by Olga BORISOVA, journalist
The Bakhrushin Theater Museum in Moscow has been in for two red-letter days: late in 2009 it marked its 115th birth anniversary, and early in 2010, the 145th birthday of its founder, Alexei Bakhrushin (1865-1929). These two events were commemorated by an exhibition devoted to this "theatrical Versailles in the Zatsepa district" and featuring priceless archival documents and manuscripts as well as objects d'art and other rarities, some of them for the first time.
Now, do you love the theater the way I do, with all your heart and soul, with all that élan and frenzy proper to ardent youth, passionate and avid for what is refined?.. Is it not the centerpiece of all the charms, fascinations and seductions of the fine arts?.. Oh, go to the theater, go there! Go and live and die in it, if you can..."* This ebullient outburst from Vissarion Belinsky (1811-1848), the Russian critic and man of letters, is quite in place and might be welcome to Alexei Bakhrushin, an industrialist and member of the Moscow City Duma (Council), who was one of the founders and heads of the Russian Theatrical Society. A passionate admirer of the stage art, Bakhrushin gathered a big collection of related items. On October 29, 1894, he opened it to the public at large. This day became the birthday of a unique museum, the world's first theater museum, and now this country's third largest in the number of exhibits, 1.5 mln in all, after the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the State Museum of History in Moscow.**
In 1896 Bakhrushin had a mansion built in the early English Gothic style; standing in Zatsep Street, it is one of Moscow's architectural landmarks. This mansion is still ornate with stained lancet glass windows proper to this style. The same is true of the host's study and the entrance-hall livened up with carved wood panels. As it was a century ago, this hall houses two showcases: one has exhibits dealing with the foundat ... Читать далее