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The National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve is 35

11.07.2019

35 years ago, on July 11, 1984, the National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve was founded to perpetuate the memory of the great Russian writer. The Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov is a system of expositions, exhibitions, memorial sites showing a complete picture of the writer’s life and the atmosphere of the Cossack life at the turn of the XIX–XX centuries. This is one of the most dynamically developing European museums constantly expanding the sphere of its cultural influence in Russia and abroad.

The first director of the Museum-Reserve was appointed Nikolay Alexandrovich Bulavin, a former head of the District CPSU Committee. His experience in working with different institutions and organizations, his inherent dedication enabled him within six months to carry out a reconstruction of several museum buildings and to open the first exhibitions already in May 1985. An invaluable assistance in the creation of the Museum-Reserve was rendered by Y.S.Melentyev, the RSFSR Minister of Culture. The residents of Vyoshenskaya, who began their museum biography, also remember the specialists of the State Literary Museum headed by its director N.V.Shakhalova. Many creative, working connections of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov, which were developed during the first museum years with the leading museum specialists of the country, turned into friendly relations for decades. This is only possible between congenial people, who share the same and clear tasks and aspirations – preservation of the cultural heritage of the great nation of the great country.

One of the merits of N.A.Bulavin was his General Scheme of the Museum-Reserve development reflecting the fact for the Museum to be developed as a complex of memorial, historical-ethnographic and natural sights of the territory. Unfortunately, N.A.Bulavin headed the Museum-Reserve only three years. He died and left unrealized a lot of things he had conceived. But within this short time he determined the prospects for the Museum-Reserve development, made up a team of employees whose work and involvement in the development of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov became a matter of honour and conscience. In 1988, the director was V.V.Sukovatov, who continued the work on the Museum-Reserve formation according to the development prospects planned for many years ahead.

Separately and with deep gratitude we should speak about the participation of the writer's descendants in the development of the Museum-Reserve. The widow of the writer, Mariya Petrovna Sholokhova, took the most active part in the matters of the Museum-Reserve during the first years of its existence. The writer’s daughters Mariya and Svetlana worked at the Museum-Reserve. The permanent consultations

of the scientific secretary Svetlana Mikhailovna on all the questions concerning the life and work of Sholokhov made the great contribution in the Sholokhov literary studies and in the museum practice. For many years Mikhail Mikhailovich Sholokhov had worked as general consultant at the Museum-Reserve. The book by M.M.Sholokhov “About My Father” opens a lot to understand the writer’s position in the complicated life situations, his attitude to freedom of speech and social responsibility of the writer. His wife Valentina Ismailovna has been the head of the department “Memorial Estate of the Sholokhovs” since the day of the museum establishment. The exposition of the memorial house, exhibitions prepared under her leadership are always popular with the visitors.

For thirty years A.M.Sholokhov, the writer’s grandson, has been working at the Museum-Reserve including sixteen years of his being its director. Thanks to numerous ideas and initiatives of Alexander Mikhailovich the Museum-Reserve has gained international sounding and significance.

Now we clearly understand how it is important that in Sholokhov country there is not simply a memorial museum of the writer, but a museum-reserve, what most completely corresponds to the modern view of the museum as a multifunctional institution of social memory, as an area of diverse communication processes, a place of “education by culture”.

The Reserve is an open museum. The number of the tourists visiting it, joining it, greatly exceeds the number of the registered exhibition visitors inside the buildings. The authenticity of the object combined with the authenticity of the space gives rise to a unique situation of immersion into the subject, into a different time.

The significance of any museum is also determined by the uniqueness of its collection. In the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov there are more than 77000 museum items: manuscripts, books, photographs, objects of fine art, ethnography and archeology. Of particular value is the memorial part of the collection received from the descendants of the writer. The structure of the Museum-Reserve comprises the most modern repository of the museum collections equipped with the units creating a microclimate optimal for storing museum objects.

The Federal State Budget Institution of Culture “National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve” numbers today 350 employees, 25 departments, about 40 000 hectares of the protected natural landscape area, where there are 270 monuments of history, culture, wildlife and archeology.

A high appreciation of the Museum-Reserve achievements was its inclusion in 2006, into the State Code of especially valuable objects of cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation. The Museum is a member of the International Club of Professional Excellence, it is certified for the valuable

contribution to the preservation of the world cultural heritage, awarded the gold medal “National Treasure”, awarded for the high achievements in improving the quality of the museum work with a nominee diploma for the title “The Best Museum in Europe”, the Silver Crown of the All-Russian competition “Leaders of the Travel Industry”, it became the winner of the contest of museum memorial projects of the All-Russian Historical and Literary Prize “Alexander Nevsky”, the winner of the National Yu.Senkevich Tourist Award and a number of other awards.

Within the framework of one article, it is impossible to tell about the big and diverse work of the team of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov for the preservation of cultural heritage. For thirty-five years, a special type of a museum-reserve has been created and continues to develop dynamically, organically including a complex of monuments of history and culture, architecture, memorial buildings, unique natural areas, museum exhibitions, collections reflecting not only the life and work of M.A.Sholokhov, but also much wider subjects. The concept of the Museum-Reserve development called the Open Air Novel allows the museum team to implement the most ambitious projects.

 

Lyudmila Razogreyeva