"If you are treated with tea, people respect you"
25 January

Last year at the end of January, a significant event took place in Museum and Exhibition Center of Kirovsk Branch JSC “Apatit”. This day permanent exhibition “Everyday Life and Customs of the Russian Empire” was open. Today we are going to sum up some results of this exposition.

The framing of the exhibition started in early 2016. It took several months to develop a project for a new exposition (to collect materials, analyze exhibits, prepare showrooms, develop a program of activities and guided tours).

And, less than a year later, January 25, 2017, the representatives from various museums of Murmansk Oblast, as well as the directors of corporate museums of PhosAgro group, the designers, the workers of culture, leisure and social services gathered at Museum and Exhibition Center at the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

Among the guests was Dmitry Rogov, a famous collector of samovars, the author of several books on tea drinking traditions, who lectured and conducted a tour to the new exhibition.

A huge advantage is that the exposition is represented in two halls: one is available for all visitors, and the other is open by appointment. In 2017, more than 40,000 people visited our Museum. All of them had a chance to visit the exhibition.

In two halls of the exhibition, you may learn about the masterpiece of technical thought embodied by Russian craftsmen, a kind of symbol of a family hearth and comfort, the central subject of tea ceremony – samovar.

Despite the international nature of samovar, it, nevertheless, has a very special national flavor, without which it was impossible to imagine Russian tea tradition.

The exposition “Everyday Life and Customs of the Russian Empire” includes more than 700 items of city, nobility, merchants’ and rural life of the period of the mid XVII – beginning of XX century.

The exhibition was unusual and even, according to true connoisseurs of samovars, innovative: in stylish and modernly decorated halls, visitors got acquainted with samovars, household items, elegant ware, learn about the traditions of tea drinking for different class groups, some exhibits you may even touch.

The first hall is available for all visitors at any time. The exposition of this hall is divided into 5 sections: here you will learn the types of samovars, find analogues of modern devices, learn interesting facts about drinks.
The second hall is so-called our “secret room” for guided tours by appointment. In this hall, you will be acquainted with the life and mores of different class groups of the Russian Empire, learn about the structure of the samovar and collect your own version. The highlight of the exhibition is the acquaintance with the characters from B. M. Kustodiev’s pictures “The Merchant’s Wife at Tea” (1948.) and “The Cabman at Tea” (1920), which not only involve all the spectators into a quiz, but are ready to talk about Russian tea traditions.

From the very first days of the exhibition visitors actively participated in various activities developed by our tour guides. In programs for young visitors, children are invited to show their imagination in a creative task – to draw a samovar. For older children we prepared quizzes and games.

The members of the Internet community did not remain uninvolved. During a month, we introduced you to our exhibits, and you actively supported this idea, proposing your own options for the use and purpose of all these items.

In mid-February, students of Weekend School of the Church of the Savior of the Holy Image of the Lord Jesus Christ from Kirovsk visited our new permanent exhibition.

Famous athletes and legends of skiing, invited by “PhosAgro” to the all-Russian ski competition “Khibinskaya Vesna-2017”, were also able to learn about the traditions of the Russian Empire. Many of famous guests visited our Museum and Exhibition Center more than once.

On the annual worldwide museum event “The Night of Museums”, Russian traditions and customs were represented in a “draw a samovar” competition. After all the participants were treated with delicious hot tea from a bellied samovar.

Interactive part of the exposition and the “revived “exhibits, the information from video clips, the photo booth also became the theme of the study of multimedia effectiveness, presented among the reports at the international festival of museums “Intermuseum-2017”, the key theme of which in 2017 was “Museum of the future”.

The exposition “Everyday Life and Customs of the Russian Empire” and many items from this rich collection became a source for inspiration for the group of talented artists who came to plein air in the Khibiny in the beginning of September. Therefore, masterpieces of national artist of the Russian Federation, the academician of Russian Academy of Arts Nikolay Nikolaevich Solomin decorate the halls of our exhibition.

Moreover, the members of Russian and Moscow unions of artists, the winners of numerous awards Elmira and Dmitry Petrov held a master class for students and teachers of Kirovsk Children’s Art School and the Center of Children’s Creativity “Khibiny”.

One of the most interesting programs is tea drinking after the tour – it is a bright feature of Russian tradition! Tea from the real samovar in faceted glasses with coasters, bagels, candies, cracknels, honey – such a rarity for a modern man!

Certainly, we did not forget about Maslenitsa festival. February, 23 on a Wide Thursday – the day of demonstration of width and generosity of Russian soul – an exciting event “Wide Maslenitsa festival in the Khibiny” took place in Museum and Exhibition Center. That was a joint project of the State Archive of Murmansk Oblast in Kirovsk and our museum personnel.

This year will not be an exception: we will provide guided tours to the exhibition “Everyday Life and Customs of the Russian Empire” with tea and treats. We are waiting for our dear guests February 14-17 at 12, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., pre-register by phone (815-31) 32-887, 32-835, the number of visitors is limited.

Well, if you cannot visit us during Maslenitsa week, please, note the exhibition works constantly, sign up and come during working hours. Enjoy the magnificent collection!

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