Keepers of History

The exhibition “Keepers of history” was consecrated to the memory of two wonderful persons – the couple of the Tserkovnitskys. Konstantin Sergeevich Tserkovnitsky, participant of the Great Patriotic War, photo artist of Kirillov, would be 90 on February 28, 2013. And on March 17, we marked the 5th anniversary of his death. One more memorable date fell between those days: on March 3, we marked the 40th day after the death of Tatiana Vasilievna Tserkovnitskaya, veteran of the education work, honorary freeman of Kirillov. The exhibition presened photographs and documents from the family archive of the Tserkovnitskys, photos and pictures of K.S. Tserkovnitsky, articles of everyday town life of the early 20th century which were handed over to the museum from their family house.

Konstantin Sergeevich Tserkovnitsky who left his mark in the history of Kirillov, was born in the Urals on February 28, 1923, i.e. 90 years ago. Five years have passed after his death (on March 17, 2008), but he still lives in memory of town dwellers as the veteran of the Great Patriotic War, an excellent photographer, a talented artist, a careful patron of young talents, a tireless organizer and participant of district and regional art exhibitions, a protector of cultural monuments, a faithful friend and a generous donator of the museum.

He was born in the Ostanino village of the Alapayevsk district of the Sverdlovsk region into the family of teachers. Kirillov located in the Vologda region was the native town of his father Sergey Leonidovich and his mother Maria Grigorievna (nee Deryabina) was born in the Verkhotursky district of the Sverdlovsk region. In the 1930s, the family lived in Sverdlovsk where Kostya and his older sister Iya went to school. In his childhood, Kostya often stayed with his grandfather Grigory Mikhailovich and grandmother Iya Nikolaevna in the worker’s settlement Verkhnaya Sinyachikha in the Urals. He also came to Kirillov and wrote letters to his grandparents Leonid Nikolaevich and Antonina Konstantinovna. In one of the letters written on September 4, 1935, the twelve-year-old boy asked: “Grandfather, has the monastery in your town remained intact? The crosses of almost all our churches have been removed and broken”. The grandson respected Leonid Nikolaevich Tserkovnitsky, graduate of the Moscow Theological Academy, who taught in the Kirillov Theological School for more than 25 years, for his erudition, knowledge of foreign languages, passion for music and gardening. Konstantin Tserkovnitsky left school ¹ 2 in the district centre Sukhoy Log of the Sverdlovsk region in 1941, two days prior to the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. He was called up for military service in July 1941 and was sent to the aviation school. After accelerated training to become a mechanic of aircraft armament, he was in the active army. The service at front-line aerodromes was difficult and dangerous. K.S. Tserkovnitsky was awarded the medals “For the Defence of Stalingrad”, “For the Capture of Berlin”, “For the Victory Over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945”, “For the Victory over Japan”. He continued his military service in Mongolia and China in 1945-1947. Konstantin Tserkovnitsky was demobilized in 1948 and moved to Kirillov together with his parents. On graduating the Physics and Mathematics Department of Cherepovets Teachers Training Institute, he worked as a teacher in the Kirillov school for working youth, then as an employee of the editorial office of the district newspaper “Novaya Zhizn”, as a photographer of the service centre. He retired in 1983.

Photos taken by K.S. Tserkovnitsky in different parts of the Kirillov district were often published on the pages of the district newspaper “Novaya Zhizn” in the 1970s. His photographs showed the author’s skills to see the beauty in the people around him, natural phenomena, and monuments of town and village architecture. The photos of K.S. Tserkovnitsky were published in several issues of the local history almanac “Kirillov”. He prepared sets of postcards depicting the architectural monuments of Kirillov and the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery. Many visitors of the museum kept colour pictures taken by the photographer as souvenirs. In 2002, the Vologda Regional Information and Analytical Centre of Culture placed a considerable part of the photographs of K.S. Tserkovnitsky in the Internet. Konstantin Sergeevich delivered master-classes and organized work of the photo studio sharing the secrets of his skills with beginners during plenty of years. He had undoubted artistic skills and was interested in painting. His landscapes and portraits were presented at museum, district and regional exhibitions. The art studio established by Konstantin Tserkovnitsky in the District Cultural Centre worked not long, but it promoted development of talent of the Kirillov’s amateur artists.

K.S. Tserkovnitsky closely cooperated with the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve. He handed over a lot of documents, photographs, articles of everyday town life of the early 20th century to the museum. The house of the Tserkovnitskys was to serve preservation of historical memory about several generations of the Kirillov’s intellectuals that made the cultural life of a small provincial town bright and interesting thanks to their creative work. That was his dream. The last representative of the Kirillov’s branch of the Tserkovnitskys - Tatiana Vasilievna – could bequeath their house to her favourite nephews, but following her husband’s will, she left it to the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve. There’s no precedent for this in the modern history of not only Kirillov, but the whole Vologda region. Such a generous gift obliges the museum to do all necessary to turn the house of the Tserkovnitskys and the adjacent garden into a museum complex. After the recent death of Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya (March 3 marked the 40th day after her death), the nephews expressed their interest in the execution of the will of Konstantin Sergeevich and Tatiana Vasilievna. We hope that the invaluable contribution of the Tserkovnitskys to the development of Kirillov and the Kirillov district will be appreciated not only by our contemporaries, but also by our descendants.

In memory of Tatiana Vasilieva Tserkovnitskaya (1927-2013)

Almost all working life of Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya was connected with the Vologda Regional Cultural and Educational School (now the Vologda Regional Training School of Culture) where she taught literature from 1954 through 1980. The evening on the occasion of the 85th birthday of Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya, veteran of the education work, holder of the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, honorary freeman of Kirillov, was held in the building of this very institution. She was honoured in the conference-hall of the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve where a festive concert was organized the next day. Performance of her favourite songs, romances and poems was accompanied with demonstration of photographs from the museum holdings and the family archive of the Tserkovnitskys. The exhibition titled “Cherished Names and Persons” marking the 85th birthday of T.V. Tserkovnitskaya was open in the Museum of town and district history from September to October 2012. Visitors of the display got acquainted with old photos, leafed through books given to Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya by her friends, colleagues and pupils, examined various articles of everyday town life of the early 20th century handed over to the museum from the family house. Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya visited the museum in Gagarin Street in October, 2012.

Much to our regret, Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya died on January 23, 2013. She deceased in her new comfortable one-room flat which she received as a widow of the participant of the Great Patriotic War. While she was sick, her relatives – children of her brother Viktor Viktorovich and Zoya Viktorovna – were near her. They came from Ukraine and Latvia. The lying-in-state ceremony took place in the house in which she had lived for 50 years and which she loved very much. It is impossible to forget the date of her funeral – it was the Tatiana Day. A commemorative event was held near the house after the burial service. Many people attended it. Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya was buried at the city cemetery next to the grave of her husband Konstantin Sergeevich. An obituary was published in the district newspaper “Novaya Zhizn”. Everybody who knew and loved Tatiana Vasilievna could put name to it. The Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve placed an obituary on its website in the Internet. The museum started to collect recollections about Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya to perpetuate the memory of the wonderful person, faithful friend and generous donator.

L.I. Glysina, research officer of the museum

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