The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition “Anna Karenina”

image-0001March 27 - April 26, 2015
Yasnaya Polyana Gallery 

On March 27, 2015 the “Anna Karenina” exhibition, dedicated to one of the most famous works of Russian and world literature, will open at the Yasnaya Polyana Gallery (Tula, Oktyabrskaya St., 12).

This exhibition is a part of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum’s major project commemorating the 140th anniversary of the beginning of the publication of the novel in the Russky Vestnik magazine, implemented as part of the Year of Literature in Russia. The exhibition will show objects from the collections of the Tolstoy museums at Yasnaya Polyana and in Moscow, and of the A.A. Bakhrushin Theater Museum. 


The exhibition will permit visitors to follow the path of the creation of the novel from the writer’s first concept, Tolstoy’s contemporaries’ first exposure to it, through the interpretation and reading of it in the 20th century, conveyed through the works of book illustrators and film directors, right up to the current generation’s views.

The first three parts of Leo Tolstoy’s novel “Anna Karenina” were published in January – May of 1875 in issues 1-4 of the Russky Vestnik magazine. As the author remarked, he “not only did not expect any success,” but “feared a complete eclipsing” of his fame “due to this novel,” and that he was “very, very happy” that the novel “did not disgrace” him. N.N. Strakhov wrote that “for a long time afterwards the readers will recollect the time when they so eagerly awaited the next issues of Russky Vestnik.” 


140 years have passed. The novel has been published practically in all the world’s languages, numerous screen versions have appeared, and it has been staged in many theaters. Today, the name of Anna Karenina has become iconic. However, in our modern life full of digital technologies, we less and less frequently refer to the text itself. Though, as Tolstoy said, “in everything, or almost everything that I wrote, I was directed by an urge to gather thoughts linked together for their expression, but every thought specifically expressed in words loses its meaning and is awfully degraded when taken out of the linkage it belongs to. The linkage itself is not created by thought (I believe), but by something else, and it is totally impossible to express the foundation of that linkage directly through words; it’s possible to do it only indirectly – describing with words images, actions, and situations.”


At present we live in a society different from the one in which characters of the novel used to live. But the moral concepts of love, unfaithfulness, devotion and meanness, or reflections on good and evil, life and death, that the author brings up in the novel remain relevant. And each of us, just like the characters in the book, is trying to solve these issues for himself.

The exhibition will be open Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00.  The cost of admission without a guided tour: free of charge for visitors under 18; 15 rubles for discounted categories of tickets; and 30 rubles for regular tickets.

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