«My address is always: Tula»

Branch of the Lev Tolstoy Estate Museum Yasnaya Polyana in the Museum Quarter

The Museum Quarter in Tula, located on Metallistov Street next to the Tula Kremlin, is a large-scale project that was completed in time for the 500th anniversary of the Tula Kremlin in autumn 2020.

In the restored merchant mansions, there are branches of “Kulikov Polye”, “Yasnaya Polyana”, the State Historical Museum, the Local History and Art Museum, as well as various points of attraction for tourists — a hotel, cafes and shops, galleries.

«Museum Quarter … is a complex project …. in many ways unique not only for the Tula region, but also for the whole of Russia. It is both a contribution to the preservation of our history and an investment in our future. The creation of such a cultural and historical cluster will bring a new level of cultural environment in the region and increase the flow of tourists»,

 Tula region governor Alexey Dumin

Photo: press service of the Tula region government
Before
After
Kuchin's house on Metalistov Street, home to a branch of the Lev Tolstoy Estate Museum Yasnaya Polyana, and a view of it before restoration

Our team developed ideas, a design project, and realised a three-part space for a branch of Lev Tolstoy’s Yasnaya Polyana Museum, the title of which is the quote by the great writer: “My address is always Tula”. The branch will be a kind of entry point into the world of the Manor Museum, which consists not only of the writer’s memorial house, but also of a number of other objects.

 

We designed three rooms in the new space:

Экспозиция «Толстой и Тула»
Тематические слои:
«Медицина», «Образование», «Спорт», «Торговля», «Искусство», «Духовная Жизнь», «Дворянское собрание», «Госслужба», «Память»
Пространство холла
Тематический слой:
«История тульского транспорта»
Туристско-информационный центр
Тематические слои экспозиции:
«История связи», «Досуг», «Память»
Выставочные модули
для временных экспозиций
1. Tourist Information Centre with a small permanent exhibition and event facilities
Into the first room visitors enter from the street. From here they can go to an exhibition, an event (in summer events will also take place in the Museum Courtyard), the museum café or shop, the mini-hotel, or talk to the receptionist about a guided visit to the Manor Museum's facilities.
2. Lobby space - "History of Tula transport" exhibition
The lobby is a passageway, but it was decided to use it for a small exhibition on the history of Tula transport. Here visitors can compare a horse tram and a tram, see how Tula's transport infrastructure has changed, and listen to a 19th-century cabbie and a modern taxi driver.
3. Exhibition “Tolstoy and Tula”

A permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of various strata of life in the city of Tula. Each thematic layer: Medicine, Education, Art, Spiritual Life, Public Service, Trade, etc. – is represented by the façade of a particular building, filled with objects and texts to be studied. The influence and attitude of Lev Tolstoy towards these aspects of city life runs through the entire exhibition.

The main idea of the artistic solution is “exterior in interior”, allowing through the objects concentrated around Tolstoy to present historical and contemporary Tula.

Twelve themes, each of which can be unfolded and deepened separately, will inspire a visitor to visit new places in the city they have not previously discovered.

The exhibition also contains modules for rotating exhibitions, which will allow the exhibit’s subject line to be continually updated in the future.

The large amount of graphic and text material required the development of a corporate identity book for the whole project.

We developed an exhibition guide, which allowed us to create further graphic and multimedia solutions in the same vein.

All digital content is bilingual – in Russian and English – as the branch will be visited by tourists from different countries.

Exhibition "Tolstoy and Tula", thematic area "Trade"
What will a visitor see at the “Tolstoy and Tula” exhibition?
1. The collection of the Lev Tolstoy Estate Museum Yasnaya Polyana, which is related to the memory of the writer in works of art and culture (including mass culture).
Билет для езды на велосипеде, выданный Л. Н. Толстому
Памятная медаль к 150-летию со дня рождения писателя
Готовальня для занятий в Тульском педагогическом институте, 1950-е годы
Книга Л. Н. Толстого «Как мужик гусей делил»
2. Unique digital archives. Photographs and archival audio recordings relating to the life of Lev Tolstoy's family and various historical facts of Tula's urban life during the writer's time and beyond.
Tolstoy and his associates during the famine of 1892. Dankov district, Ryazan province
3. "Exteriors in the interior": an introduction to the houses and areas of urban life in Tula through multi-part stands made in the form of building facades and containing a variety of materials for inquisitive research - objects, texts, photographs, interactive elements, multimedia. For example, the thematic area dedicated to the history of communication in Tula is represented by the façade of the building on Lenin Street, 22, which once had a telegraph office.
Фотоаппарат Kodak, конец XIX века
Коллекция памятных марок
Иллюстрированные истории об отношении Толстого к техническим новинкам своего времени
Архивные аудиозаписи голоса Л. Н. Толстого
Виртуальный бинокль для просмотра старинных фотографий Тулы
Открытки, отправленные и полученные семьёй Толстого
Почтовый ящик, с помощью которого посетители могу отправить открытки своим близким

The history of the Noble Assembly, for example, is told by the façade of the house where it was located. It is one of the oldest buildings in Tula, opened in 1856 and playing a significant role in the cultural life of the city for almost two centuries. At various times it housed the workers’ club International, the House of Soviets, the House of Health Education, the Tula Art and History Museum, the Red Army House, the House of Officers.

The Tula Region Governor Alexei Dyumin, Ekaterina Tolstaya, director of the Yasnaya Polyana Memorial Estate Museum, and Alexander Tkachenko, head of the Metforma Museum Scenography Bureau. Photo: Press Service of the Tula Region Government

Even today, when the building has been taken over by the Tula Regional Philharmonic Society, cultural life is in full swing – forums, exhibitions, performances, classical music concerts are held here. Visitors to the exhibition can learn not only about the history of the house, but also hear the real voices of famous people who performed here in different years – poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, actress Maria Yermolova.

The branch of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum was opened in the autumn of 2020 as part of the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Tula Kremlin.

Due to the pandemic, the project is not yet fully operational, but in spring 2021 we invite you to visit this fascinating exhibition and, of course, enjoy a visit to the Museum Quarter in the heart of Tula.

Go through the interactive challenge game from Leo Tolstoy!

To conclude the story of the project, we invite you to go through a short interactive part of it and test your knowledge by solving problems for schoolchildren, developed by Leo Tolstoy. To test yourself, simply click on the card with the question.

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