Portraits of Irkutsk

The Valentin Rasputin Museum

На русском

Information about the Museum

The Museum of Valentin Rasputin, located on Ulitsa Sverdlova, 20, was opened on March 15th, 2017, in commemoration of Valentin Rasputin's 80th birthday. The museum is two stories tall and contains three rooms. The main room contains information about Rasputin’s life, with a timeline along the tops of the walls from one end to the other. There’s an interactive map containing extensive information about Rasputin’s family and ancestors. In the second room there are numerous exhibitions containing information about each of Rasputin’s most famous works, for example, “Money for Maria,” “French Lessons,” and “Farewell to Matyora.” In the third, there is a replica of Rasputin’s office.
An especially interesting aspect of the museum is the interactive screen displaying the “Dictionary of the Language of Valentin Rasputin’s Works.” (Словарь языка произведений Распутина Валентина Григорьевича) Rasputin’s works often made use of village dialects and language that may be unfamiliar to readers. The dictionary is an active project that provides a resource for readers to learn these unfamiliar words used in his works. With each entry there is an image, a definition and a sound file of a reading of the word being used in context, as Rasputin used it. The project is ongoing and has not yet been completed.

Interview with Elena Gennedevna, Director of the Museum

I talked with the director of the Valentin Rasputin museum, Elena Gennedevna, in order to better understand the museum's history and its place in Irkutsk. Elena explained that Rasputin was one of the last "classics" of Russian literature, and therefore it was clear that there should be a museum and it should be in Irkutsk. Though, interestingly, she mentioned that Rasputin himself didn't think that a museum was necessary. After his death two years ago, his relatives along with local officials began organizing the creation of the museum.
When I asked whether or not the museum gets a lot of visitors, Elena responded that she wouldn't necessarily say it gets a lot, considering how specific the museum is. Most of the visitors are, of course, people familiar with him and his works. She also mentioned that school children often visit the museum, as Rasputin's works are often a part of the syllabus.

Photo Gallery of Museum

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