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Two anniversaries. “Two biographies”

В выставочном центре «Новый Манеж» открылась экспозиция о Булгакове

An invitation to the exhibition
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On the Oct 28, 2016  the exhibition “Bulgakov. Two biographies” opened in the exhibition hall called New Manege. There are two anniversaries being celebrated this year: 125 years since the writer’s date of birth , and 50 years – since the very first publication of his most famous novel “The Master and Margarita.”

“Project” Bulgakov. Two biographies ” is a vivid example of coollaboration between the museums. Creating the architecture and design, a crew of “Manege” worked in permanent contact with the curators of the Bulgakov’s House – says Irina Tolpina, managing director Moscow Museum and Exhibition Association Manege. – A visit to the exhibition will be a dive into the world which connects the images of literary works with the reality in which he lived and worked as a writer. ”

Archive documents, provided by Bulgakov's House.
Archive documents, provided by Bulgakov’s House.

The exhibition is divided into halves. In the first one, under the glass cases there are archive documents which tell Bulgakov’s biography, present his first fees and difficult way to the reader: in late 1920s his works were banned and named “anti-Soviet”. Bulgakov even counted that among the reviews on his works there had been 300  “hostile and abusive” ones and only three hab been laudatory.

N.Ulyanov's sketches for Bulgakov's play called "The Days Of Turbin".
N.Ulyanov’s sketches for Bulgakov’s play called “The Days Of Turbin”.

The second half of the exhibition is devoted to the theater, which played an essential role in Bulgakov’s life. His plays “Days of the Turbin” “Crimson Island,” “Zoyka’s flat” and “Moliere” were put on the main stages of the country – in Chekhov’s Moscow Art Theater, and Bolshoi Theatre. Visitors will be able to be backstage and try to undertand the process of writer’s clash with the Soviet censorship and even contemplate Bulgakov as an actor: in 1935 he played the President of the Court in the movie “The Pickwick Club”, based on the novel written by Charles Dickens.

Reconstructed Bulgakov's apartment, situated in Naschokin's lane.
Reconstructed Bulgakov’s apartment, situated in Naschokin’s lane. Photo sourse: Russian Newspaper

A part of the exhibition is a replica of Bulgakov’s apartment, reconstructed via his contemporaries’ memoirs, extant outlines and black and white photos. But it was impossible to reconstruct everything accurately. There is a layout drawn on the floor, and words “sofa”, “chair”, “piano” display the furniture which hasn’t been found. In this apartment did Bulgakov work on the novel “The Master and Margarita” till the end of his life. There he created the “Notes of the deceased” and the play “Batum” about Stalin’s youth, with whom the writer even had a phone conversation, having made it clear that Bulgakov’s works would never be printed.

The exhibition will be open until the Jan. 9, 2017, and everyone has a chance to delve into Bulgakov’s work and biography, to assess if the crew of the Exhibition Centre successfully coped with the task by collecting about 700 materials from libraries and private collections, museums and archives in one single exhibition. Apart from the exposure itself, the project organizers have prepared a special program. It will include lectures of specialists in literature and history of theatre, panel discussions, film screenings and tours.

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