Kalevala exposition: the new life of Ivan Kuzmin’s wooden chest

Submitted by KA9021 on 29.08.2020 - 21.51
wooden chest

The Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia keeps an interesting collection of objects of decorative and applied art, which were collected during scientific expeditions in different regions of Karelia. Recently a large group of objects was restored by a specialist in the restoration of metal from the State Hermitage.

The most difficult work was the restoration of the chest. It is interesting that in old times household items were not usually signed by masters, and now we do not know who made them and when, who used them. It is a huge rarity that one of the chests in our collection turned out to be signed. The author of the chest, Ivan Pavlovich Kuzmin, made it in 1745.

The metal lining of the chest was thickly corroded with rust. As a result, on some parts breakouts, cracks and losses were formed, especially on the lower parts. We can suppose thet the chest was stored for a long time in places with high humidity or dampness, which subsequently had a negative effect on its safety. In the course of the restoration, surface contamination and corrosion deposits of rust were removed.

In addition to the restorer from the Hermitage, specialists from the Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia also worked on the restoration of the chest: Andrei Smolin, a museum carpenter, glued together the wooden parts, Maria Smirnova, a museum restorer, removed all dirt from the wood surface.

The wooden chest of the 18th century will be represented at the Kalevala exhibition in the interactive installation “Pike” in February 2021.

It should be reminded that the initiative to create the Kalevala exposition is being implemented thanks to the project “Museums in Focus: the Development of Cultural Services for Chinese Tourists” (KA 9021) of the Karelia cross-border cooperation program.

We thank our colleagues from the State Hermitage for the work done, and we also express our gratitude to Maria Fyodorovna Smirnova, head of the restoration sector of the Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia, for organizing this work.