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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTRSS

© Courtesy of the press service of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve

Holy handicrafts

by Joy Neumeyer at 28/04/2012 19:23

‘Angels and Spindles’

Permanent exhibition at Kolomenskoye’s Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, 69 Prospekt Andropova, m. Kashirskaya, www.mgomz.ru
Open Tue.-Sun. 10 am-6 pm, closed Mon.

The ‘everyday’ portion of the exhibition displays handicrafts that peasants created and used at home

© Courtesy of the press service of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve

The ‘everyday’ portion of the exhibition displays handicrafts that peasants created and used at home

Discover centuries-old Russian craftwork from golden icon frames to wooden cake molds in a new exhibition at Kolomenskoye. Craftsmanship on display includes hand weaving, gold embroidery, carving, and wood painting. Items come from both splendid churches and humble peasant dwellings, revealing the different ways in which handicrafts decorated Russian daily life.

Glittering iconostasis pieces include sculptures, while columns and frames show the heavenly world that was presented to worshippers in Orthodox churches. Although most pieces are of Russian origin, there’s also a Chinese silk shawl from the 17th century, presented to Nicholas II by statesman Li Hongzhang as a coronation gift.

Perhaps the exhibition’s most fascinating object is a 17th-century canopy from the Solovetsky Monastery

© Courtesy of the press service of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve

Perhaps the exhibition’s most fascinating object is a 17th-century canopy from the Solovetsky Monastery

The “everyday” portion of the exhibition displays handicrafts that peasants created and used at home. Painted spindles for spinning wool, household carvings, and festive hand-embroidered clothing show the important role decorative arts played in labor and leisure alike.

Perhaps the exhibition’s most fascinating object is a canopy from the Solovetsky Monastery, an ancient site on the White Sea’s Solovetsky Islands that served as an early Soviet prison camp. The eye-catching 17th-century construction is adorned with handpainted carvings and molded in the shape of a crown with eight points. A film explains the story behind the canopy’s construction, unlikely survival, and restoration.

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