Bakhrushinsky Museum will restore the theater of the XIX century

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New life for the doll box

at the Theater Museum. A. A. Bakhrushin will restore the Nativity Theater. To do this, they will involve restorers in wood, textiles, painting and paper.

First of all, what is a crib? This is literally a two-story wooden puppet stage box. It is known that the name is connected with the fact that earlier scenes were staged in it about the life of Jesus in a cave, where he was hiding from King Herod. Over time, the religiosity of the productions went away, forming another branch of the development of the folk theater.

It used to be believed that the ancient theater was purchased by the founder of the museum, Alexei Bakhrushin, for the collection, but an article by the historian-ethnographer Nikolai Vinogradov in 1908 indicated the opposite. He wrote that he “acquired from Shestakov a crib with 34 pupae” for the Imperial Academy of Sciences. However, the secret of getting this type of theater to Bakhrushin is still unclear. After the opening of the Bakhrushinsky Museum and Theater Quarter, which has been talked about for a long time, this unique specimen will become an important part of one of the new expositions.

Nativity theater of the 19th century from the funds of the Bakhrushin Museum

“Earlier, the nativity scene was subjected to numerous repairs and restoration – both the structure itself and small details,” said Olga Golovleva, head of the museum’s restoration workshop. – These are all traces of the existence of the crib theater: and since the changes made are already the history of the object, the restorers will try (as far as possible, of course) to preserve all the details. We will also restore the original appearance of the horizontal planes on which the puppets were fixed and which allowed the puppets to be moved during the performance,”

In ancient times, crib theaters allowed people to perform puppet shows. Now they allow both historians and ordinary visitors to the museum to trace the history of Russian theatrical and puppet art. Moreover, the discovered crib theater is planned to be used in master classes.

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