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«Faces of Our Ancerstors» An Exhibition on the Occasion of Mikhail Gerasimov’s Centenary

On Monday, October 8, at 17.00 at the Peter the Great’s Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkammer)  the opening ceremony of a new temporary exposition titled "Faces of Our Ancerstors. An Exhibition on the Occasion of Mikhail Gerasimov’s Centenary" will take place. Reconstructed sculptural figures of the people belonging to the epochs of Paleolithic and Mesolithic Ages, as well as to the early Era of Metal will be represented.

The exhibition is devoted to the birthday centenary of an outstanding Russian scientist Mikhail Mikhailovich Gerasimov (1907-1970). An honored scientist, professor Gerasimov was an anthropologist, a sculptor and anarcheologist, the creator of the face-from-the-skull reconstruction method, an author of numerous graphical and sculptural authentically documentary portraits of ancient people and historical personalities. Thanks to the efforts of M.M. Gerasimov the face-from-the-skull reconstruction developed into an independent science.

It was thanks to Gerasimov's activity, that the attention of thousands of laymen was drawn to anthropology. The scientist was born on September 15, 1907 in St. Petersburg, worked in many museums of the country, participated in archeological expeditions. In 1950 at the USSR Academy of Sciences' Ethnography Institute A LABORATORY OF PLASTIC RECONSTRUCTION was established, headed by M.M. Gerasimov for twenty years until his death. And the cause of his life was continued by his apprentices.

The exhibits familiarize the visitors with the personality of M.M. Gerasimov, the dominating directions of his creative work, as well as with his scientific method. Some of his personal belongings, the instruments and the drawings of the scientist, rare photographs from the family and the USSR Academy of Sciences' archives will be displayed.

During the years of laborious work M.M. Gerasimov in detail studied the anatomical interdependence between the facial part of the cranium and the face soft tissues and was the first in the world to prove, that by reconstructing the face from the skull one may achieve a portrait resemblance. Gerasimov's method is universal. Every sculptural reconstruction is a scientific document, a piece of art and an image of a live human being, all in one. The specimen of Gerasimov's scientific and creative work selected for the exhibition give a notion of an appearance of the people that lived on various territories (from France to China) in different epochs - from the early Paleolithic Age to the early Iron Age.

These scientifically valid images give us a unique opportunity to ‘look in the face' of the faraway predecessors, to get a more concrete and vivid notion of the homo sapiens' development and the ancient stages of the history of humanity. Exhibits from the richest anthropological and archeological collections of the museum are shown at the exposition. They demonstrate, how the life of the Stone Age people changed, how their labor instruments improved and new types of human activity emerged.

The exhibition will be of interest to the wide audience, first of all to schoolchildren, college students, teachers, history amateurs, and the anthropologists.

A Virtual Visit to the Exhibition

The Department of excursions and education of Peter the Great’s Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkammer) has worked out an exhibition-pedagogical program on the history of the primitive society.

The authors of the exhibition concept are A.G. Kozintsev, V.G. Moiseev, V.I. Seleznyova, V.I. Khartanovich. Project design - InterStyle Co Ltd, headed by M.V. Denai, V.P. Presnov, L.E. Sivash.

The exhibition will be open from October 9, 2007 till September 30, 2008.

The excursions may be booked in advance: tel. (812) 328-14-12 (coordinating manager).

The working hours are 11.00 - 18.00, tickets are sold from 11.00 till 16.45. On Mondays and last Tuesday of each month the museum is closed.
Address: 199034, St. Petersburg, 3, Universitetskaya Embankment (University Embankment). Fax: (812) 328-08-11.