Unfading Light

The photo display titled “Unfading Light” was dedicated to the memory of Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya (1927-2013) – the honorary freeman of Kirillov and donator of the museum. The exhibition opened in the Museum of Town and District History on January 24, 2014, presented photographs from the holdings of the Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve and private collections. They told about Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya’s childhood and youth, favourite job, colleagues and pupils, hospitable house and cooperation with the museum.

One year has passed after the death of Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya (September 29, 1927 – January 23, 2012) – the wonderful person, talented teacher, honorary freeman of Kirillov and donator of the museum. Everybody who warmed the spirit of her soul cherish the memory of Tatiana Vasilievna. Numerous pupils, colleagues and friends still feel the unfading light of her talent, kindness and love.

Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya holds a special place among donators of the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve. For the first time during 90 years of its existence, the museum was given a unique monument of history and culture – a wooden house with an attic built in the 19th century and an adjacent plot of land with the ancient garden. The fact that representatives of one family – the Tserkovnitskys - have lived in this house within the whole century and have managed to preserve the ancient furniture and the family archive, evidences the exceptional historical value of this gift. Many residents of Kirillov were admired and surprised at this generous deed of Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya. At the same time, it was unexpected for her relatives and friends. Neither vanity nor the will to perpetuate her name underlay this unusual at first sight decision of T.V. Tserkovnitskaya to hand over her house to the museum. Tatiana and Konstantin Tserkovnitskys were patriots of the Kirillov district and they wanted to have a museum of town history there. They believed that their ancient house was suited for such a museum. The empty building in Gagarin Street was handed over to the Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve in 2010 after the death of Konstantin Tserkovnitsky. The Museum of Town and District History was opened in it. Taking into account the changes, T.V. Tserkovnitskaya could present her house to her favourite nephews with clear conscience, but she was an honest person and executed the will of her late husband, Konstantin Sergeevich Tserkovnitsky (February 28, 1923 – March 17, 2008). After renovation and restoration, the house of the Tserkovnitskys will serve for preservation of the cultural and historical heritage of the Kirillov land.

The photo display “Unfading Light” was opened in loving memory of T.V. Tserkovnitskaya. Black and white and colour photographs from the museum holdings and private collections of E.N. Burlakova, N.N. Sergeeva, L.S. and I.V. Terentievs and others told about Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya’s childhood and youth, favourite job, communication with relatives, friends, and colleagues, and hospitable house.

Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya (nee Baldina) was born at the fourth lock according to the data of her passport. Tatiana’s father, Vasily Alexandrovich Baldin, worked at that lock of the Northern Dvina Canal located between the villages of Vasnyakovo and Lukinskoye (3 kilometres to the northeast of the bridge built across the canal on the road Vologda – Kirillov). His wife Elisaveta Alexeevna was an elementary school teacher. The Baldins lived near the fourth lock of the water system. Three-year old Tanya Baldina was depicted together with her parents, brother Victor and even neighbours on one of the group photos. In 1931, her father was transferred to Kirillov and Tanya Baldina had her picture taken with her town friends. Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya considered the area of Kirillov called Kuzminka to be her kind land of childhood. She attended the secondary school in Kirillov and then went to school of Volokoslavino in the ninth and tenth grades. She left school in 1945. She always remembered her literature teacher, Zoya Ivanovna Babaykina, with gratitude. In 1949, T.V. Baldina graduated from one of the best higher education institutions of the country - Leningrad State Pedagogical Institute named after Gertsen. It was exactly in that year when she was photographed with her brother Viktor, student of the naval school. The young teacher of Russian language and literature was assigned to the Vinnitskaya secondary school in the Leningrad region on graduation from the institute. Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya was depicted with her pupils and teachers of that school on three group photos of the early 1950s. Her life was connected with the Vologda Regional Cultural and Educational School (now the Vologda Regional Training School of Culture) in Kirillov from 1954 through 1980. She made the acquaintance of Konstantin Sergeevich Tserkovnitsky in that educational institution and got married to him in 1962. Many photographs evidenced that Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya initiated and took an active part in music and literary events along with teaching. She was awarded numerous honorary certificates, the badge of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR “For Excellent Work” (1966), the medal “For Valiant Labour - In Commemoration of the Centenary of the Birth of Vladimir Lenin” (1970), the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1976). Her teaching talent, great diligence, deep knowledge of the subject, love for poetry and music, respect for the pupils made Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya’s lessons real life lessons. She subscribed to and read literary magazines “Novy Mir” and Nash Sovremennik” during many years. She managed to attend the holidays about poet S.S. Orlov in Belozersk several times where she made the acquaintance of poets S.V. Vikulov, Y.V. Drunina, M.A. Dudin, writer V.P. Astafiev and got their autographs. We could see it in the pictures taken by K.S. Tserkovnitsky.

Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya was fond of the nature of the native region very much and often went on a hike around Lake Siveskoye with her friends. She gathered mushrooms, picked berries and herbs with pleasure. She was a kind, considerate and grateful daughter. In her letter of February 7, 1976, addressed to Leonid and Inessa Terentievs who worked in the Vologda Regional Cultural and Educational School from 1955 to 1965, she wrote about her parents: “We took them away for winter, because they couldn’t live alone in Sukhoverkhovo. I often had to be a nurse. The mother got better, but the father fell ill. And vice versa”. Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya’s father died in 1978, mother – in 1984. She overcame all life hardships with patience and fortitude.

The house of the Tserkovnitskys was always famous for its hospitality thanks to the cares of Tatiana Vasilievna. What guests had they not received! Relatives, colleagues, former graduates of the Vologda Regional Cultural and Educational School, artists and correspondents of various editions visited them. We could often see them sitting at a large table in the living room. Archbishop of Vologda and Veliky Ustiug Maximilian took the picture of Tatiana and Konstantin Tserkovnitskys at the same table. It was published in the book of E.R. Strelnikova “Ferapontovskiye Gatherings” and reproduced in the museum exhibition.

Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya was depicted at the museum events and displays that she attended with pleasure on several photos. Like her husband, she gave a lot of books, documents, photographs, and articles of the town life of the early 20th century to the museum. The Order of Lenin presented to her father V.A. Baldin in 1954 was one of the family heirlooms handed over to the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve. The exhibition “The Tserkovnitskys in History and Culture of Kirillov” was open in the museum from 2004 to 2005. In 2010, Tatiana Vasilievna donated a considerable part of the large home family library to the museum. The book collection of the Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve was replenished with more than 2000 books and periodicals the chronological framework of which covered the period from 1859 to 2007. The books with autographs of writers and grateful colleagues and pupils of Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya were displayed in the exhibition “Cherished Names and Persons” in the Museum of Town and District History in 2012. Thanks to cooperation with T.V. Tserkovnitskaya, the museum communicated with many old residents of Kirillov.

Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya was an honest and loyal wife: she nursed her seriously ill husband over three years. She didn’t have a rest and disregarded her own sicknesses during that period and almost lost her sight. She was operated twice in the Vologda Eye Hospital, but it didn’t help. Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya required physical assistance, but asked for it very rarely. She continued supporting and comforting others. Modesty and tact never failed her. Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya agreed to be a master of ceremonies at jubilee events only because she didn’t want to offend their organizers with her refusal.

The pictures taken at the events about Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya that were held in the district library, in the cultural school and in the museum would be kept as a remembrance. Visitors of the exhibition could also see the album of colour photographs depicting the event marking the 85th anniversary of Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya. It took place in the Vologda Regional Training School of Culture on September 29, 2012. The album was made and donated to the museum by Nikolay Vasilievich Borovikov who had also taught in that educational institution. Thanks to him, we could see video recordings of the meetings in which veterans of the cultural school took part in 1997 and 2008 and where Tatiana Tserkovnitskaya recited the verses of Bulat Okudzhava, Sergey Orlov and other poets. The photos and video recordings gave a chance to the visitors of the display to see a live image of T.V. Tserkovnitskaya – one of the best representatives of the Kirillov’s intelligentsia.

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