IVAN NIKITIN HOUSE-MUSEUM

19, Nikitinskaya Street,Voronezh

In 1844 the Nikitins sold their house and some existing equipment for manufacturing candels and bought an inn on Kirochnaya Street (Nikitinskaya). Living in a wooden hut together with lodgers, it took the Nikitins two years to build a new house (in 1846). Under the house there is a basement, where there were warehouses and a spacious kitchen.

Ivan Savvich lived in this house till his last lying day, most of his poems were created there. The poet bequeathed the house to his father. His father sold the house to relatives after son’s death for 2 thousand rubles. The new owners covered the wooden walls with brick in one row and changed the layout of the rooms.

In 1911, on the front of the house there was erected a memorial plaque with the inscription: «Here lived and died on the 16th of October, 1861, the poet I.S. Nikitin.» In 1922 the house and manor of the Nikitins were nationalized. By the 100th anniversary of Ivan Savvich birth, the house was restored to its original form and here on the 4th of October, 1924 the Voronezh Regional Literature Museum named after I.S. Nikitin was opened.

During the Great Patriotic War, the building of the museum was partially destroyed. Funds of the museum, mostly valuable manuscripts, photographs, memorial items were evacuated to Yelabuga in Tatarstan. Some of the materials remained in Voronezh and many of them disappeared without leaving a trace.

After the liberation of Voronezh, the building of the museum was one of the first reconstructed in the city. On the 10th of October, 1944 in the house-museum an exhibition dedicated to the poets Ivan Nikitin and Alexei Koltsov was opened. At the exhibition about a hundred exhibits that had survived in Voronezh were presented. In 1945, the basic funds returned from the evacuation, and the museum’s expositions were recreated. Since 1953 the museum has become known as the House Museum of I.S. Nikitin, with the preservation of the status of a literary museum. In 1955 detailed reconstruction and restoration were carried out there. In the process, not only the drawings of the house, but also photographs of parts of the building, materials of periodicals and memoirs of contemporaries about I.S. Nikitin were used.The original size and layout of rooms, a four-slope roof, simple architectural elements of the house were restored there. The front entrance began to have a wooden porch with handrails, as it was during Nikitin’s lifetime. In early 1956, on the facade of the building a marble memorial plaque with the former inscription was attached instead of the one that was lost during the war. The last restoration work in the museum was held during the period from October 2013 to December 2014.

EXCURSION AROUND THE HOUSE

The tour around the house is held in four exposition halls. The first room tells about the years of the poet’s childhood and youth, about his first poems. Next, tells us about the history of the publication and popularity of the poem «Rus», about the famous club of Voronezh intellectuals studying history, ethnography and philosophy under the leadership of Nikolai Vtorov. I.S.Nikitin was a member of that club since 1853.

In the hall, there are lifetime collections of Nikitin’s poems, portraits of his friends, magazines of humanitarian knowledge of the XIX century, personal belongings of Vtorov. In the second and third halls of the exposition we describe the inn, whose owner, since the age of twenty, was Ivan Savvich, about Nikitin’s bookstore, well-known in Russia thanks to the publications of Nikolai Leskov, about the poet’s acquaintance with the artist Ivan Kramskiy. The excursion finishes with a story about the last years of the poet’s life in the memorial room. It presents both personal belongings and furniture of Nikitin’s family, including the table at which Nikitin wrote his poems, and also furnishings which are specific to the decoration of the houses of the philistine and merchant class of the nineteenth century.

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF IVAN SAVVICH NIKITIN

Ivan Savvich Nikitin was born on the 3rd of October, 1824 in Voronezh and was the only child in the family. The Nikitin’s family had a house, a small home library, and was engaged in the handicraft making of candles. Vanya was nine years old when he was assigned to the 2nd form of the Spiritual School. By this time the future poet already knew how to read. He studied diligently, successfully graduated from the school and in 1839 entered the Theological Seminary.

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THE CREATIVE ACTIVITY OF IVAN NIKITIN

Ivan Savvich Nikitin is remembered in history of Russian literature as a poet-patriot and lyric poet. Nowadays, Nikitin’s archive is scattered and saved in five places. It is kept in parts by the Russian State Library, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, the A.S. Pushkin Russian Academy of Sciences, Literary and Memorial Museum of F.M. Dostoevsky, Voronezh Regional Literary Museum named after I.S. Nikitin.

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