FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
External Relations Associate
THE MUSEUM OF RUSSIAN ART PRESENTS NEW EXHIBITION
MINNEAPOLIS (May 6, 2015) The Museum of Russian Art is proud to announce the upcoming exhibition, Russian Samovars, in its Lower Gallery. The exhibition of Russian samovars will delve into the Russian tradition of tea drinking through a remarkable display of forty samovars, drawn from the significant collection of Sheldon Luskin, a resident of Florida. Translated as self-boiler, a samovar is a metal urn used to boil water for tea. Inside the samovar is a tube where the fire is built of wood chips or dry pinecones, offering a quick and economical way to make tea. Before the introduction of electrical appliances, samovars were wide-spread in all social groups. The author Fedor Dostoevsky wrote, A samovar is the most needed Russian thing, and all the more so in the times of trouble.
Tea-drinking came to Russia in the early years of the Romanov dynasty. Initially an aristocratic pastime, it became a beloved Russian custom in the 19th century, with the samovar as the centerpiece of the table. The first samovars were produced in the Urals in the 1740s, according to surviving records. In the 19th century, the city of Tula, 120 miles south of Moscow, became the center of samovar production for the Russian Empire. Going to Tula with ones own samovar (a well-known Russian saying) would make as much sense as bringing pizza to Italy or wine to France. In 1850, there were 28 samovar factories in Tula, selling their wares in every nook and corner of the vast country. The silversmiths of St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Warsaw (then part of the Russian Empire) made beautifully decorated samovars for the upper classes.
The exhibition of samovars at TMORA will feature samovars made of silver, copper, and brass, as well as rare alloys such as tombac. Shaped as cylinders, barrels, or spheres, these fascinating metal urns boast a variety of colors ranging from dark greenish black to bright gold. The display includes a samovar shaped as a locomotive and four fully workable miniature models.
Russian Samovars will be on view from June 6 2015 through January 24, 2016.
About The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA)
The Museum of Russian Art, a non-profit, educational institution, is the only museum in North America dedicated exclusively to the preservation and exhibition of all forms of Russian art and artifacts from many eras. TMORA is located in a state-of-the-art, historical building at 5500 Stevens Ave. S. (intersection of I-35W and Diamond Lake Road) in Minneapolis. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday-Friday), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday) and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday). Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children 14 and up, as well as university students with ID; children under 14 are free. Museum members receive free admission. To learn more about the Museums exhibitions, events and history, visit http:// tmora.org/ or call 612-821-9045.
Russian Samovars is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.