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

The quality step of this joint work was the museum’s participation in its programme developed on proposal of Izvara school: “Creation of model of school as a center of social culture in the countryside through exploration of N.K. Roerich’s heritage” (1998-2001). This programme was submitted by school for Soros grant which it succeeded in receiving. We would like to mention the most important principles.

Exploring N.K. Roerich’s heritage which included detail learning of life and creative activatity of the artist was assumed to be conducted in form of subjects, the most natural form for pupils. Characteristic feature of the programme was that all the lessons including such topics as “N.K. Roerich – geographer and traveler or studying of the play “Mercy” were prepared by teachers in close cooperation with the museum. This 3-year experience proved in practice, in the usual village school environment, that joint efforts of teachers and the museum’s staff using all the available pedagogical and museum devices led to the highest creative result.

Teachers from different schools of the region and representatives of the Department for education who attended the open lesson on the play “Mercy” were impressed by highly emotional performance of children who staged a fragment of the play where the main idea is the struggle of ignorance and culture which can be won only by Love and Kindness.

The task of increasing interest of children to natural and historical monuments of the district, their attraction to research work is tackled by N.K. Roerich’s museum with a help of the District Local History Conference “To love the birthplace one should cognize it”. Pupils and teachers of Izvara, Kalitino, Seltso, Volosovo as well as experts from St. Petersburg took part in it. Presentations about the unique natural and cultural objects of Volosovo district: lake Dontso, “Devil’s stone”, mansion of the Korfs were delivered, Izvara schoolchildren reported about the history of activity of “Urusvati”, the Institute for Himalayan studies.

Many presentations resulted from independent studies that impressed the children who came to the conference from all around Volosovo district.

The museum actively employs all the available capacities: work with children in the museum, school, kindergarten, conferences, summer ecological programmes and all the types of creative activities.

The important part of this work includes annual District feast devoted to the birthday of N.K. Roerich which is in October. The museum prepares topical exhibitions connected with N.K. Roerich’s activities. For example, in 1996 an exhibition devoted to the Roerichs’ travel in the Altai took place together with exhibition “N.K. Roerich and archeology”. Performance of “Yarmanka”, a folk group coming from the mountainous Altai, in the opening of the exhibition as well as in the museum and village club became the even for the museum guests including many children and youngsters of Izvara.

The group which collects old believers’ songs and renews some old customs and shows them helps a spectator to enter through the force of art the ancient world of man-nature Unity perceived by our ancestors and allows to have emotional joy of this Unity.

Record of the group performance as well as interview with its participants was broadcast during several weeks by local radio allowing the inhabitants of Volosovo district to learn traditions of the Russian folk culture of the remote Altai through archaic but viable art.

In 2000 the museum continued practice of celebration of N.K. Roerich’s birthday and Cultural Days in Volosovo district associated with this date filling them with various vivid cultural events.

In 2000 there was also a festival of documentaries about nature which gathered directors of documentaries: D. Polovnikov from Vologda, R.P. Sergienko from Moscow who are laureates of many international awards and festivals.

Watching documentaries and meetings with their directors were held in the museum and district schools. N.K. Roerich’s museum showed documentary “Vernadsky’s Law”.

This day pupils from St. Petersburg school specializing in ecology were guests of the museum. They discussed the film, the burning issues of environment protection and problems of culture with its director R.P. Sergienkoled.

Cultural days adjourned by the Day of Cinema in Volosovo’s House of Culture which showed documentary about N.K. Roerich ( directors R.A. Grigorieva, R.P. Sergienko).

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: