Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
Nicholas Roerich
Estate Museum
in Izvara
O.A. Cherkasova «Museum as the center of ecological education»

In 1990 due to expansion of the museum staff and formation of the core activists it became possible to start diverse enlightenment cultural and ecological activities. Naturally traditions of the mansion culture were taken into account as additional capacities of the museum.

The first landmarks in this way were Lecture center “Natural, historical and cultural monuments of Volosovo district” organized by the museum for schoolchildren, librarians, teachers and clubs of Volosovo district in Volosovo district Administration and summer cultural and ecological camp for volunteers from all over Russia, Belorus and Moldova who wanted to visit N.K. Roerich’s museum in Izvara and provide possible help to the museum.

“Izvara meetings” is the first attempt to join efforts on the basis of the museum for both useful activities concerning protection of the environment (cleaning of spring lakes, lining up of the park paths etc.) and in well-planned cultural and educational programme: feasts of Russian, Moldavian, Belorussian cultures, classes in ceramic workshop, walks and excursions around Izvara, classes and talks in the museum were conducted.

Even at the first step a specific working style was elaborated: maximum diversity of forms which is targeted at a very different age audience (13-70-year-old participants came from different cities and republics).

The first experience showed efficiency of such work in the old Russian mansion which atmosphere was reproduced in new conditions thank to harmonizing space of the mansion itself and friendliness of people coming from different places and united by interest to the artistic life and ideas of N.K. Roerich. These essential circumstances transferred non-attractive work in the museum territory into the joyful event.

Renovation of the mansion park, cleaning of springs and other natural works connected with melioration of the old park territory were combined with staged feasts. The most vivid event was celebration of Midsummer Day in the mansion that allowed to immerse in folk pagan traditions of the past and perceive all the complex spiritual and emotional atmosphere of uniting man and nature in the cultural context of the certain place. The impression was strengthened by the fact that everything took place in Izvara, the space native and beloved by N.K. Roerich, once he used to cognize there the folk culture, nature and history feeling himself as an integral part of the Unity. Everyone who was in Izvara during the work of the first cultural and ecological camp witnessed and participated in a landmark event: the museum staff was informed that an old park in Yablonitsy, which was mentioned by N.K. Roerich in connection with the enigmatic rajah who came and lived there in the epoch of Cathrine the II creating the park in “Mongolian style”, was going to be demolished due to construction of a technical station. The decision was made but the construction was not finished yet. It was time to take quick measures. Having called to the Administration of Yablonitsy selsovet the museum staff arranged to conduct meeting with initiators of this construction, representatives of the district and local administrations and pursue them not to do it. The museum’s funds preserved photos of that event. The meeting took place in the old park, it was attended by many people interested in both construction and its prevention. Referring to memoirs of N.K. Roerich, his evaluation of importance of such witnesses of old Russian-Indian relations in our country the museum staff managed to assure everyone to preserve these lands for the next generations. Interestingly, when initiators of the construction agreed to sort out another place their leader decided to add the museum’s information about the park in Yablonitsy with some valuable data. He grew up in this location and showed the presence of these data covered by bushes and vegetation characteristic for this territory.

That event was the joint victory of all the participants of the first cultural and ecological camp in Izvara.

In 1990 the programme of work of N.K. Roerich’s museum in Izvara with children of different ages, schoolchildren and adolescents was started to be formed, its principles and specific features taking into account of cultural and natural treats of Izvara, its surroundings and broader Volosovo district of Leningrad region as well as specific features of the Russian mansion culture and, naturally, principles how N.K.Roerich treated it were established. From the very beginning the museum’s staff regarded it very important to consider N.K. Roerich’s ideas and artistic life in the context of the Russian culture on the threshold of the 19th and 20th centuries.



Museum Address: 188414, Izvara Village, Volosovo District, Leningrad Region, Russia.
Phones: +7-813-73-73-273 (group tours); Phone/Fax +7-813-73-73-298 (general)
Museum Director: Cherkasova Olga Anatolievna E-mail: isvara_museum@mail.ru