The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Kuzminsky House

Fligel_kuzminskihOriginally, this house was (like the Tolstoy House) a part of the architectural ensemble that was planned by Prince Volkonsky. It consisted of the large manor house, in which Leo Tolstoy was born (that house was not preserved) and two small houses (wings). One of them later became the house where Tolstoy lived with his family and grew bigger as the years went by; the other house remained unchanged since the time of Prince Volkonsky, and was used for various purposes.

In 1859 Tolstoy opened a school for peasant children here; it worked till 1862. The well-lit rooms on the upper floor were used as classrooms, and on the ground floor there was equipment for gymnastics. The school also had a small natural history museum.

In later years, guests stayed in this house. The most frequent guest who lived here was Tolstoy’s sister-in-law Tatiana Kuzminskaya with her family. Therefore, the house came to be called the Kuzminsky House.

fliegel2The Kuzminsky House accommodates museum exhibitions. The first exhibition (Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana) was opened here in 1928, the centennial of Tolstoy’s birth.  Later the Literary Museum was created here. Since the 1990s the house has accommodated temporary exhibitions revealing different aspects of the life of Leo Tolstoy and his family. Among the exhibitions shown here from 1994 were: Faith, Hope, and Love of Sophia Tolstaya, Tolstoy and Cinema, The Living Tolstoy, and Alexandra Tolstaya.

Now the exhibition What is Art? can be seen in the Kuzminsky House.

«The next morning we went to see the house where the school was. Upstairs there were light, spacious, high-ceilinged rooms, with a balcony and a beautiful open view. Little did I think at that time that for 25 years I would be coming here almost every summer with my family and staying in this very house» (Tatiana Kuzminskaya. My Life at Home and at Yasnaya Polyana).


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