Tuesday - Sunday,
From 11:00 to 20:00
April 16th – July 5th 2020
On April 16, Gallery «Na Shabolovke» with the International Memorial opens exhibition «Donskoy Crematorium» about architecture and history of the first Moscow crematorium.
The project develops the Avant-garde Museum’s research of the local monuments of history and architecture. The opening of the first crematorium in the Shabolovka district was a significant event in post-revolutionary Moscow, where agitation for a “new life” affected all stages of human life – from birth to death – and put on avant-garde architectural forms.
Adaptation of the church of Seraphim Sarovsky and Anna Kashinskaya to the needs of the crematorium marked the transition to a new type of burial, the "fire burial", and was accompanied by an unprecedented agitational campaign. Since the beginning of the 1930s the new Donskoy cemetery has gained a double life: daytime solemn funerals of famous people and nighttime secret burials of ashes of the repressed.
Donskoy Crematorium. Postcard. Privete collection.
The exhibition features projects and sketches for the architectural competitions, photographs of the crematorium and its interiors, reflecting architects’ ideas about the appearance of a modern civil funeral facility in the 1920s. Photos, video materials, and archival documents tell the stories of people buried under different circumstances in the new Donskoy cemetery.
The exhibition is of current interest due to a probable reconstruction of the columbaria, which may lead to demolition of the architectural and memorial heritage of the Donskoy cemetery.
The additional programme includes lectures by culturologists, anthropologists, historians and art historians on new mortuary rites, funeral practices, and general regard to death in Soviet culture, excursions, series of stories about famous architects, artists, musicians, theatrical figures of the 1920-1930s, buried in the niches of the Donskoy columbaria, in land and mass graves.
Kurators: Alexandra Selivanova and Lisa Kazakova
Columbarium of the Donskoy Crematorium