fact that different craftsmen lived in Kirillov (carpenters, joiners, roofers and others). A wooden call-duck and a black grouse used by local hunters are exhibited on the shelf over the window.

In the middle of the dining room, you can see a dinner table surrounded with Viennese chairs which were very popular in the late 19th early 20th centuries. The cupboard is decorated with carving depicting antique monsters. As for the cabinet, it was made by a local master. China-ware, delft ware and glass-ware kept in the cupboards were mainly used in the houses of local inhabitants. A tureen, sauce-boats and a cream-jug were manufactured at the Kuznetsov Porcelain factory. The copper samovar made in Tula and the china-ware presented on the table were used in the everyday life of a large town family even in the early 20th century.

One of the rooms is named Doctors room in commemoration of the doctor J.Y. Nodelman who lived in this house at the beginning of the 20th century. The doctor Joachim Yakovlevich Nodelman headed the town hospital in Kirillov which was situated not far from his house. He was a doctor of the Kirillov theological school since 1888. The doctor is depicted together with teachers and school-leavers in the picture taken in 1913. Glassed-in bookcases where there are books on medicine, medical instruments and apothecaries things of the early 20th century holds an important place in the interior of the room.

Temporary exhibitions on the occasion of festive and memorable dates are organized in the Museum of town and district history on the basis of the permanent exposition. You can order general, thematic and theatricalized tours in the museum. The exposition is open from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. every day, except Monday. The museum is open every day in summer.

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