The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition “Music of Flower Spheres”

vistovka_f_1July 10 – August 5, 2013
Local History Museum of Krapivna

Opening: on July 9 at 14:00

Dear friends, you are welcome to visit the “Music of Flower Spheres” exhibition done by the Folk Arts Department of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum. The exhibition consists of two sections: “Color Music” and “Signs of the Zodiac.” Creating their dried flowers compositions based on traditions started by Leo Tolstoy’s wife Sophia, our craftswomen want to share their own joyous perception of nature with the visitors.

Making herbaria from field and meadow flowers and herbs was one of the favourite occupations of Sophia Tolstaya. The memorial collection of our museum (in the Tolstoy House) contains 3 albums of herbaria composed by Sophia. They also have her notes and comments, which make it clear that not only family members gathered those flowers and herbs, but also their friends and guests of Yasnaya Polyana. These herbaria have preserved up to now the freshness of colors and natural beauty of the flowers.

Following this tradition, our craftswomen Marina Korabelnikova and Tatiana Frolova create whole exhibitions of flower compositions on glass, collages of photographs of the Tolstoy family and flower elements, and other items (candlesticks, candles, and three-dimensional compositions). They prepare all the necessary materials on their own, gathering flowers and herbs at the estate. Many of their works show landscapes of Yasnaya Polyana, and visitors to their exhibitions can sometimes see the Tolstoy estate from quite an unexpected angle.     

The “Signs of the Zodiac” section of the present display stands somewhat apart among our other exhibitions of the kind. The idea for it belongs to Alexander Kartashov, the museum’s chief designer. The focus of the exhibition is a large corner composition showing the Zodiac  - the circle composed of flowers and herbs of the colors associated with 4 elements (Earth, Water, Fire, and Air). On both sides of the circle are the signs of the Zodiac – images of the zodiacal constellations taken from the old star atlas of the Czech astronomer Hevelius, printed on transparent plastic and decorated with flowers which replace the stars.  This Zodiac circle is the center of the whole composition, which draws your attention and seems to pull you into a whirlpool made of the flowers of rudbeckia, whose yellow and orange petals seem to turn into solar protuberances. The authors of the composition as it were play with the flowers of Yasnaya Polyana, strewing them on the starry sky. The poet was right who said that the stars are the reflections of flowers in the sky. 

Our museum’s flower exhibitions have been shown many times in Tula, Moscow and other Russian cities, always being a surprise and a joy for the visitors. And it’s easy to understand why – as Leo Tolstoy once said, “The purest joy is that of nature.”

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