Teddy bears and French Christmas: must-see exhibitions during the holidays

Teddy bears and French Christmas: must-see exhibitions during the holidays
How did the teddy bear come about? How are Christmas and the New Year celebrated in different countries? Who helped return the New Year tree to the USSR? Why did a Yorkshire vet become a writer? Mos.ru has picked the exhibitions you simply cannot miss during the winter holidays.

Nearly all Moscow exhibition spaces have prepared special New Year and Christmas programmes. Some of them will only run during the holidays.

The Art Christmas Tree project in the Vykhino workshop gallery (9 Tashkentskaya Street) will offer a fresh look at the Christmas tree itself. Visitors are invited inside a tree to study it in detail. The gallery puts on display a collage of different materials and items reminiscent of the New Year holiday including tree ornaments, animal figurines, and magical forest creatures. The exhibition will be held from 13 December to 15 January from 11 am to 8 pm.

The Garden Ring Museum (14/10 Prospekt Mira) will showcase Yelena Bryzgalova’s collection of teddy bears. The New Year Gift exhibition will put on show hundreds of toys from different eras and countries. Visitors can learn the story of the teddy bear and how its name is linked with US President Theodore Roosevelt, see what the real Winnie-the-Pooh looked like and find out more interesting facts. The museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm.

There will be many displays at the National Exhibition of Economic Achievements (119 Prospekt Mira). The Karelia Pavilion will host a display of models of Soviet trams, trolleybuses and buses, as well as public transport paraphernalia. Next to it, the Radioelectronics Pavilion No. 15 will hold the Encyclopaedia of Photography (1891-1991) exhibition, featuring 250 works by great Russian and Soviet photographers.

An exhibition telling the history of New Year celebrations in the USSR will be held at the Embankment House Museum (2 Serafimovicha Street) from 3 to 8 January. The New Year tree was abolished in the country in the 1920s for being part of the religious holiday of Christmas. A resident of the house where the museum is now located, Pavel Postyshev, who was a high-ranking Soviet official, made an important effort to bring it back. The display will be open from 10 am to 6 pm.

The Fashion Museum (4 Ilyinka Street) will host several national days from noon to 8 pm. The museum will celebrate the New Year in Italian style on 6 January. Befana the fairy will guide kids and adults along the museum, tell them about the Italian New Year, and ask them to join workshops. Italian music will be played throughout the day. French Christmas will be celebrated at the museum on 7 January, and the Jewish New Year a day later.

The Darwin Museum (57 Vavilova Street) will also be a place worth visiting. In addition to curious kid programmes, there will be several exhibitions held from 10 am to 6 pm, including Russian Nature Reserves: 100 Years of History, one about New Guinea called The Island of Papuans and Paradise Birds, and Birch Bark for Centuries detailing the unique characteristics of the natural material.

The Village Vet’s Bestsellers exhibition will be dedicated to the 100th birthday of famous author James Herriot. First trained as a veterinarian in Yorkshire, Herriot wrote chronicles of British rural life that are on a par with Mikhail Bulgakov’s medical notes. Documentaries from the James Herriot Museum will be screened for the first time in Russia. Visitors can also learn the author’s favourite recipes. 

The Parallels of Two Legends: Niko Pirosmani and Soslanbek Yedziev exhibition will be held at the Moscow Contemporary Art Museum (10 Gogolevsky Boulevard) from 2 to 8 January. The museum is open from noon to 8 pm. The display will tell the story of two gifted artists without professional training who were contemporaries but never heard of one another. The museum is also exhibiting installations by contemporary Moscow artist Marie Sokol.

An exhibition of archive photos, Journey to the New Year, will be on show in December and January in Library No. 150 (10/5 Borisovskiye Prudy Street). Here visitors can see photos by prominent photographers of the 20th century, including Yakov Berlin, Boris Yaroslavtsev, Vladimir Musaelyan, Vasily Yegorov, David Sholomovich and Georgy Korabelnikov. Their photos feature streets and squares of Moscow during the New Year, masked balls and carnivals, school student matinees and theatre performances, open-air activities and New Year tree markets. The exhibition is open from noon to 10 pm.