House-Museum of A.I. Herzen, Moscow, Russia

The house-museum of Aleksandr Ivanovich Gertsen is a museum dedicated to the activities of the writer Alexander Herzen. Located in Moscow at 27 Sivtsev Vrazhek Lane, it is a branch of the State Literary Museum. The exposition is located in a wooden mansion in the Empire style, built in the 1820s, where Herzen lived from 1843 to 1847. The museum opened in 1976 at the initiative of the writer’s relatives. As of 2018, the collection includes more than five hundred exhibits: lifetime editions, photographs and personal belongings of the writer.

Alexander Ivanovich Gertsen (March 25 [ April 6 ] 1812, Moscow – January 9 1870 , Paris, France) – Russian publicist – revolutionary, writer, teacher, philosopher. He belonged to the extreme left of politicians and critics of the monarchical system in Russia, advocating socialist transformations, which he proposed to achieve through revolutionary uprisings.

The publisher of the revolutionary weekly journal The Bell (1857-1867). Being in exile, he openly supported the Polish uprising of 1863, which led to the disappointment in the “Bell” of many Russian intellectuals. The decline in interest in the social criticism of The Bells was also promoted by peasant reform in Russia.

Herzen’s literary work began as early as the 1830s. In “Athenaeum” for 1831 (II volume), his name is found under one translation from French. The first independent article, signed by the pseudonym Iskander, was published in the Telescope for 1836 (Hoffmann). At the same time include “Speech made at the opening of the Vyatka public library” and “Diary” (1842). In Vladimir were written: “Notes of one young man” and “More from notes of a young man” (“ Domestic Notes ”, 1840-1841; in this story, the philosopher Chaadaev is represented by Trenzinsky). From 1842 to 1847 he places in the “Domestic Notes” and “Contemporary”articles: “Dilettantism in science”, “Amateurs-romantics”, “Workshop of scientists”, “ Buddhism in science”, “Letters on the study of nature”. Here Herzen rebelled against the learned pedants and formalists, against their scholastic science, alienated from life, against their quietism. In the article “On the study of nature” we find a philosophical analysis of various methods of knowledge. Then Herzen wrote: “Regarding a drama”, “For various reasons”, “New variations on old themes”, “A few comments on the historical development of honor”, “From the notes of Dr. Krupov”, “ Who is to blame?” “,” Forty-thief “,” Moscow and St. Petersburg “,” Novgorodand Vladimir ”,“ Yedrovo Station ”,“ Interrupted Talks ”. Of all these works, the story “The Forty-Thief”, which depicts the terrible situation of the “serf intelligentsia”, and the novel “Who is to blame?”, Devoted to the issue of freedom of feeling, family relations, and the status of a woman in marriage, are especially distinguished. The main idea of the novel is that people who base their well-being solely on the basis of family happiness and feelings, alien to the interests of public and universal human beings, cannot provide themselves with lasting happiness, and it will always depend on chance in their life.

Of the works written by Herzen abroad, the following are especially important: letters from Avenue Marigny (Herzen’s first works printed in Sovremennik, all fourteen under the general title: Letters from France and Italy, 1855 edition), representing a remarkable description and analysis of events and moods that worried Europe in 1847-1852. Here one encounters a negative attitude towards the Western European bourgeoisie, its morality and social principles, and the author’s ardent faith in the future significance of the fourth estate. Herzen’s composition “From the Other Side” (originally in German “Vom anderen Ufer”, Hamburg, 1850) made a particularly strong impression in both Russia and Europe.; in Russian, London, 1855; in French, Geneva, 1870), in which he expresses complete disappointment with the West and Western civilization – the result of the mental upheaval that determined the writer’s worldview in 1848-1851. Also known: “Letter to Michelet”: “Russian people and socialism” – passionate and ardent defense of the Russian people against the attacks and prejudices that Michelet expressed in one of his articles, “ Past and Thoughts ” – a series of memoirs that are partially autobiographical in nature, but giving a whole series of highly artistic paintings, dazzlingly brilliant characteristics and Herzen’s observations from what he had experienced and seen in Russia and abroad.

All other works and articles of Herzen, such as “The Old World and Russia”, “Russian People and Socialism”, “Ends and Beginnings” and others, represent a simple development of ideas and moods, which were completely defined in the period 1847-1852 in works, indicated above.

In general, as B. A. Kuzmin noted, “having begun — and not by chance — from studying with Heine, Herzen then created his own special genre of fiction. The whole presentation is very emotional. The author’s attitude to the described events is expressed in his remarks, exclamations, deviations ”.

The attraction to freedom of thought was especially strongly developed in Herzen. He did not belong to any party. The one-sidedness of the “people of action” pushed him away from many revolutionary and radical leaders of Europe. Herzen’s mind quickly comprehended the imperfections and shortcomings of those forms of Western life, to which he was initially attracted from the not beautiful distant Russian reality of the 1840s. With consistency, Herzen abandoned his enthusiasm for the West when he was in his eyes below the previously composed ideal.

As a consistent Hegelian, Herzen believed that the development of mankind proceeds in steps, and each step is embodied in a well-known nation. Laughing at the fact that the Hegelian god lives in Berlin, Herzen essentially transferred this god to Moscow, sharing his faith with the Slavophiles in the coming change of the Germanic Slavic period. At the same time, as a follower of Saint-Simon and Fourier, he combined this belief in the Slavic phase of progress with the doctrine of the impending replacement of the rule of the bourgeoisie by the triumph of the working class, which should come, thanks to the Russian community, just opened by the German Haksthausen. Together with the SlavophilesHerzen was disappointed in Western culture, believing that “the West has decayed, and new life cannot be poured into its dilapidated forms.” Faith in the communityand the Russian people saved Herzen from a hopeless look at the fate of mankind. At the same time, Herzen did not deny the possibility that Russia would also pass through the stage of bourgeois development. Defending the Russian future, Herzen argued that there was a lot of ugliness in Russian life, but there was no vulgarity in its forms. In his opinion, the Russian tribe is a fresh virgin tribe that has the “aspirations of the future century”, an immeasurable and uncountable supply of vitality and energy; “The thinking person in Russia is the most independent and most open-minded person in the world.” Herzen was convinced that the Slavic world is striving for unity, and since “centralization is contrary to the Slavic spirit,” Slavism will unite on the principles of federations. Relating freely to all religions, Herzen recognized, however, Orthodoxymany advantages and advantages compared to Catholicism and Protestantism[ source not specified 2746 days ].

Herzen’s philosophical and historical concept emphasizes the active role of man in history. At the same time, it implies that the mind cannot realize its ideals, ignoring the existing facts of history, that its results constitute the “necessary basis” for the operations of the mind.

Pedagogical ideas
Herzen’s legacy does not contain any special theoretical works on upbringing, but throughout his life he was interested in pedagogical problems and was one of the first Russian thinkers and public figures of the mid-19th century to touch upon the problems of upbringing in his works. His statements on the issues of upbringing and education testify to the existence of a well-thought-out pedagogical concept.

Herzen’s pedagogical views were determined by philosophical (atheism and materialism), ethical (humanism) and political (revolutionary democracy) beliefs.

Criticism of the education system under Nicholas I
Herzen showed the danger of authoritarian education in Russia of his time. He sharply criticized the education system and the attitude to education of Nicholas I of.

Herzen called the reign of Nicholas I a thirty-year persecution of schools and universities and showed how the Nikolaev Ministry of Education strangled public education. The tsarist government, according to Herzen, “was in wait for a child at the first step in life and corrupted a cadet child, a high school boy, a young student. It mercilessly, systematically etched human embryos in them, weaned them, as from vice, from all human feelings, except for humility. “For punishment of infringement, it punished minors in the same way as hard-core criminals are not punished in other countries.”

He strongly opposed the introduction of religion in the education and transformation of schools and universities into an instrument for strengthening serfdom and autocracy.

Folk pedagogy
Herzen believed that the simplest people have the most positive effect on children, that it is the people who are the bearers of the best Russian national qualities. Young people learn from the people respect for work, disinterested love for their homeland, aversion to idleness.

Herzen considered the main task of upbringing to be the formation of a humane, free person who lives up to the interests of his people and seeks to transform society on a reasonable basis. Children, in his opinion, should be provided with conditions for free development. He said: “A reasonable recognition of self-will is the highest and moral recognition of human dignity.” In everyday educational activities, an important role is played by the “talent of patient love”, the position of the educator towards the child, respect for him, knowledge of his needs. A healthy family environment and the right relationship between children and carers are necessary conditions for moral education.

Herzen passionately sought the dissemination of education and knowledge among the people, urged scientists to withdraw science from the walls of classrooms, to make its achievements public domain. Emphasizing the enormous upbringing and educational significance of the natural sciences, Herzen at the same time stood for a system of comprehensive general education. He wanted the students of the secondary school, along with natural science and mathematics, to study literature (including the literature of ancient peoples), foreign languages, history, noted that “without reading, there is and cannot be neither taste, nor style, nor a multilateral breadth of understanding. Thanks to reading, a person survives centuries. Books influence the deeper realms of the human psyche. ” [fifteen]Herzen emphasized in every way that education should promote students to develop independent thinking, educators should, based on the innate tendencies of children to communicate, develop social aspirations and inclinations in them, which are facilitated by communication with peers, collective children’s games, and common activities. Herzen fought against the suppression of children’s will, but at the same time attached great importance to discipline, considered the establishment of discipline a necessary condition for proper education. “Without discipline,” he said, “there is neither calm confidence, nor obedience, nor a way to protect health and prevent danger.”

Herzen wrote two special works in which he explained to the younger generation natural phenomena: “The experience of conversations with young people” and “Conversations with children”. These works are wonderful examples of a talented, popular presentation of complex philosophical problems. The author simply and vividly explains to children from a materialistic point of view the origin of the Universe. He convincingly proves the important role of science in the fight against wrong views, prejudices and superstitions, and refutes the idealistic fabrication that the soul also exists in a person apart from his body.

In the Moscow house, where Herzen lived from 1843 to 1847, the A.I. Herzen House-Museum has been operating since 1976.

Many libraries in Russia are named after Herzen. Also in the cities of the former USSR, the toponym Herzen Street was distributed. In addition, the Government of the Kirov Region established the A. Herzen Prize (see. Awards of the Kirov Region).

In St. Petersburg, the Russian State Pedagogical University bears the name of A. I. Herzen.

Building History
The museum is located in a one-story wooden mansion with a mezzanine, erected in 1820 and acquired by General Sergei Tuchkov immediately after its construction. Alexander Herzen received the land from his father Ivan Yakovlev, who bought the mansion in 1839. Herzen lived in the mansion from 1843 to 1847 and wrote the novels The Forty-Thief and Doctor Krupov, the novel Who is to Blame? “,” Letters on the study of nature “. Visiting him were Vasily Botkin, Vissarion Belinsky, Nikolai Nekrasov, Ivan Turgenev,Mikhail Schepkin . In 1892, the building was rebuilt and lost decorative elements in the Empire style.

In 2008-2012, a major restoration was carried out in the mansion: the walls were re-trimmed, the supporting structures were replaced and the interiors were restored. The opening of the museum after the repair was timed to coincide with the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Herzen. At the new exhibition “Things that were a shrine for us”, documents and household items were handed over to the museum by the writer’s relatives . In 2016, it became known about the theft of funds allocated by the Ministry of Culture for the restoration of the museum .

Museum Foundation
In 1934, a temporary literary exhibition dedicated to the life of the writer opened in the Herzen mansion. It presented photographs and portraits of the family, as well as lifetime editions of works. The museum was founded in 1968 by order of the Executive Committee of the Moscow Soviet as a branch of the State Literary Museum. The opening of the permanent exhibition took place in 1976 at the initiative of the great-grandchildren of the writer – Natalia Herzen and Leonard Rista. From 1972 to 1982, they transported more than three hundred exhibits to the museum: autographed books by Herzen, rare manuscripts, household items, and personal items.

Since 1987, the museum has been actively cooperating with the family, foreign colleagues and friends of the writer. At the beginning of 2018, the collected materials and rarities related to Herzen’s life accounted for most of the memorial exposition.

The museum includes a manor, a courtyard and an annex, in which there are two conference rooms for exhibition projects. After restoration in the annex, a multimedia exhibition was opened dedicated to the life of Herzen in exile.

The funds contain more than five hundred exhibits: photographs, letters, family portraits, lifetime editions of books, items belonging to the writer’s family.

The museum exposition consists of two parts: in the building of the mansion there is a permanent exhibition “Herzen in Russia “, in the annex – the multimedia hall “Herzen in the West”. The main building of the museum has completely restored the living environment of the house. The children’s glove of the son who died in a shipwreck, the dying image of the wife of Natalia Herzen, a portrait of Alexander Herzen by the artist Witbert in 1836, drawings of the daughter of Natalia Alexandrovna are stored here. On the wall hangs the family tree of the Herzenich family, donated by the great-grandson of the writer Michael Herzen. The exhibits also include: a children’s glass of the writer with the inscription “Shushka” – the children’s nickname of the writer, the first literary composition published in 1836, objects of the first wife of Natalia, a portrait of Herzen with his son Alexander, candelabra, the painting “Apotheosis of the Polar Star ” and The bells. In the bookcases exhibited literature of the XVIII century, including the works of Montesquieu, Rousseau, Montaigne.

The annex contains documents and materials from the life of Herzen in Paris. Here is a fragment of the interior of the bookstore of the publisher Nikolai Trybner in London, in the store of which the writer’s works were sold. Immediately there is a bust of Herzen by Philip Grass of 1858-1859 .

On December 14, 2012, in memory of the Decembrist uprising, a permanent exhibition was opened, ““ I served for the benefit of Russia in word and deed… “Life and fate of Alexander Herzen”. To visualize the information, the museum installed sensory kiosks and sound installations. New halls include the Student Room of the 1830s, the Trybner Bench, and the Foreign City.

The museum carries out active scientific and exhibition activities. Herzen’s house provides guided tours for schoolchildren, lectures on history and literature, as well as musical evenings and scientific conferences. In April 2016, the exhibition “Herzen-Museum-Herzen. Forty years later ”, dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the opening. The event was attended by researchers of the institution and relatives of the writer.

In January 2017, an exhibition of the book collection of Tatyana and Sergey Barkhin opened, at which unique children’s publications and works of the Gemini family publishing house were presented.

In addition, museum managers arrange weekly excursions along the neighboring streets, in which other branches of the State Literary Museum are located.