The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition of Evgeny Kumankov


March 1 – April 21, 2013
Yasnaya Polyana Gallery

Opening of the exhibition: on February 28 at 17.00

This exhibition is a joint project of Yasnaya Polyana and the State A. Pushkin Museum in Moscow:  the works of Evgeny Kumankov (1920-2012) displayed at the «Yasnaya Polyana» Gallery, Tula, belong to the collections of these two museums. Visitors to Yasnaya Polyana can also see some works of this author (illustrations to «War and Peace») at the exhibition «What Is Art» currently shown at the Kuzminsky House. All those who know Russian cinema well, are also familiar with Kumankov’s works; as a film artist, he worked a lot with Leonid Gaidai (for example, on his comedies «The Twelve Chairs», «Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future», and «It Can’t Be!»). Kumankov’s paintings and drawings can be found in the collections of many Russian museums. 


Evgeny Kumankov was born in Smolensk. In 1943 he graduated from the S. Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), Moscow. Two years later he became the film artist of the «Mosfilm» studio. From 1974 to 1999 Kumankov was the chief designer of the Maly Theater; he was the author of the scenery and costumes for a great many plays, including «Woe from Wit», «Tsar Boris», «Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich», «Russian People», and «The Golovlev Family».

Among the artists paintings there  is a series of works showing different Russian and foreign cities. The Moscow series, which includes both paintings and drawings, was of special importance for the author , as Kumankov himself admitted. He donated many works of this series to the State Pushkin Museum, and they can be seen at our exhibition, as well as Kumankov’s illustrations to «The Queen of Spades», Pushkin’s famous story. 

The collection of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum can boast of having the entire collection of Kumankov’s splendid illustrations to «War and Peace». In 1961-62, Kumankov worked as the chief designer on the film War and Peace directed by Sergey Bondarchuk.While working on his sketches, the artist visited Yasnaya Polyana many times, and the atmosphere of the Tolstoy estate contributed greatly to his work. Unfortunately, this work was never finished and was not realized in the final version of the film. But later Kumankov returned to it many times. As a result, he created a series of drawings, not for the film any more, but for his own creative satisfaction. Our exhibition shows, for the first time, the larger part of this collection. 




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