16 november – 15 december

The exhibition is dedicated to the history of Zaonezhskiy embroidery - one of the largest folk arts and crafts in Karelia. It includes more than a hundred pieces of embroidery from the end of XIX - XX centuries from the collections of museums and archives of Russia. About 30 pieces will be demonstrated to the public for the first time.

Zaonezhskiy embroidery has a special place in the decorative art of the Russian North. It is the largest folk art trade of Karelia, a visiting card of Zaonezhye. From the foundation of the artel in 1929 in the village of Hashezero and to this day the factory in Medvezhjegorsk (from 2003 the Karelian Uzors Ltd.) creates products, preserving traditional embroidery motifs and techniques of "tambour", "stitch on the grid", "tracery".

The first section demonstrates the skills of Zaonezhian embroiderers at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. Paraskovya Grigorievna Nazarova (1885-1965), a talented artisan, became the first head of the artel in 1929 and remained at its head for seventeen years (1929-1946). The exhibition features a towel "Flowers" and a tray from the 1920s that were made by P.G. Nazarova. Valuable exhibits are towels by M. I. Nikonova and E. D. Kuvanina from the collection of the Museum-reserve "Kizhi", collected during expeditions in the 1970s; photographs of embroiderers from the collection of the National Museum of the Republic of Karelia, taken by the photographer Yakov Roskin during his trip to Zaonezhye in 1938.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Zaonezhye embroidery made active use of propaganda motifs and themes from the Kalevala, the Karelian-Finnish epos. A significant contribution to the applied art of Karelia were thematic panels "The Shepherd boy Kullervo", "Väinemäinen plays the kantele" and others created after sketches of artist V. M. Agapov. The post-war period was one of the most difficult for the war-torn company. The documents in the exhibition show how difficult it was for the women to combine work and family life. At the same time, ceremonial works are being created. In 1948, the "Jubilee Tablecloth" was created, decorated with the Republic's coat of arms, numbers "1923-1948", stars, and a kantele instrument on the corners.

Significant changes in the assortment of the enterprise occurred in the 1960-1980s, when "Zaonezhskaya Embroidery" switched to machine production and began to cooperate with the Research Institute of Art Industry. A striking example of artists and technologists working together are experimental "stitching" sets of home textiles.

In the 1990s, after studying museum collections in Moscow and Petrozavodsk, T.N.Mogutina, an artist of the factory, created designs for the panels "The Sirin Bird" and "Jubilee", which are noted for the complexity of their composition and the combination of machine embroidery and hand decorative stitches.