Mandelstam Exhibition Opens at HSE
This exhibition, located at the HSE building on Staraya Basmannaya Ulitsa, near the Mandelstam Centre, tells the story of all the important stages in the poet’s life and work. It features photos, announcements of poetry nights, and documents testifying to Mandelstam’s arrest and death, as well as comments by the poet’s contemporaries.
According to Pavel Polian, Director of the Mandelstam Centre, the exposition was based on the material used in the exhibition ‘Osip Mandelstam: “I’ll tell you bluntly one last time…”’, which was prepared by the Mandelstam Society together with the State Literature Museum. ‘This exhibition went on display at Ostroukhov House in Moscow, then traveled to Germany and Spain, to Heidelberg and Granada respectively, and was a huge success in all those locations’, Pavel Polian said, ‘That’s why we came up with the idea of turning it into a permanent exposition at the HSE building, near the Mandelstam Centre, so to say, to interiorize the space around our workplace’.
All the exhibits are high-quality copies which are hard to distinguish from the original even for a professional, according to Dmitry Bak, Director of the State Literature Museum. Most of the originals are stored in the archives of the Literature Museum, the Mandelstam Centre, and the Manuscripts Division of the Princeton University library, to which the poet’s wife donated her husband’s archive.
‘The exhibition at the HSE building won’t necessarily be expanded, but instead, we want to develop in a different direction. For example, we have some outstanding student papers on Mandelstam’s work, and we would like to organize some reading nights. Here, on the second floor, we’ve created a Mandelstam context, which hopefully will inspire people for new ideas and further development’, Pavel Polian concluded.
The exposition ‘Osip Mandelstam – End of the Road’ located in the HSE building at 20 Myasnitskaya Street in Moscow reconstructs the final 11 weeks of the poet’s life and profiles many of his contemporaries.
A new exposition in the assembly hall of the HSE building on Staraya Basmannaya is dedicated to the events of August 1968: the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops. Here, you can see declassified documents from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union archives; leaflets and posters; amateur photos by railroad worker Josef Kut illustrating what was happening on the streets of Prague; and a ‘graphic diary’ by Czech artist Jiří Jirásek.
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In September 2016, an exhibition entitled ‘Osip Mandelstam: Word and Destiny’ opened in Granada. This event has been organized by HSE Mandelstam Centre, the State Literature Museum, the Mandelstam Society and UNESCO Cities of Literature Heidelberg and Granada.