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WWI exhibition to open at Museum of History of Moscow on August 1

Titled “Moscow in the Years of World War One”, the display features archive photos, documents and authentic everyday objects of that time

MOSCOW, July 31, 23:46 /ITAR-TASS/. An exhibition showing Moscow’s life during WWI is opening at the Museum of Moscow on August 1.

Titled “Moscow in the Years of World War One”, the display features archive photos, documents and authentic everyday objects of that time.

“We decided that we should not show the war as such. So we made insight in the history of Moscow of that time. We read many memoirs and diaries which we later used to design our exposition,” the project’s curator, Irina Karpacheva, told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

The exhibition opens with a sculptural group of a family who is still unaware of the forthcoming hardships and is looking into the future with enthusiasm. The figures resemble Emperor Nicholas II and his family. The emperor’s manifesto on the start of military hostilities is also on view. The 1917 Decree on Peace adopted by the All-Russian Congress of the Council of Workers, Peasant and Soldier Deputies. The history of Moscow and its people during the war lies between these two historical documents.

A separate section is devoted to donations which the city residents gave to the soldiers. The exposition features a poster by painter Konstantin Korovin, which calls for help; archive photos and authentic objects such as tea sets, tableware and shirts, which Muscovites in the wartime Moscow used to gather in huge numbers.

Karpacheva said they had used letters and inventory lists to prepare the installation. Thanks to them, it became known that one noble lady had handed over her wedding tea-set assuming that officers should not drink from iron tableware. But that was typical of the early days of the war. No one could imagine that it would last for so long. To everybody’s horror, it soon became clear that the situation was much graver than initially thought. Muscovites massively turned their apartments into hospitals and many noble women started working as nurses. A separate section of the exposition features photos and a list of soldiers and officers buried in a cemetery located in Moscow’s Sokol district.

Despite the fact that Moscow was swarmed with the wounded and refugees, the Russian film industry was in its heyday largely because foreign pictures were hard to come by. Posters advertising films with participation of actress Vera Kholodnaya are gathered in a separate hall. The exhibition will be open until October 31.

Another exhibition devoted to WWI (1914-1918) has been under way at the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum since July 3.

According to Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, the exhibition’s title “A War that Ended Peace” has a deep symbolical meaning. “The world ‘Mir’ (peace) has several semantic meanings in the Russian language: apart from meaning a state of living without a war, it also means humanity in general. In this sense, the exhibition has several deep, symbolic and urgent meanings,” Naryshkin said at the opening ceremony on July 3.

The exhibition features hundreds of exhibits - mainly photos and rare stock footages from private collections and archives in France, Italy and Russia. They show WWI as a war that claimed the lives of more than 22 million people through the eyes of all participants in that unprecedented historical conflict. Visitors will also see wartime caricatures, posters and leaflets.