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News

The Keeper of the Sholokhovs’ House

09.06.2016

On June 13, it is the anniversary of Valentina Ismailovna Sholokhova, Head of the Memorial House Museum of M.A.Sholokhov.

Valentina Ismailovna was born in Khasavyurt, the Dagestan Soviet Socialist Republic. Her father, Ismail Alimkhanovich, was the chief editor of the republican newspaper, was a friend of Dagestan poet Rasul Gamzatov. Her mother, Filitsata Mikhailovna, was a school teacher of the Russian language and literature.

After leaving school Valentina Ismailovna entered the Moscow M.V.Lomonosov State University, biological faculty. During the study she got acquainted with Mikhail Mikhailovich Sholokhov, the younger son of the writer. Mikhail Mikhailovich told: “She was the most beautiful. One of a million…” In 1957, Mikhail Mikhailovich and Valentina Ismailovna got married. On graduating the young couple lived and worked in Rostov-on-Don.

Having defended the Candidate thesis in chemistry Valentina Ismailovna worked as senior teacher in the Rostov State Pedagogical Institute, at the faculty of Natural Sciences, then she worked as senior chemistry teacher in the High Technical Educational Institution of the Rostov Plant of Agricultural Machine Construction.

In 1962, a son Alexander was born into the Sholokhovs’ family. He was brought up in a friendly family, he inherited love for nature and reading from his parents. At present, Alexander Mikhailovich is the director of the National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve. Under his guidance the museum has become one of the leading cultural centres of Russia and has gained the worldwide fame.

Valentina Ismailovna and Mikhail Mikhailovich lived in Rostov-on-Don and often visited their parents in Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya. Mikhail Alexandrovich and Mariya Petrovna treated their daughter-in-law warmly and carefully like their own daughter. Valentina Ismailovna was one of the hosts at the meetings with guests in the Sholokhovs’ house: Y.Gagarin, N.Khrushchov, Ch.Snow, M.Larni, the Kosygins’ family, S.Bondarchuk, A.Kalinin, V.Zakrutkin and other well-known people. Together with the Sholokhovs she travelled to many foreign countries.

Mariya Petrovna wanted their house to remain the same hospitable as it was in the life time of its host. The children fulfilled her wish. In 1994, the house of M.A.Sholokhov was opened for visitors. The work of the department “The Estate of M.A.Sholokhov” was joined by Svetlana Mikhailovna, Mikhail Mikhailovich

and Valentina Ismailovna. Valentina Ismailovna directed the work and took part in the development of the exhibition scientific concept, did a lot on selection and description of the exhibits, and on organization of excursions about the writer’s house and estate. On the initiative of Valentina Ismailovna new exhibitions were opened: “The Nobel Triumph”, “For Travelling” and “Garage”. The exhibition “Hunting” was added with the writer’s personal guns.

Valentina Ismailovna is a real keeper of the House, she contributed a lot into preservation of its unique atmosphere which prevailed during the writer’s life. This is well proved by the visitors’ entries in the Guest Book. The “pilgrimage” to “the heart of the Museum”, the Memorial House of M.A.Sholokhov, increases from year to year. The guests from different parts of Russia and abroad – Italy, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, the USA, China, Japan and other countries, – have become frequenters to the Estate.

Valentina Ismailovna leads a big team. In order to spread the work and biography of the writer she works out the themes of the research, writes articles, works over the catalogues of the museum exhibits, over the archives of the Sholokhovs’ family and gives consultations to the employees. Valentina Ismailovna is a preceptor and a real friend. We are endlessly grateful to her for her concern, support and advice.

Valentina Ismailovna takes the life with optimism and her inherent wisdom. She is a loving mother, a caring grandmother, a hospitable and cordial hostess. Her garden leaves no one indifferent: there are lots of roses, clematises, delphiniums, daylilies, aquilegias…

We sincerely congratulate Valentina Ismailovna on her wonderful jubilee and wish her good health, happiness and family warmth.

The team of the Department “The Estate of M.A.Sholokhov”