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Exhibition "Nikolai Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maclay: to the 175th birth anniversary" has opened in the Kunstkamera


Today, on the eve of the Ethnographer's Day, an exhibition "Nikolai Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maclay: to the 175th birth anniversary" was solemnly opened in the Round Hall of the Kunstkamera. The opening ceremony was attended by the director of the MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS Andrei Golovnev, curator of the exhibition, researcher of the Department of Australia, Oceania and Indonesia Arina Lebedeva, as well as curator and designer of the exhibition, head of the Exhibition Department Yulia Konkova.

As a 25-year-old boy Miklukho-Maclay set foot on the coast of Papua New Guinea and became the first European who met the indigenous people of those places. Even after a century and a half, this "Maclay's" discovery excites both romantic travelers and ethnographers. It is no coincidence that the Day of Ethnographers in Russia is celebrated on July 17 - which is the birthday of Nikolai Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maclay.

The exhibition presents collections of objects brought by N. N. Miklukho-Maclay: he collected them with enthusiasm, because he understood that after a collision with European civilization, the "native world" would quickly change. Also shown are his famous professionally executed drawings, some of which are illustrations for lectures and messages dedicated to his travels and research. Miklukho-Maclay addressed these messages to the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in 1886. It is important to note that at the exhibition Miklukho-Maclay's photographic collection is presented to the general public for the first time. During his travels, when visiting cities he acquired photographs representing the natives. They are characterized by the presence of the attributes of traditional culture and staged scenes: women with children and household items, engaged in housework; men with weapons, sometimes imitating a duel. The value of these pictures is that the people depicted in the photographs are real representatives of various ethnic groups, and all the objects are authentic. After the death of Nikolai Miklukho-Maclay, the photographic materials he collected were kept by his brother Mikhail, and after his death were transferred to the MAE RAS by his daughter Serafima Mikhailovna Maclay. Only in 2009, the complex of materials was revealed in the museum archive, which made it possible to establish the very fact of their collection by Miklouho-Maclay.

The exposition is supplemented with a multimedia component - a video that is made with the use of the drawings by Miklukho-Maclay (directed by Svetlana Belorussova, head of the Laboratory of museum technologies) is demonstrated on plasma screens .

After the opening ceremony Arina Lebedeva conducted a tour of the exhibition for the guests of the vernissage.

The exhibition will be open until November 1, 2021.