The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition: The Brothers Grimm. Life and Works

grimm1May 6 - June 26, 2016
Yasnaya Polyana Estate 
Volkonsky House 

The exhibition will open on May 5 at 14:30. The director of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum Ekaterina Tolstaya and the director of the Brothers Grimm Museum in Kassel Bernhard Lauer will be present at the opening.

Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 16:30. Admission is free.


This exhibition, organized by the Brothers Grimm Association (Kassel, Germany) and the Yasnaya Polyana Museum, will show documents related to Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm‘s collecting and research work and creation of their tales, and also well-known illustrations to some of them: Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. Numerous personal documents of the brothers will be on display, too: rare photographs, and handwritten texts – beginning with their childhood years (for example, the four-year-old Jacob and Wilhelm‘s birthday wishes to their father dated 1789) up to the last years of their lives in Berlin.

Another important subject is the Brothers Grimm‘s international communication. One of the exhibition‘s sections will focus on historical proof of their interaction with the research community of Europe and Russia. For example, Jacob Grimm was a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, and the brothers‘ legacy contains documents confirming their correspondence with some outstanding Russian scholars. 


Background information: 

The brothers Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859) Grimm are famous all over the world due to their Children‘s and Household Tales (1812-1815). However, they were interested not only in folk tales, but also the traditions of the German people, and the history of their native land and its language and literature. It was the Brothers Grimm who became the founders of German studies, the field of humanities that studies the German language and literature. They also played a big role in the political movement in Germany in the 19th century.

At the time the brothers had just begun to study folk tales and potery, the city of Kassel and the land of Hessen where they lived then were under Napoleon’s rule. In those difficult years, their scholarly and cultural activities helped the German people to discover their identity through culture, and through their language and tales. In 1815, Jacob Grimm took part in the Congress of Vienna and did all he could to ensure that the cultural property taken to Paris during the war would be brought back to Germany. Later Jacob became a member of the first National Assembly in Frankfurt am Mein – the Frankfurt Parliament.  

Besides Jacob and Wilhelm, there was one more brother in the Grimm family – the artist Ludwig Emil Grimm, who was the first illustrator of his brothers’ tales and also the author of numerous paintings related to the life of his family. One of such works is the famous 1843 portrait of Jacob and Wilhelm, which will be shown at the exhibition. 

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