The museum fund

These were icons from the chapel iconostases, candlesticks, and other objects of internal decoration. Among them, a significant part was made up of the so-called zavety - objects that believers bring and leave in the chapel as a contribution or donation to one or another saint for fulfilling their prayers, for deliverance fr om illnesses and misfortunes of themselves or their relatives. And sometimes as a sign of gratitude for the prayer.

It is also painted heavens, iconostases, old printed books, objects of ethnography and everyday life, and decorative and functional art objects of the 19th – early 20th centuries, which are magnificent examples of the material and spiritual culture of the indigenous population.
Aquisition of objects
About 400 items are received annually in the main fund of the Museum's collection of the Park. Most of the items received date from the 19th - early 20th centuries. Now the fund has over 10,000 storage units. The basis of the museum collection are ethnographic items. Ethnographic collections include household utensils, clothes, tools for crafts, interior elements of houses and other buildings, attributes of rituals and beliefs. Together they reflect the originality of the traditional culture of the indigenous population living on the territory of Kenozero National Park.

The main ways of replenishing the museum fund are field research (historical, ethnographic, folklore and archaeological) expeditions to all areas of Kenozero and current acquisitions (purchase, donations).
A significant share comes from the active contacts of the Park with the population. Also, in order to replenish the funds, communication is maintained with archives, museums, collectors, craftsmen.

Funds Activities

The activities of the Park Museum Fund are primarily aimed at preserving and reconstructing the historical and cultural environment of Kenozero, reviving folk crafts, and maintaining traditions. Stock collections are an object of research throughout the scientific activities of the Park. The purpose of scientific research is the extraction and understanding of historical information embedded in a museum object. Now the museum collection is undergoing the first stage of study - a scientific description. There is an ongoing consistent review of the collections.

Towels. Of great interest is the collection of ritual towels. These are samples of amazing beauty, technique and plots made by the hands of local women - real craftswomen of framed weaving and hand embroidery. Kenozero craftswomen mastered many sewing techniques of North Russian embroidery: an ancient (doselny) double-sidedstitch wh ere only two colors were combined - linen canvas and a bright red thread of a pattern; satin stitch andfeatherstitch were widely used, as well as embroideryframewith pre-thinned fabric (po-vydergy/pulling technique). At the end of the XIX centurychain-stitch becomes very popular.


In Kenozerye, fabric was placed on a frozen window and then the contours of the patterns were transferred onto it with a pencil, and then they circled them with a chain-stitch hook.


Ceramics. No less interesting is the collection of Kenozero ceramics - the so-called Karpov clay products. The traditional Karpov pots are black, often with a wavy line ornament. On the potter’s wheel, the master sculpted a pot, finishing with fingers and a knife. Raw pots were put on the ground so that they slightly dried out in the sun. Then they were put in a furnace, wh ere they were fired. After the pot was red-hot, they took it with tongs and dipped it in an oatmeal broth. The pot would turn black. The wave-like decoration was made using thin linen string. Pottery had a prominent place in the house of the Kenozero peasant. Karpov products were sold at local fairs. Famous Karpov pots were found in almost every house in many surrounding villages. Today, the museum collection contains different types and forms of Karpov clay products: latki (oblongated utensils used for frying - pancakes and breads were baked in latki; a large clay bowl in which they beat butter, or mixed the dough), kashniki (a clay bowl for cooking and storage of porridge and dairy products), rogoviki (a clay pot with a spout for melting or whipping butter –“ …in the rogovik we knock the butter, melt, and pour it out…”) and others.

Spinning wheels. An interesting collection of spinning wheels is concentrated in the collection of Kenozero National Park. The Kenozero type of spinning wheels was identified in 1962-1963 by the expedition of the State Russian Museum.
Making spinning wheels was not for trade in Kenozero, but rather a small craft serving a small area. People weremaking spinning wheels everywhere for their family. The most skilled craftsmen made them to order. On Kenozero and along the Ken River there lived masters, whoas carpenters, wheel masters, carvers of icon cases and iconostases, also made spinning wheels.
The peculiarity of the form and their decoration made it possible to separate the Kenozero spinning wheels to a special type.
      These spinning wheels belong to the root of so called self-grown wheels. They are characterized by a wide, strongly elongated board lopaska, that descends almost to the base of the spinning wheel. The leg is short andstrong. The design of the lopaska is also peculiar - its top is formed by two slopes with five large, round, densely set gorodki (dentels on top of lopaska board). The bottom of the lopaska is decorated with the same large sergi (decorative dentels in form of earings at the bottom of lopaska board).
Almost the entire board and a very short leg were covered with trihedral-notched carving, which was supplemented by painting: images of flowers, branches, flowerpots painted with oil paints. Several colors were chosen for painting to highlight the main compositional elements. Underlined by color, they acquire elasticity, dynamism, and the whole composition - constructiveness. That kind of ornament was used to decorate storage chests, cabinets, arches, thin walls — house dividers in homes, roof  boards extensions were also decorated with such an ornament. Most often the spinning wheel was cut by one master, and painted by another.

Heavens. A special place in the museum collection is taken by a collection of painted Heavens. These are the ceilings of the prayer halls of wooden Kenozero chapels, painted on biblical subjects. The collection includes 17 series, each consisting of 8 to 16 radial facets with height from 1.5 to 4.5 meters. In addition, four series have been preserved fragmentarily. Some heavens were in ruined condition, poorly preserved. Some have survived in their original form in chapels.


The work to restore unique monuments have been done from the moment the Park was established.  Folowwing masterpieces were restored and brought back to its original place: the Heavens of the chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in the village of Vershinino of the second half of the 20thcentury, the Heavens of the chapel of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian in Zekhnovo village of the 18th century, the Heavens of the chapel of the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Glazovo of the 19th century. The restoration of the Heavens of the chapel of the Holy Great Martyr Paraskeva Pyatnitsa from Tyryshkino of the 19th century, the temple and altar heavens of the Church of the Origin of the Honest Trees of Christ from Filipovskaya from the middle of the 19th century have been completed. In 2010, the restoration of unique heavens with the hallmarks of the life cycle of St. Nicholas from the chapel of St. Nicholas in the village of Ust-Pocha of the 18th century was completed.
The restoration of other museum items is under way. First of all we workon those that are supposed to be used in the exposition and exhibition work in the interiors of existing chapels, churches, peasant houses, as well as those that are in disrepair and may go to pieces.

Many items stored in the museum fund of the Park require constant preventive or restoration work. Restoration of objects is carried out in the framework of the Culture Of Russia and Culture Of the Russian North programs. The Park partners in this work are specialists-restorers of the All-Russian Scientific and Practical Center named after academician I.E. Grabar, its Arkhangelsk branch, students and teachers of restoration schools in Moscow and St. Petersburg. As part of this collaboration, restoration artists travel to the Park to carry out preventive and emergency restorative operations on objects from the fund collections: works of ancient Russian painting, items made from textiles, and wood.
Museum Fund
The existing museum fund is actively used in the exhibition, scientific, methodological and environmental-educational activities of the Park.

Currently, there are twelve museums and expositions in the Park that detail the value of cultural tangible and intangible heritage (In The Beginning There Was A Word ...), features of traditional nature management (EcoMuseum), secrets of local crafts (Gefestovo compound, Alphabetof a Wood Master, Kitavrasovo Compound, Autumn in Lekshmozero), illustrate the traditional way of life (Ruhlyadny barn) and so on.