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15 February - 02 July 2007
Benois Wing

The Kargopole Folk Art exhibition follows the tradition of demonstrating large sections from collections of departments of folk and Old Russian art in the State Russian Museum. Kargopole is not only a geographic notion but cultural and historic as well. An ancient town of Kargopole and the former Kargopole district of the Olonets Province (nowadays - several districts of the Archangel Region) is a kind of a preserve of folk culture. For several centuries it had been developing traditions of icon painting, various kinds of folk art and decorative crafts - embroidery, weaving and printed cloth, clay toys, fretwork and painting on wooden domestic utensils. Objects of folk everyday life - female festive costumes, headdresses embroidered by river pearls, headscarves with golden embroidery, towels, valances and distaffs possess remarkable artistic features, brilliance and abundance of tracery. Almost all of them were collected by the Russian Museum research expeditions in the 1960s. Many of them are genuine masterpieces of folk art. The exhibition presents nearly 300 works - from icons by Kargopole painters of the 16th - 18th centuries to the works of such famous masters of clay toys of the 20th century as Ivan Druzhinin, Ulyana Babkina and masters from the Shevelev family.