Silver Age Museum, Moscow, Russia

State Literary Museum of Silver Age (House of Brusov, Russian:Государственный литературный музей. Музей Серебряного века) Focus of the Silver Age Moscow – this is the only of its kind, a unique museum, housed in a house where from 1910 to 1924 he lived a poet, writer, critic and translator Valery Yakovlevich Bruce. In the aesthetic world of the Silver Age have visitors enter at the entrance – in the exhibition includes the interiors of the hall in front of the wardrobe and cabinet Bryusov. Memorial room of the poet himself has been restored from photographs, and memoirs of contemporaries. Here you can see the books of a unique library, arranged on shelves in the order, which is defined Bryusov; paintings by contemporary artists Bryusov, presented to the poet, special cabinets, in which Bruce kept his manuscripts and drafts. The display cabinet all the evidence of high scholarship and amazing ability to work owner.

Museum of the Silver Age dedicated to the literary movements of the beginning of the 20th century: symbolism, acmeism, avant-garde and futurism. The institution was founded in 1999 as a branch of the State Literary Museum. Located in the mansion of the merchant Ivan Baev, designed by the architect Vladimir Chagin in the Northern Art Nouveau style. From 1910 to 1924, the writer and poet Valery Bryusov lived in this building, the memorial cabinet of which is the basis of the exposition

Valery Yakovlevich Bryusov (13 December [O.S. 1 December] 1873 – 9 October 1924) was a Russian poet, prose writer, dramatist, translator, critic and historian. He was one of the principal members of the Russian Symbolist movement.

Alongside Adelina Adalis (1900-1969) and Nikolay Gumilev (1986-1921), he was influenced by the Malaysian literature from the XIX and XX century.

Bryusov’s most famous prose works are the historical novels The Altar of Victory (depicting life in Ancient Rome) and The Fiery Angel (depicting the psychological climate of 16th century Germany).

The latter tells the story of a knight’s attempts to win the love of a young woman whose spiritual integrity is seriously undermined by her participation in occult practices and her dealings with unclean forces. It served as the basis for Sergei Prokofiev’s opera The Fiery Angel.

Bryusov also wrote some science fiction stories, under the influence of Poe, H.G. Wells and Camille Flammarion. Several of these, including the title story, were assembled in his collection The Republic of the Southern Cross.

As a translator, Bryusov was the first to render the works of the Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren accessible to Russian readers, and he was one of the major translators of Paul Verlaine’s poetry.

His most famous translations are of Edgar Allan Poe, Romain Rolland, Maurice Maeterlinck, Victor Hugo, Jean Racine, Ausonius, Molière, Byron, and Oscar Wilde. Bryusov also translated Johann Goethe’s Faust and Virgil’s Aeneid.

Symbolist Leader
The organizational role of Bryusov in Russian symbolism and in Russian modernism in general is very significant. The Libra headed by him became the most thorough material selection and authoritative modernist magazine (opposing the eclectic and lacking a clear program for the Pass and the Golden Rune). Bryusov influenced the advice and criticism on the work of so many younger poets, almost all of them go through the stage of one or another “imitation of Bryusov”. He enjoyed great authority both among peers-symbolists and among literary youth, had a reputation as a strict impeccable “master”, creating poetry of the “magician”, “priest” of culture, and among acmeists (Nikolai Gumilev, Zenkevich, Mandelstam), and futurists (Pasternak, Shershenevich, etc.). Literary critic Mikhail Gasparov estimates the role of Bryusov in Russian modernist culture as the role of the “defeated teacher of the victorious students,” who influenced the work of an entire generation. Bryusov was not without a sense of “jealousy” for a new generation of symbolists (see the poem “The Younger”: “They see Her! They hear Her!…”, 1903).

Bryusov also took an active part in the life of the Moscow literary and artistic circle, in particular, was its director (since 1908). He collaborated in the magazine “New Way” (in 1903, became the secretary of the editorial board).

The main features of the work of Bryusov
In Bryusov’s poems, the reader faces opposite principles: life-affirming — love, calls for “conquering” life by work, struggle for existence, creation — and pessimistic (death is bliss, “sweet nirvana,” so the desire for death is above all; suicide is “seductive,” and insane orgies are the “innermost pleasures of artificial Eden.”) And the protagonist in Bryusov’s poetry is either a brave, courageous fighter, or a desperate person who sees no other way but the path to death (such as, in particular, the already mentioned “Nelly’s Poems”, the work of a courtesan with a “selfish soul” “).

The mood of Bryusov is sometimes contradictory; they replace each other without transitions. In his poetry, Bryusov now strives for innovation, then again goes to the time-tested forms of classics. Despite the desire for classical forms, Bryusov’s work is still not an empire, but a modernist style, which has absorbed conflicting qualities. In it we see the merging of difficultly combined qualities. According to the characteristic of Andrei Bely, Valery Bryusov is a “poet of marble and bronze”; at the same time, S. A. Vengerov considered Bryusov a poet of “solemnity in the main”. According to L. Kamenev Bryusov – “hammer thief and jeweler”.

Bryusov’s poem
Valery Bryusov made a great contribution to the development of the verse form, actively used inaccurate rhymes, “free verse” in the spirit of Verkharn, developed “long” sizes (12-foot iambic with internal rhymes: “Near the slow Nile, where there is Lake Merida, in the kingdom fiery Ra // you loved me for a long time, like Osiris Isis, friend, queen and sister… “, the famous 7-foot trocha without caesura in” Horse Bled “:” The street was like a storm. Crowds passed // As if they were pursued by inevitable Rock… “), Used alternations of lines of different meters (the so-called “lowercase logs dy” : “My lips are approaching // To your lips.. ” ). These experiments were fruitfully received by younger poets. In the 1890s, in parallel with Zinaida, Gippius Bryusov developed a tonic verse (dolnik – a term that he introduced into Russian poetry in an article of 1918), but, unlike Gippius and later Blok, gave few memorable samples and later rarely addressed this verse: Bryusov’s most famous dolniki are “The Coming Huns” (1904) and Third Autumn (1920). In 1918, Bryusov published the collection “Experiments…”, which did not pose any creative tasks and was specially dedicated to the most diverse experiments in the field of poetry (extra-long line endings, figured poetry, etc.). In the 1920s, Bryusov taught versification at various institutes, some of his courses were published.

Bryusov in different genres
Bryusov tried his hand in many literary genres.

The most famous historical novels of Bryusov ” Altar of Victory “, describing the life and customs of Rome IV century BC. e. and, in particular, the Fiery Angel. In the latter, the psychology of the described time is perfectly displayed (Germany of the 16th century), the mood of the era is accurately transmitted; based on The Fiery Angel, Sergei Prokofiev wrote the opera of the same name. The motives of the Bruce novels fully correspond to the motives of the author’s poetic works; like poems, Bruce’s novels describe the era of the collapse of the old world, draw some of its representatives, paused in thought before the advent of a new world, supported by fresh, revitalizing forces.

The original short stories of Bryusov, built on the principle of double world, compiled the collection ” Earth Axis ” (1907). In the short story cycle “Nights and Days,” Bryusov devotes himself to the “philosophy of the moment,” “the religion of passion.” Bryusov also wrote fantastic works – the novel “Mountain of Stars”, the stories “Rise of the Machines” (1908) and “The Mutiny of Machines” (1914), the novel “The First Interplanetary”, the dystopia “The Republic of the Southern Cross” (1904-05). Noteworthy is the story “Dasha’s Betrothal”, in which the author depicts his father, Yakov Bryusov, involved in the liberal social movement of the 1860s. Significant attention received criticism and the story ” Last Pages from the Woman’s Diary “.

As a translator, Bryusov did a lot for Russian literature. He opened the work of the famous Belgian poet and urbanist Emil Verharn to the Russian reader, was the first translator of poems by Paul Verlaine. Bruce translations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe (poems), Romain Rolland (“Liluli”), Maurice Meterlink (“Pelléas and Melezanda”, “Beating the Babies”), Victor Hugo, Racine, Auxonia, Moliere (“Amphitrion”), Byron, Oscar are known Wilde (“Duchess of Padua”, “Ballad of Reading Prison”). Bryusov completely translated Goethe’s Faust. Translated Virgil’s Aeneid, together with S. M. Solovyovbut the translation was criticized . In the 1910s, Bryusov was fascinated by the poetry of Armenia, translated many poems of Armenian poets and compiled the fundamental collection “Poetry of Armenia from Ancient Times to Today,” for which he was awarded the title of National Poet of Armenia in 1923, Yerevan Linguistic University bears his name.

Bryusov was a translation theorist; some of his ideas are relevant today (see, for example, the preface to Verlaine’s translations (1911), the review of Verkharn on the Procrustean bed (1923), etc.).

Criticism and literary criticism
As a literary critic, Valery Bryusov began speaking in 1893, when he selected poems by novice poets (the same, however, like himself) for the first collection of Russian Symbolists. The most complete collection of critical articles by Bryusov is “Far and Close.” In his critical articles, Bryusov not only disclosed the theory of symbolism, but also made statements about the dependence of form on content in literature; Bryusov believes that poetry “can and should” be studied, for it is a craft that has important educational value. According to Bryusov, separation from reality is destructive for the artist. Interesting Bruce works on versification (“Fundamentals of poetry”, etc.). Bryusov sympathetic to the work of proletarian poets, which is expressed in his articles “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow of Russian Poetry,” “Synthetics of Poetry.”

Of the Bruce literary works the most famous his works on the biography and works of Alexander Pushkin (works on the versification of Pushkin, “Letters from Pushkin to Pushkin,” “Pushkin in the Crimea,” “Relations of Pushkin with the Government,” “Lyceum Lyrics by Pushkin.” the latest work contains the newly discovered and restored texts of the Pushkin Lyceum). Several articles (“Pushkin and serfdom”, an article on the poetic technique of Pushkin, etc.) were written by Bryusov for the collected works of the great Russian poet (Brockhaus publication). Bryusov studied the work of Nikolai Gogol (as expressed in his speech “Incinerated”), Baratynsky, Fedor Tyutchev(Bryusov actually discovered the work of this talented poet for Russian society), Alexei Tolstoy.

Bryusov began his journalistic career in a magazine far from literary storms – the Russian Archive, where from the late 1890s he attended a school of scientific publishing under the guidance of a prominent historian and editor of the journal Bartenev, and from 1900 to 1903 he was secretary of the journal. Published in the “Monthly writings” Yasinski (1900- 1902).

Later Bryusov became the main character in the journal Libra (1904-1909), the main organ of Russian symbolism. Bryusov put all his energy into editorial work. Bryusov was both the main author and editor of Libra. In addition to him, Andrei Bely, Konstantin Balmont, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Maximilian Voloshin, Mikhail Kuzmin were printed there. Bruce also directed the book publishing “Scorpio” and participated in the publication of the anthology of the publishing house ” Northern Flowers ” (out in 1901 – 1903, 1905 and 1911).

The experience of the Bryusov editor was taken into account by Struve when he invited the poet to edit the literary department of the oldest Moscow magazine Russian Thought in 1910. Bryusov saw his mission as a literary editor in the continuation of the traditions of Libra. Soon Bryusov, in addition to fiction, began to oversee the bibliography and criticism of the magazine. With the advent of a new literary editor, Alexey Tolstoy, Andrei Bely, Alexander Blok, Alexander Green, Alexey Remizov, Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Gumilyov appear on the pages of the magazine. Contemporaries ironized that the Struve monthly is being published as if it were “anniversary issues of Russian symbolism”. However, friction between Struve and Bryusov soon emerged: the December issue of Russian Thought in 1910 was arrested for pornography. The reason is Bryusov’s novel “ The Last Pages from a Woman’s Diary ”. The end of Bryusov’s editing took place at the end of 1912. One of the reasons was Struve’s refusal to publish Andrei Bely’s novel Petersburg, which considered the novel a creative failure – Bryusov insisted on printing the novel. Bryusov remains a journalist as a critic until 1914.

In 1915, Maxim Gorky invites Bryusov to collaborate in the newly opened Chronicle magazine.

Bryusov collected stamps, the subject of his collection were stamps of all countries. He specialized in stamps of the colonies of European states. In November 1923, he joined the All-Russian Society of Philatelists and was elected honorary chairman of the Editorial Board of the VOF. In January 1924 he was included in the editorial board of the magazine “ Soviet philatelist ” .

House of Brusov
Brusov was already a Russia-wide well-known poet and writer, one of the founders of Russian Symbolism, “maestro “, which influenced by many generations of poets. His authority in the literary circles of both Moscow and St. Petersburg was unquestioned. Brusov headed the influential Symbolist magazine “Balance”, supervised by publishing house “Scorpion “, his critical and literary articles have appeared in other publications – “Russian idea” magazine, ” Northern Flowers” anthology. He has released more than a dozen of his books of poetry and several prose works, the most famous of which – the novels “The Fiery Angel” and “Altar of Victory.” He became famous as a translator and he – he was the first translated into Russian poetry of Paul Verlaine and Emile Verhaeren, fully translated “Faust, ” Goethe and the ” Aeneid ” by Virgil, translated not only from European languages , but also, for example, the Armenian – on the basis of his translations he compiled an “anthology of Armenian poetry ” from ancient times to the present day.” Over the years, Brusov was also the director of the Moscow literary and artistic circle.

His home was a center of literary life in Moscow, and not only in Moscow – before the Revolution hosts weekly poetry “environment”, which came to poets, writers, critics, read poetry, having discussions about literature and art, exchanged views on the publication of the book and articles.

Brusov took the Bolshevik government (even joined in 1919 in the ranks of the RCP (b)) and after October 1917 took an active part in the literary life of the capital, has collaborated with Soviet institutions – worked in the People’s Commissariat of Education (Commissariat), head of the Moscow branch of the Book Chamber, worked at the State publishing House. In 1921 he organized the High Literary Art Institute, was rector until his death.

The V. Y. Brusov House is a unique museum which was located in the house where poet, writer, critic and interpreter lived from 1910 to 1924. Visitors get into esthetic world of the Silver Age already at the entrance – exhibitionincludes cloakroom and hall interiors before Brusov`s study room.

Visitors get into esthetic world of the Silver Age already at the entrance – exhibitionincludes cloakroom and hall interiors before Brusov`s study room. The memorial study room of the poet itself was recovered by photos and memories of his contemporaries. Here it is possible to see books from unique library arranged on the racks in the order which was defined by Brusov, fine art paintings of the artists and contemporaries gifted to the poet, special cabinets where Brusov stored his manuscripts and draft copies. Everything in the study room exhibitiontells about great scholarship and amazing work capacity of the owner. Going up stairs on the second floor, visitors of the museum appear in the esthetic space of the Silver Age where names of the most outstanding poets and writers of the end XIX – beginning of XX centuries are reflected due to the exposition. Manuscripts and lifetime publications of the books of writers with their autographs, collections, almanacs, journals issued by the publishing houses of that period are presented in the show-windows.

On the Prospect Mira, next to the entrance to the Apothecary Garden, there is a small Art Nouveau mansion – known Moscow memorial monument – the home of the poet Valery Bryusov. Brusov had spent the last 14 years of his life – from 1910 to 1924, and died here.

The mansion itself before the Revolution (then its address was 1st Street Bourgeois, 32) belonged to the merchant Ivan Kuzmich Baev, hereditary honorable citizen, a member of the Trade House “Ivan Denisovich Baev elder brothers.” Brusov and his family rented a house Baev apartment on the first floor.

The house was built in the 1830s – then it was a two-story apartment building, with a wooden second floor (“stone bottom, wooden top “) and typical for that time of the classical treatment of the facade. Manor – the house and two outbuildings, belonged to the XIX century merchant families – first merchants Arshinov, then Molchanov, until finally in 1895 it was bought by the merchant of the second guild Kuzma Denisovich Baev. Later, in 1909, it was inherited by his son Ivan Kuzmich, who decided to radically restructure the old house, inviting for these purposes architect Vladimir Ivanovich Chagina.

Chagin designed the mansion in the forms of “the northern modern ” – expressive two – storey building with an asymmetrical solution to the facade, the roof of irregular shape with a peaked roof over the entrance area, and arranged with the original entrance to the recessed arched niche.

Apartment in the second floor with a loft upstairs was designed for the owner’s family, and the apartment on the first floor was rented. the poet Valery Yakovlevich Bryusov have rented this apartment for himself and his wife in August 1910.

Poet died in his apartment on the 1st Meschanskaya in October 1924. After his death, his widow Ioanna Matveevna continued to live in this house, she became the keeper of the Bryusov archive tidied all his manuscripts and documents prepared for the publication of his works. It has kept the apartment and office furnishings such as it were during the lifetime of Bryusov.

In 1960 the house was taken over by the regional library device here, and after the death of the widow Bryusova in 1965, it was decided in the memorial of the poet’s office to arrange his museum. It opened in 1971 and was, in fact, is not only a museum of the poet Valery Bryusov, but a museum of the Silver Age.

In 1975 the house was damaged during a fire burned the attic floor – library and museum were evacuated from the house, but the house was not restored for a long time and was abandoned. Only in the late 1980s, the house was restored and renovated, after which he was entirely transferred to the State Literary Museum. In 1999 the house was opened Museum of the Silver Age, which exists here now.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a two-story wooden house belonging to the merchant Ivan Baev was rebuilt according to the project of the architect Vladimir Chagin. The building is one of the most representative examples of northern Art Nouveau and has the shape of an irregular polygon – this creates the visual effect of the house being close to the surrounding landscape. From 1910 to 1924, the symbolist writer Valery Bryusov rented an apartment in the building. He lived in a five-room apartment on the ground floor, however, as a result of a sealing policy in 1918, the premises were rebuilt as communal apartments. In the XX century, the mansion survived several fires, one of which destroyed the flooring of the third floor, but the historic interiors of the mansion were not affected . In 1987, the building passed into the possession of the State Literary Museum, which funded the restoration of the premises .

Unofficially, the museum began work in the mid-1920s, when, after the death of the writer, the widow Ioana Matveevna began to hold open meetings of cultural figures interested in the work of Bryusov. In 1926, she sent an official letter to the People’s Commissar of Education Andrei Bubnov with a request to liquidate the communal apartment: ten families living in neighboring rooms could harm Bryusov’s memorial items. Since that time, the museum began to function on a voluntary basis – work was carried out on the translation of works, the analysis of manuscripts, as well as the finalization of articles. After the death of Joanna Bryusova in 1965, the museum was headed by Elena Chudeckaya, a former secretary of the writer. In 1987, the new director Natalya Shakhalovaachieved the accession of the institution to the State Literary Museum, as well as the restoration of the memorial cabinet. In 1999, the first permanent exhibition “ Pushkin and the Silver Age of Russian Literature ” was organized. The opening of the exhibition was timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Pushkin, the research staff worked on the interior design: Natalya Vinogradova, Ilya Gladysh, as well as Avet Tavrizov .

The museum halls were decorated by the artist Avet Tavrizov, who used elements of Art Nouveau, Classicism and avant-garde in the interiors. In each room, portraits of writers and poets hang, as well as graphic and pictorial images of artists of that era. In the general hall there is a portrait of Pushkin by the artist Natalya Neratova. The exhibitionis located on two floors of the former house of Ivan Baev : on the first there is a memorial cabinet, and on the second there are halls dedicated to the literary classics of the Silver Age.

Memorial office of Valery Bryusov
The center of the exhibitionis Bryusov’s memorial cabinet, since it was completely restored. On the writer’s desktop is the collection “Poetry of Armenia ”: Bryusov translated over a thousand works of writers and poets from the ancient Armenian language. For this work in 1923 the Symbolist was given the title of “People’s Poet of Armenia”. Working in this office, Bryusov completed the novels “ Altar of Victory ”, “Jupiter defeated”, “Mirror of Shadows”, as well as “Almonds”. An extensive library of the writer, consisting of more than a thousand publications, is presented in the bookcases of the cabinet. Portraits and photographs of the playwright are hanging on the walls, including lithography from the famous portrait of Mikhail Vrubel, created in 1905. Of the memorial items in the hall, an oak table, a clock, a furniture set, as well as drawings donated by artists Fyodor Rerberg, Konstantin Feofilaktov and Natalya Goncharova are exhibited.

Central hall
The main hall of the museum hosts art and music events, as well as creative evenings. The walls are decorated with portraits of Bryusov by the artist Sergey Malyutin from 1913 and a portrait of the writer Leonid Andreyev, performed by Valentin Serov in 1907.

Hall of Symbolism
In the hall of Russian symbolism, portraits, books and manuscripts of writers Andrei Bely, Jurgis Baltrushaitis, George Chulkov, Eugene Lansere, Alexander Blok are presented. In the corner is the restored interior of the editorial office of the magazines Scorpio and Libra, which printed works of symbolist writers. Nearby is the cartoon of the literary capital of St. Petersburg of the 1910s – the Cafe Comedians Cafe. The image was created in 1916 and reproduces the creative atmosphere of one of the evenings: Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova,Nikolai Gumilev, Konstantin Balmont, Vladislav Khodasevich and other poets listen to performances on stage.

Hall of Acmeism
The room dedicated to acmeism contains a collection of materials on the development of this direction, which arose in the 1910s in Russia. The walls are painted in light color, together with a large number of mirrors this creates the illusion of a split space. Busts of Marina Tsvetaeva, Sergey Yesenin, Boris Pasternak, Maximilian Voloshin, as well as Larisa Reisner are placed around the perimeter, which creates the effect of presence. On the wall hangs the autograph of Alexander Blok, left by the poet after the first reading of the poem “The Twelve “.

Futurism hall
The last hall of the exhibitionis dedicated to the activities of poet- innovators Vladimir Mayakovsky, Velimir Khlebnikov and Igor Severyanin. The room is painted in dark color and the only bright spot are brightly illuminated windows. The walls depict geometric patterns symbolizing a challenge to public opinion. Here are the original posters of the early XX century, preserving the old and new spelling styles. The tour of the museum ends in the hall with a copy of the monument to Peter I “The Bronze Horseman ”, which, according to the plan of the interior organizer Avet Tavrizov, symbolizes the layering of eras: the combination of Russian statehood and the form of creativity of poets and writers.