Some time ago meetings and working groups, including project activities, were the usual daily practice for the museum. But the world is changing rapidly. No one expected it to be captured by COVID-19. And this is exactly what Nassim Taleb’s theory calls a “Black Swan” – a difficult-to-predict event that has significant consequences.
Despite the fact that the Museum was closed for a long time, the museum team did not stop its work for a day, and the project team and designers managed to adjust their plans. And the work on the KA9021 project “Museums in Focus: the development of cultural services for Chinese tourists” (within Karelia CBC programme 2014-2020, financed by the European Union, Finland and Russia) was going on all that time.
While the project activities related to study tours to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Helsinki were postponed, the work on the creation of a pilot section of the permanent exhibition dedicated to the Kalevala epic poem was going on actively. This part of the project is the largest one, and requires the involvement of many specialists. The “Kalevala” collection of the Museum of fine arts of Karelia – the Museum’s “golden” fund – has more than 600 items. The main challenge for the project team was the selection of works from the collection for the pilot exhibition. It was important to represent the epic poem, the heroes and their deeds through the graphic works, to pay attention to each author and artist, to build not only logical, but also aesthetic connections. Also it was important to take into consideration the size and safety of the works, to get advice from the restorer and custodians of the collections. Special attention of the curator and the project team was paid to the small graphics. It was decided to show the works of Stronk, Lyukshin, Tauberg, Kurdov and others in special “drivers” that will be purchased and stylized specifically for the exhibition. The whole block of the exhibition will be devoted to arts and crafts and will include old household items and decorations.
Despite the fact that the world was captured by the “black swan”, the museum team enthusiastically worked on the theme of “The Black Swan of Tuonela” – one of the most poetic images of the epic poem “Kalevala”. This stage of is already completed, and soon we will present a design project for the exhibition, and the exhibition itself will be opened in 2021!