The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition of Traditional Toys of Tula
igrushka1March 28 – May 15, 2014
Local History Museum of Krapivna 

Opening of the exhibition: on March 28 at 14:00

At the exhibition of traditional Tula toys made by craftswomen Irina Bezhina and Olga Andreeva, you will see women of fashion under umbrellas, dancing and newlywed couples, wet-nurses with babies, and amusing cats from the composition “The Cat Town.” While the exhibition is open, the authors will offer workshops on making and painting Tula toys for school groups and for all comers. 

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The Tula toy has a long history. In old days, there was a settlement on the outskirts of Tula that was called the Big Potters. The men there made pottery – clay pots, bowls, cups, and jugs, and the women made dolls - elegant ladies. Those toys were not only bought for children, but also as decorations for homes; they were often placed on a chest of drawers or between the frames in the window for everybody to see.  

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This craft existed till the early 1920s. Later, the toys became less popular, and the craftsmen stopped making them. For a long time, traditional toys of Tula could be seen only in museums in the capital cities. Decades later, the craftswomen from Tula Irina Bezhina and Olga Andreeva became interested in the old craft. They studied the toys in museums, looked through archival materials, and made sketches and copies of old toys.

Now they continue to make Tula toys, preserving and carrying on this old tradition. Olga Andreeva has students who have shown their works at various exhibitions within the last few years. Due to the efforts of these craftswomen, the traditional Tula toy is now known both in Russia and abroad.
 
 
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