The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition “Spring Mood”
001March 6 – April 30, 2014 
"All Arts" Souvenir Shop

The opening takes place on March 6 at 15:00  

The coming spring does not yet gladden the residents of Tula with nice weather. The melting snow and the grey twilight and days don’t help any. And we all are longing for Spring, with its bright sun, merry brooks, and the twittering of birds.

The Folk Arts Department of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum hopes to bring Spring a little closer and make spirits higher with its exhibition of woven items and handmade dolls. This “sunny” exhibition includes woven mats and a collection of dolls in traditional Tula costumes.  


Many of the mats were woven by the craftswoman Tatiana Kharitonova from old used items, which corresponds to the old tradition. It used to be difficult to obtain fabrics in the old days and they usually were used to make clothes without any extra pieces left over, so old and worn articles of clothing were used for making woven mats, runners, and bedspreads. They were cut into strips 1.5-2 cm wide, and then mats were woven from these strips on a weaving loom. Usually threads of two colours were also used for the process, and most mats had geometrical patterns. Our craftswoman follows old traditions, and at the exhibition you can see mats and runners woven in the same old techniques.

But the peak of folk arts was always considered to be the festive traditional costume. The best fabrics were used to make it, and it was richly decorated with embroidery, gold braid, and hand-made lace. Young girls would sew costumes for themselves as part of their dowry. The merits of the bride were judged by the quality of the costume. Therefore, bright and richly decorated costumes were worn only on special occasions and could be passed down to later generations.  


The dolls displayed at our exhibition are wearing specimens of such costumes. All the costumes were made based on objects from the collections of museums in Tula, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, and are exact copies of them, mostly hand-made. They were made by Tatiana Ashurova and Aelita Prilepskaya. 

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