March 26, 2019

Matthias Korb, Museum INITIUM ET FINIS


 all pictures courtesy of Matthias Korb

Located in the small community of Lohrheim, Germany, some 70 km north-west of Frankfurt am Main, above pictured house is home to an art environment in the capacity of a museum, named INITIUM ET FINIS (Beginning and end). As a further indication the complement Wunderkammer der Humanität (Wunderkammer of Humanity) is often added.

The museum, a private affair, was developed from 2008 on, when Matthias Korb bought a house in Lohrheim when he needed more space to further develop his artistic activities


Life and works

Matthias Korb was born in 1969 in Frankfurt am Main.

Already at a young age he was concerned with man and his place in the system of nature and how that was expressed, for example, in the way gardens were laid out in the Renaissance compared to the contemporary way of working.

By this interest he was inspired to look for a job in the field of landscape gardening. In his late twenties, in 1997, he started his own business in this area.

With the same interest in mind, for a number of years Korb was also involved in publishing books, while in 2005, without any education at an art school,  he started to focus on the creation of visual art.





One of Korb's various forms of artistic expression is making assemblies, as shown in above 
pictures, where found objects get a new meaning and nature appears in the background decoration that can consist of a mixture of paint and different forms of earth.

There also is a relation with his job as landscaper in so far the way he arranges his assemblages corresponds to the way he designs a garden with lines, colors and forms. 

A self-taught artist, Korb already has participated in various expositions in Germany. 


Creating an art environment

In 2008 Korb added another approach to his artistic activities, when he started to transform the house in Lohrheim into an art environment.

Conceptually this art environment is an overwhelming collection of objects, attached to walls, displayed in 19th-century wall cabinets, sometimes arranged in a horizontal arrangement, but often seemingly randomly placed, all the things that surrounded mankind or were made or used to go through life.


In a review of the museum art historian Sophia Rasmussen used a classification from the time of the classics to describe the collection. 

She distinguished:
* Naturalia (natural items): such as strangely shaped roots and branches, seed capsules, skeletal parts, horns and bird nests; 
* Artificialia (artificial items), such as African masks, Asian candlesticks, doll faces, old toys, mannequins, framed photographs, books, gas masks and tools;
* Scientifica (scientific items) such as a telescope, measuring instruments, globes, metronomes and surgical instruments; 
* Devotionalia (devotional items) such as crucifixes, statues of saints, votive images.

But then the museum just as much presents items that do not fit in this classification
Indeed, such is life....


All items have been gathered by Korb himself. He found many items just by by chance, in nature, during his work, on the dump, but mostly at flea markets in Frankfurt, a town where he often comes because of his work. But he would also search consciously for specific items if they would fit in with the concept of an assemblage he had in mind to make.

Spatially, the site includes rooms in the living house, the barn with a floor, and the garden

Some of the rooms in the house have been transformed into salons with dark red painted walls. Such a salon may be equipped with black painted furniture and wall cupboards which give the room a 19th century look, Smaller items, such as framed photos on the wall, reinforce this allure.

The barn covers the largest part of the collection. It also includes Korb's studio and the artworks he has created in the course of the years.

The garden is intended as a place to rest after a visit to the museum and to consider one's experiences. There is an assembly of glass bottles that portrays the periodic table of elements, just the tangible parts of course. Maybe a reference to the inevitable fact that a collection like this never can be complete.


As said, the museum is also indicated as a Wunderkammer der Humanität. The German concept Wunderkammer (Room of wonders) refers to a phenomenon from earlier centuries, when collections were set up -initially by royal people, later also by rich civilians- which included artworks, but also miraculous and everyday things.

From these wunderkammer the art museums of our time would develop, some with a wide collection, as goes for many national museums, others with a specific collection that focuses upon a specific artist, art direction or historical period.


Other than joining this process of ongoing specialization, the Museum Initium et Finis bears witness to a development that is going in a completely opposite direction, that of generalization.

However, the use of the Wunderkammer concept is not intended to give shape to longing back to the past. This art environment is a Gesamtkunstwerk ¹ that -using the Wunderkammer concept- investigates the relationship between mankind and all that it surrounds.

This does not alter the fact that visiting the museum can cause nostalgic feelings about earlier
times. In good weather the garden of the museum offers the visitor a suitable place to reflect about this.

Documentation
* Matthias Korb's website
* Article (septmber 2011) in ecclesiastical  newspaper Treffpunkt
* Sophia Rasmussen's review of the site; a shorter version of this text (June 2015) in webzine eXperimenta
* Article (july 2014) in regional journal Frankfurter Neue Presse

Videos
* Video (2013) with an impression of the workshop and the site (2'36", You Tube)


* Video (2015) with an impression of the Museum (12'23, You Tube)


note
¹  A Gesamtkunstwerk is a concept that originated in German art history during Romanticism, suggesting an interplay of arts, initially especially in architecture.

Matthias Korb
INITIUM ET FINIS. Wunderkammer der Humanität
2, Bartelstrasse
65558 Lohrheim, Germany
can be visited on appointment (18 years and older)
on saturdays and sundays (art@initium-et-finis.de)

March 18, 2019

Bogosav Živković, Магиц гарден/Magic garden


pictures are screen prints (2016)
from the video by GEM Televizija (see documentation)

The picture above shows part of Bogosav Živković's Magic Garden in Serbia as it appeared in a video made by a regional TV company in 2016, at the occasion of the re-opening of the site, which dates back from the 1970's


Life and works

Bogosav Živković (1920-2005) was born in a poor family in Leskovac, a community in  Serbia, some fifty kilometers south of its capital Belgrade. He worked as a farmhand and as a leather worker.

When in 1941, at the beginning of the Second World War, Serbia was occupied by Germany, parts of the country had to suffer from cruel treatments of the occupying forces and as a young man Živković was seriously traumatized by a malicious treatment by German occupiers.

This trauma would stay with him all his life. It also made him decide in 1945 at age 25, to leave his job as a leather worker and move to Belgrade, where he found a job as a porter.

 


Living in Belgrade, in the mid 1950's Živković began feeling attracted to making visual art. His development as a self-taught artist has often been associated with the traumas he had sustained in the beginning of the war. What he saw and experienced in restless dreams and troubled nightmares was at the basis of his creations.

Živković made his first sculpture in 1957. Already in 1960 he had his first independent exhibition and soon he was seen in Serbia as an important artist in naive and marginal art.

During his life he had exhibitions in many European countries and his work was bought by various European museums in the field of naive and marginal art. The Museum of Naive and Marginal Art in Jagodina, Serbia, has an important collection of his works.


Creating a sculpture garden

In the late 1960’s Živković returned to his birthplace Leskovac. He was now married and in 1965 had finished his job as a porter. With his wife Dobrita he went to live in the house where he was born.

On the premises of this house, a simple structure built in the early years of the 20th century, there are also a few other buildings, such as a barn of some 5 x 3 meter -built before 1940- that was used as a winery and some other small buildings named after the way they have been decorated, such as the house with a sun, where Živković had his studio, and the house with a face.

Other smaller items and structures also gave the garden its own character, such as two bread ovens, an outdoor dining room, a fountain and a stone composition for sitting.

All these elements are part of the almost 100 m² large garden of the property, which Živković together with his wife, in the 1970's began to transform into an art environment.

Živković himself indicated the site as Museum of Folk Art "Golden Branch", but generally it has become known as Magic Garden.



Dobrita Živković took care of the landscaping of the site, adding flowers and plants, including lushly growing ivy that especially would appeal to visitors.

Živković himself installed a variety of his sculptures in the garden. He probably did not consider the decorated garden as an art environment, at that time in Serbia perhaps also an unknown concept, but as a museum and exposition facility in the open air. He installed a variety of his sculptures in the garden, that are an integral part of this art environment

As the pictures in this post show, Živković also decorated the walls of the various buildings with murals and carved reliefs, He also added various structures from stone to the garden

It has been noted that although the various buildings in the garden each have no specific artistic significance, the site as a whole during Živković’s life had a pleasant, atmospheric and valuable artistic appearance.

During Živković’s life the Magic Garden gained a good reputation and attracted all kinds of visitors, including high-ranking guests of Yugoslavia or Serbia, such as emperor Hirohito of Japan, emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and president Jimmy Carter of the United States.


After Bogosav Živković in 2005 had died, a period of uncertainty began regarding the further development of the site. In 2006, an institute in Belgrade, charged with the protection of cultural monuments, offered to undertake maintenance of the site, but at that time it was not possible for the institute to enter the property to do technical research and measurements.

In 2013 the Belgrade institute renewed the procedure, which resulted in an extensive study of what should be done to restore the site. An article (2017) by Nada N. Živković (see documentation) had a summary of the proposed approach. At the time of editing this entry, the situation with regard to decision-making about a renovation is not clear


In all likelihood, in the years after the death of Živković, the garden was not or only irregularly open to visitors. However, the video from which the images in this article are derived, was released in 2016 on the occasion of the reopening of the site in that year.

Documentation
* Article (2017) on SCIndeks, the central site of scientific publications in Serbia, by Nada N. Živković. "The magic garden of Bogosav Živković in Leskovac- status and protection"
* Video (2'27", november 2016) by GEM Televizija, on Vimeo 


Bogosav Živković
Magic garden
Leskovac, Serbia
in 2016 re-opened for visitors

March 13, 2019

Roselyne Descamps, Jardin décoré de la Villa Kernetra/Villa Kernetra's decorated garden


"map of the world" under construction
all pictures from Facebook 

The picture above shows a creation named Map of the World  under construction. It is one of the cercles (circular thematic sites) included in Roselyne Descamps' decorated garden around the Villa Kernetra, which is located in the community of Lanvollon in Brittany, France.

This cercle consists of a female statue surrounded by a circle of stones and benches on which a frieze will run with the twelve signs of the zodiac.

another view of the "map of the world"

Life and works

Born in May 1946, Roselyne Descamps studied at the University of Rennes, Brittany, and was educated as a botanist. She was a horticultural trainer at an employment pole in Guingamp and was conservator of the Kerdalo Gardens in Trédarzec.

In 1978, when she was in her early thirties, she could buy Villa Kernetra in Lanvollon. By this time Roselyne had also become skilled in making ceramics. Her qualities as botanist and ceramist, combined with a lively interest in myths, legends and tales of the Breton past, would have a major influence on her further life and the special development of the garden around Villa Kernetra.

 another specific site in the garden 
is the "Templar garden"

This villa was built in 1890 on a spot where in the seventh century a monastery -founded by an Irish monk- was located. The garden of the property, over one hectare in size and separated from the street by a 40 meters long brick wall, was very suitable to realize Roselyne's idea to create a symbolic and thematic garden in the spirit of Niki de Saint Phalle's Tarot Gardenfacteur Cheval's Palais Idéal or Robert Tatin's Musée.

 the cloister is a place of meditation and contemplation, 
gathering stones that originally were scattered all over the garden

The garden was also transformed in botanically terms, for a part because of the damage caused by the great storm of 1987 that struck Brittany, but above all to give expression to contemplative and mythical concepts, reflected in special arrangements of trees and shrubs, such as the clairière des  druides (clearing of the druids) -a collection of large trees in an arc- created in 1990-1992, a collection of hellebore under a weeping beech or palms and laurels planted in memory of the Templars and the cathedrals they built.

 the circle of druids 

Mosaics on a brick wall and other creations in the garden

Assisted by volunteers,  Roselyne Descamps from around 2011 until 2015 has been building a wall of about 70 meters long, made of white blocks of stone. This wall, which meanders through the garden and fits smoothly into it's landscape, is a decorative and -in sacral respect- a protective structure. In practical terms it offers the opportunity to fix the many mosaics that in the course of the years have been created to adorn the garden.

Here is a small selection of these mosaics and other creations that decorate the garden.

fresque des Preuses Cavalières

The picture above shows part of a group of all together nine Preuses Cavalières. Historically seen these are ladies, in general from aristocratic origin, who shared a chivalrous ideal and organized tournaments or formed part of military orders. The scene is based upon an Italian wall painting in the Castello della Manta Museum near Saluzzo in the Piedmont region in Italy.  


On the wall of white blocks the visitor will see a large number of mosaics and frescoes of cards from the Tarot. 

Above a a combination of dark blue glass mosaic representing card number 20, the Jugement.

Left above the Zodiac sign Le Bélier (in English: Aries) created by Gérard Buissonnière, an artist from Paimpol. As it is the first astrological sign of the zodiac, Aries marks renewal and beginning. 

Right above the Egyptian deity Apis, in the shape of a bull with horns.


Above a sculpture of Medusa, a monstrous appearance in Greek mythology with hair of winding snakes. In the setting of the garden this creation also represents tarot card number 8, Justice.


The above multicolored glass mosaic depicts a dragon, a creature that in the western world since the rise of Christendom represents evil and is synonymous with demons. 

Below a mosaic with blue elements depicting a tree. 


Since 2013 the garden is registered in the Guide des céramistes de France. It can be visited on open days or on appointment

Documentation
* Article (May 2010) in Breton journal Le Télégramme
* Article (October 2013) in journal Ouest-France
* Article (October 2015) also in journal Ouest-France
* Article (June 2017) in Breton journal Le Télégramme

Roselyne Descamps
Jardin décoré de la Vila Kernetra
10, rue des Fontaines
22290 Lanvollon, dept Côtes d'Armor, region Brittany, France
can be visited on open days or on appointment

February 16, 2019

Soslanbek Edziev, Дом и гробница с украшениями/House and gravetombs with decorations


sculpted self portrait of Edziev (1943)
collection North Ossetian Art Museum M. Tuganova.

North Ossetia is an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation, with more than 700,000 inhabitants. It is situated in the northern Caucasus, an area geographically seen as marking the border between Europe and Asia.

Life and works

In this area lived Soslanbek Mikhailovich Edziev (1865-1953), a well-known and appreciated self-taught artist, who initially only in his native region and meanwhile also in the Russian Federation has become known for his sculptures, carved rods and nicely shaped household objects, such as bowls.

Edziev was born in the remote mountain village of Khod, some 70 km west of North Ossetia's capital Vladikavkaz. His father was a mason, who on the request of villagers would make gravestones. After his primary school, Edziev following in his father's footsteps also became a bricklayer. He also proved to have an artistic talent, which he developed over the years.

As a young adult he moved to the neighbouring village of Sadon, where he worked as a bricklayer and plasterer. In 1890 he moved to the community of Karman-Sindzikau, some 50 km north of Sadon, doing the same kind of jobs and developing himself as a self-taught artist

In this community Edziev also built his own house of two floors. He married, got a son and would live in Karman-Sindzikau until his death in 1953.

Edziev s house in Karman-Sindzikau

In the course of the years he became a productive self-taught artist. This post will focus upon Edziev's creative activities that can be associated with the field of art environments. That concerns the sculptures that decorate the walls of his house in Karman-Sindzikau, the grave tombs in this community and those in the village of Khod where he was born.

Sculptures on the walls of the house

Edziev constructed his house around 1905, when he was 40 years old and he probably already had a lot of experience in making sculptures. The sculptures on the outer wall mainly show individual people and a single couple, in any case there are no large ensembles.

This picture from website Otvet Mail, the next four from Chuchundrrra Livejournal

On above picture: left a (female) harmonica player, on the right a couple,



















The pictures above show male persons in traditional outfit; the picture on the right also
shows a lying, maybe sleeping woman 


The picture above shows St George on a horse and (picture below) there are also 
self-contained decorative elements.


Currently Edziev's house is not inhabited and the sculptures probably have not been maintained for a long time, but some sculptures still have their paint and they seem to be in reasonable condition.

In circles of lovers of Edziev's artwork it is being considered to transform the house into a museum. However, in this respect financing is a major problem.

Decorated graves at graveyards

Traditionally, in North Ossetia a grave was provided with a tsyrt, kind of an obelisk. Edziev. who has very often been asked to make a decoration for a grave, may be considered as a reformer of this tradition because he was one of the first to replace the tsyrt with a tombstone.

The internet has information about creations Edziev (in all probability) made for graveyards in his birthplace Khod and in his later residence Karman-Sindzikau,  but also about tombstones on cemeteries in the communities of Nogkau and Zadatesk. The graveyard in Khod has such a number of gravetombs created by Edziev, that this site ranks as an art environment. This probably also goes for the cemetery in Karman-Sindzikau.








































these four pictures by Alina Akoeff, 
the two all above (2012) as on website Lost Ossetia
the two others (2011) as on Chuchundrrra Live journal

The series of pictures gives some impression of the way Edziev created the memorials on the graves. In almost all cases there is a representation of the deceased, that characterizes the person as he or she was in daily life. Tradition meant that men were mostly depicted in combat equipment, while women would be surrounded by daily things

Characterizing the personality of the deceased corresponds to a certain extent to the work of Ion Stan Patras from Romania, who created grave signs for the cemetery in Sapanta.

Unlike in Romania, Edziev's tombs are in danger of being lost if no protective measures are taken.

this picture and the next one SK news

But in this respect action is taken. In February 2018 a group of volunteers, among whom members of the Union of Artists of North Ossetia, cleared the cemetery of Karman-Sindzikau and removed shrubs that had grown over time around the tombs created by Edziev.


Recognition

In 1944 Edziev got formal national recognition when he received the title of honored artist of Ossetia.

Maharbek Tuganov (1881-1952), an important person in the North Ossetian art world, in an early phase saw the importance of Edziev and encouraged the collection of his sculptures and wood works, in this way laying the foundation for the later collection of Edziev's artwork in the National Museum of North Ossetia Maharbek Tuganov In the 1970's this Museum would make efforts to identify and document Edziev's scattered graveyard sculptures.

In 2015 the Museum had an exposition of Edziev's artwork on the occasion of his birth 150 years earlier At that time it was noted that Edziev could be seen as the forerunner of modern Ossetian sculpture. Edziev became known outside of North Ossetia, when in december 2016 the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art had an exposition The Parallel of Two Legends about Edziev and Pirosmani (an artist from Georgia).

Documentation
* Articles by Alina Akoeff on Live Journal part 1 (March 9, 2011), part 2 (March 10, 2011) and a third one (October 24, 2011)
* Article on Live Journal (February 2014) with a report of a visit to Edziev's birthplace Khod
Website made in 2016 with a presentation of the website of the fantasized Museum Soslanbek Edziev as it might exist in 2022 (there is a page with many photos of Edziev's grave tombes and another page with comments by Kromvel Biazarti, Alina Akoeff, Yuri Abisalov and Lyudmila Byazrova on -english subtitled- videos)
* Website Lost Ossetia with a page that documents a number of Edziev's grave tombs

Soslanbek Edziev
House and gravetombs with decorations
Karman-Sindzikau (house/graveyard)
Khod (birth place/graveyard)
North Ossetia Republic, Russian Federation
house and graveyards are located in public space

February 06, 2019

John and Jo Mew, Braylsham Castle


picture from website Unique Property Bulletin

Heathfield is a community of some 8000 inhabitants, located in the county East Sussex in South East England, some 77 km south-east of London.

In the rural area in the northeast of the town is a single-handedly built singular architecture named Braylsham Castle. which has the look of a fortified medieval manor, reinforced by both a round and a rectangular tower. However, the building is not medieval, it was constructed in the last decade of the 20th century.

Life and works

In 1990 John Mew, who was born in 1928 and had become an orthodontist by profession, together with his wife Jo, whom he had married in the early 1950's, bought an old ruined cottage with about 10 acres of associated land that connected to a site with a small lake partly already in their possession.

There was already a permit to restore the cottage, but John and Jo got the idea to demolish the old building and to use the demolition material to single-handedly build kind of a castle, inspired by the original Braylsham Castle (dating from about 1260), but then preferably on a location near the small lake.

It took more than a year to get permission to realise such a building, but after Mew had sent a watercolor impression of the intended building to all members of the planning committee, a tight majority of the committee decided to grant the building permit. 

signpost along Potttens Mill Lane

The construction project started in 1991 and after ten years, in 2001, the new building was ready.

John combined building activities with his work as an orthodontist and his wife, an adult daughter and two adult sons were also involved in the project, which -apart from building a castle- also included deepening and enlarging the lake, constructing a dam, forming an island on which the structure would rise and building an access bridge.

impression of the stained glass windows
picture from website Homebuilding and Renovating

The most striking parts of the structure are the two towers and a large hall. The two towers have been made of stones reclaimed from the demolished cottage, which greatly contributes to their authentic appearance.

The small round tower has battlements at the top, a dungeon in its basement and some five bedrooms in between. The large square tower has a spiral staircase, a master bedroom, a bath room and a dressing room. 

The large hall has an exceptionally large fireplace underneath an impressive chimney, the whole made of about 13,000 bricks, placed by a professional bricklayer.

Another professional stonemason helped with placing gothic stained glass windows and windows from demolished churches in Carmarthenshire. in south west Wales

As the picture below shows once again, the result of ten years of single-handed building is an edifice in medieval style with -from the outside- a sober appearance without frills.


undated picture from Wikipedia

This relative sobriety fits well in the English building tradition, but is also present in art environments on the European mainland, such as the Olt Stoutenburght Castle by Gregorius Halman (Netherlands), the Eben-Ezer Tower by Robert Garcet (Belgium), the Tarodi Castle by Stephen Tarodi (Hungary), the Donjon by Didier Lobert de Bouillon Viéville (France) or the Castillo de las Cuevas by Serafin Villarán (Spain)

Documentation
* Clive Fewines, "A Self Build Medieval Manor", article (October 2008) on website Homebuilding & Renovating
* Referral on website Unique Property Bulletin  (2015) showing that the site is available for weekend stays
* Some more photos (to order) on the website Country Life Picture Gallery 

John and Jo Mew
Braylsham Castle
Pottens Mill Lane
Broad Oak, Heathfield  TN21 8TY, South East England, UK
can be seen from the road, no public visits

February 01, 2019

Mikhail Semenov, Музей русских суеверий/Museum of Russian Superstitions,


the housing of the museum
photo from the website of the nature park

The Russian region of Kaliningrad, in the northwest of the country, has an inland sea called Curonian Lagoon. A small strip of sandy land, almost 100 km long, separates the lagoon from the Baltic Sea.

This is the Curonian Spit. The strip became a nature park in 1987 and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000.

view from the air on the Curonian Spit
this picture and the next ones screen shots from the video by Voddann

On the grounds of the visitors' center of the park, apart from the usual facilities and a museum about the nature around, there is an art environment in the capacity of a special museum with wooden sculptures depicting spirits, demons and fairy-tale characters in Russia and other Slavic countries.


Life and works

The large collection of wooden sculptures exhibited by the Museum of Russian Superstitions  has been created bij self taught artist Mikhail Alekseevich Semenov, who in 1951 was born in the city of Kaliningrad.

Semenov became a television presenter, he wrote songs and published books. He has said that from his father, who died when Mikhail was ten years old, he inherited the talent for seeing beauty in ordinary things and a vivid outlook on life.

In 1982 Semenov visited the National Art Museum MK Ciurlionis in Kaunas, Lithuania, where he saw an exhibition about devils. This led him to study books about superstition. which showed him that the world of folklore and superstition knows dozens of ghosts and other characters.


Although he did not have any training in sculpting, in 1985 he started making wooden sculptures of a few characters he had come to know through this study. This became a real passion and around 2000 he had created such a large number of sculptures that in 2002 a small museum could be set up on the grounds of the visitor center of the nature park.

Semenov himself became the director of the museum, where he also installed his workshop and, together with his wife Irina Semenova, received visitors, took care of the interior of the museum and kept making sculptures.


From the opening the museum attracted many visitors, not just those who visited the nature park, but also holidaymakers from the nearby seaside resort Zelenogradsk, located on the Baltic coast.

Since Semenov had founded the museum without any expectation and partly as a joke, he probably did not expect this success. Managing the museum came as an unexpected but welcome change of his life.














Due to a disagreement with the owner of the building, in 2008 the museum moved to the neighboring community of Yantarny, where it was housed in the museum at Amber Castlea building dating back to the 14th century, which was commissioned in 1995 as a museum on local history, in particular the gathering of amber.

However, in 2012 the museum returned to its original location at the visitors centre of the nature park at Curonian Spit.


The approach of the museum is not aimed at glorifying the devilish, it mainly seeks to present the collection in the context of folklore and tradition.

So already at the outside of the museum visitors will see the cabin of Baba Yaga (picture below), a famous character of Slavic folklore.


Inside one can see the wooden sculptures, generally executed in small format. In Slavic mythology there are some eighty spirits known that could help or harm people. These spirits had their own habitat, there were forest spirits, water spirits, ghosts of the night, of the field, of the road or of the house.

In the museum, in general, every type of spirit has its own sculpture, accompanied by an explanation in Russian and in German.


Spirits depicted in sculptures in the museum are for example:
-Bolotnyanik, the spirit of the swamp,
-Leshy, the protective spirit of the forest,
-Basilisk, a mythological character that comes from a cock and has a deadly gaze that changes everything that lives in stone and dies himself when he sees his reflection in the mirror,
-Babai, an evil spirit, walking around like an old man in the night with a big bag in which he would take on naughty children,
-Vostrukha, a spirit who stays in a house behind the stove, watches thieves and ensures that nothing will be lost in the house.

A more detailed overview, with many images, is included in an article in Life Journal



Countrymen

Semenov has also began making a series of wood and ceramic sculptures representing people who lived in the Kaliningrad region and who in some way made a mark on its history  from the thirteenth century on. The new collection is entitled Countrymen and it is kind of a portrait gallery.

This series, nowadays comprising about 40 items, can be viewed on the second floor of the museum. Short annotations indicate when the persons lived and at which events they were involved.

Documentation

* Article  about the museum on the website of the National Park
* Article on the website Slavyanskaya Kultura
* Article on website Veni Vidi (november 2009
* On Live Journal a large series of pictures of te sculptures and a description of a variety of spirits
Videos
*Video by VESTI Kailiningrad (2'30", You Tube, November 2016)



Video by Voddann (6'30", You Tube, October 2013)



Mikhail Semenov
Museum of Russian superstition
on the road from Zelenogradsk to Klaipeda
Curonian Spit, region Kaliningrad, Russian Federation
entrance tickets can be bought at the entrance of the nature park