The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition «The Don River. Sholokhov. Russia»
October 6 - November 25, 2011, Yasnaya Polyana Art Gallery (Tula, Oktyabrskaya 12)

The exhibition tells the visitors about the great Russian writer and Nobel Prize winner Mikhail Sholokhov (1905 – 1984) by means of his personal things and unique documents.

Organized by: RF Ministry of Culture, State Museum-reserve of Mikhail Sholokhov (village of Veshenskaya, Rostov Region), Yasnaya Polyana Museum-estate

sholokhov3The idea of this exhibition was a result of a long friendship between the museums of two great Russian authors - Leo Tolstoy and Mikhail Sholokhov, and a number of joint exhibition projects we had had before. In 2006 – 2007, objects from the collections of both museums were displayed in Taiwan at the exhibition Heading Towards the People's Literature - Dialogue Between Russia and Taiwan; in 2009 – 2010, the Garden of Tolstoy exhibition was shown at the Sholokhov museum. The next step was to bring the exhibition devoted Mikhail Sholokhov to Tula and to tell tourists visiting Tula and Yasnaya Polyana about this author by means of his personal things and documents. But, as the title suggests,Sholokhov is not the only theme of the exhibition.

 sholokhov4Mikhail Sholokhov’s life is very closely linked with his native land – the region of the River Don. It was there that he was born, became a writer, and lived most of his life. It does not often happen that a writer’s native land becomes part and parcel of his literary work to such a great extent. Sholokhov’s very name seems to be “inseparable” from his “quiet Don”  (Quiet Flows the Don is his most famous novel). The exhibition gives a glimpse of the life in Russia in the 20th century, and tells about important historic events and Sholokhov’s reaction to them. Posters, popular prints, Sholokhov’s personal things and objects of that time help us feel the atmosphere of those years.
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Historic canvas of all Sholokhov’s works was the life of the Don Cossacks. In relation to Tales from the DonVirgin Soil Upturned, and Quiet Flows the Don, the exhibition tells about the life of the people on their land both in peaceful days and in the times of war, including the most terrible ordeal for any nation – the civil war. One of the sections of the exhibition shows ethnographical objects of the early 20th century: clothes of Cossack men and women, objects of everyday life and tools, and military decorations. Sholokhov lived among the Cossacks his whole life, and did much for the cause of preserving their culture and traditions. The exhibition also reveals his love of nature and his enthusiasm for fishing and hunting; among the exhibits are some his numerous letters to the Soviet government and his public speeches in favour of environmental protection. 

Another section of the exhibition shows Sholokhov’s awards, both Soviet and international, numerous translations of his works, and illustrations to his stories.  

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