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

Festivals of children’s art “From kids to kids” organized by the museum together with Izvara school and club in 1992 -2000 became the special page of Izvara history. They employed premises of the museum, the assembly hall and gym of the school, the building of the former Agricultural colony. During preparation and conduction of these festivals children took part in different contests, saw exhibitions of their peers and learned different applied arts, worked with potter’s wheel, created old penny whistles of Izvara clay, did floristics etc. under the supervision of professional artists and sculptors.

During the festival children of various musical schools and studios performed, classical and folk music was played, dances of different nations were performed, actors of children’s circus participated. Performance of young actors was mixed with visiting children’s exhibitions in the museum, horse and sledge riding of both participants and spectators. Children’s impressions were put in essays, the results of festival became the holiday for everyone. During 9 years every spring Izvara became the realm of children, city-garden. Living these meetings with art in nature, the first attempts of independent creative acts under the impression of works of the peers became the event not only for local children but for everyone who came to Izvara.

Izvara children’s festival was an impetus for analogous event in the district center Volosovo named “Colour and sound of N.K. Roerich’s realm”, the relay race continued.

In 1994, the year of 120th N.K. Roerich’s birth anniversary N.K.Roerich’s museum in Izvara organized the International conference devoted to research on the concept and practical experience of studying nature of the Institute for Himalayan Studies “Urusvati” which was set up by N.K.Roerich in order to develop the science of future and form the integral world-view “Urusvati Institute: Formation of a New Scientific World Outlook”.

It’s significant that on the 1st day (May, 31) the conference venue was Maly (Lomonosov’s) Hall of Historical building of the Academy of Science, the second day it continued in Izvara.

Research on activities of “Urusvati” institute, seeking for methods of its application, use of N.K. Roerich’s heritage for education of children were discussed at the conference “Creative heritage of N.K. Roerich’s and issues of education of children on the threshold of the 21st century” in Izvara in 1997, it was attended by teachers, museums staff, representatives of science and culture of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

D.S. Likhachev was invited to participate but he apologized for not coming due to an important meeting with Soros and wished successful work for the conference saying that he liked N.K. Roerich’s museum in Izvara. His words became parting wishes for the museum work.

The conference presented the draft for N.K.Roerich’s museum for creation of Children cultural and educational center in Izvara on the base of the former Agricultural colony based on the principle of Culture as synthesis of science, art and religion.

School conference “Roerich and ecology” conducted in 1997 was a significant landmark in cultural and ecological work, it was organized by the museum staff together with M.Gilevich, teacher of Biology and Chemistry in Izvara secondary school. During preparation the stake was made on interest of children to independent work.

The museum staff prepared all the necessary material sorting out the necessary publications, documents, but being only methologists who discussed the plan of conference with the teacher but did not enter teacher-pupil communication. They allocated the museum’s hall for children coming every day after classes, working and talking independently, discussing topics of presentations and the arisen question. The task was for children to feel themselves independent scientists who worked with sources including old books (many of children saw them for the first time), documents and topical publication. The possibility of independent research and solutions couldn’t but get interested. The conference was almost prepared by 10-form pupils of Izvara school. The most successful presentations included the project on ecological protection of Izvara which consisted of the problem analysis and constructive proposals on its solution. Besides teachers of different schools of Leningrad region guests of the conference included a correspondent form radio “Russia”, she was impressed by children’s performance, the degree of material elaboration of inner interest of the participants. Objectively children gave lesson to grown ups concerning active stance on the problem of protection of Izvara nature. The prepared radio programme – the conference report covered all the events for the bigger audience.

Scientific and educational work of the museum: conferences conducted in Izvara, practice of work with pupils of Izvara school on studying natural and historical monuments of Izvara, learning traditions of Russian culture and fork culture of different nations regarding attitude towards nature formed opportunities for more serious joint work of the museum and school.

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: