Дата публикации: 23 сентября 2021
Автор(ы): Svetlana PAVLOVA
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Источник: (c) Science in Russia, №6, 2011, C.92-100
Номер публикации: №1632391852

Svetlana PAVLOVA, (c)

by Svetlana PAVLOVA, Honored Culture Officer, custodian of the "Inspired by the Lyceum" exposition, All-Russia Museum named after A, Pushkin, St, Petersburg


On October 19, 2011, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo established for the lofty objective-to bring up people aspiring to serve for the benefit of society. Its graduates, men of wide reading, put themselves on record in national history and culture and eternilized their Alma Mater. "Vivat the Lyceum!"--said Alexander Pushkin, a great Russian poet and the most renowned aimnus of this educational establishment; he believed the years spent in the lyceum were the happiest in his life. Today, experts are trying to find a key to success of this alumazing institution, a unique phenomenon in the national education. A permanent exposition "Inspired by the Lyceum", opened today in our museum in Pushkin (former Tsarskoye Selo), is a kind of bridge between the present and the past.


Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum.

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This famous educational establishment disappeared long ago, its students are no longer there, but the remembrances about them are carefully preserved by the Memorial Museum-Lyceum* set up in 1949 when the country celebrated the 150th birth jubilee of Alexander Pushkin. It is located now in the building housing the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum operated for 32 years.


During the reconstruction of 1966-1974, the premises on the third and the fourth floor--a recreation room, a library, auditoria, cabinets, dormitories--were redeveloped and recovered their original design. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Lyceum, a bust of Alexander Speransky, the inspirer of this educational project, a prominent state figure of the 19th century, reformer, Honorary Member of St. Petersburg AS from 1819, was fixed on the first floor. An apartment formerly occupied by Sergey Chirikov, family tutor and teacher of drawing, who taught students and encouraged them to make a shot in literature, was also reconstructed. The first volume of the encyclopedia dedicated to the most famous period of the Lyceum was published, memoirs of its graduates were released. And the annual Pushkin Museum almanach telling the story of the school will be published soon. A colorfully decorated album Tsarskoye Selo Is Our Motherland will delight Pushkin lovers.




Among surprises prepared for the guests of Tsarskoye Selo, there was a literature exposition "Inspired by the Lyceum" called after the line from the poem October 19 by Alexander Myasoyedov (graduate of 1897), a student of the 53rd course of the Lyceum, written in the immigration in Rome in 1949. Organized by employees of the All-Russia Museum named after A. Pushkin and the Republican Museum Center of the Russian Museum of History, the exposition is located on the second floor of the building, occupies 9 halls and includes more than 500 exhibits: manuscripts, books, pictures, lyceum relics, personal belongings of students. We used modern technical devices--digital albums and multimedia screens, which made it possible to deepen the effect.


Many visitors will be surprised to know that the history of the Imperial Lyceum is not closed with the first famed cohort of graduates that we associate with the name of the cult Russian poet. It counts more than a hundred years and terminated after the October Revolution of 1918 when the Lyceum was proclaimed "malicious" and was dissolved. But the period the exposition covers is much longer than the period of existence of the educational institution: first, we focused on the


18th century--the Age of Enlightenment that preconditioned occurrence of the Lyceum. Voyages perceived as entertainment and a way to know other countries and cultures, were one of the compulsory elements of that epoch. Russian students went abroad to continue studies there. People, things, books, thoughts and ideas traveled throughout the world. Exhibited engravings of European cities and university centers take us back to the Europe of the new time.


Portrait busts of Diderot and Voltaire, prominent public figures of France in the period of Enlightenment (18th century), cut in the late 18th-early 19th century by their famous compatriot Jean Houdon, show the great significance of these people who affected and to a large extent formed life attitude of educated representatives of Russian society. Originals and translations of their works were very popular in Russia. For example, in the 18th century, 25 collections of translations from the great Encyclopedia by Denis Diderot were published. In 1765 Empress Catherine II (her portrait--an engraving by Nikolai Utkin from the picture of the prominent painter of the late 18th-early 19th century Vladimir Borovikovsky-is exhibited too) acquired Diderot's library that was delivered to St. Petersburg after his death. Invited by the empress, he also visited Russia. But Voltaire was even more popular. In 1746, he was elected a member of St. Petersburg AS and was engaged to write a history of Peter the Great. When a future popular writer Henri Beyle (known under the pen-name Stendhal) entered the Russian capital together with the


* The Memorial Museum-Lyceum-a branch of the All-Russia Museum named after A. Pushkin.--Ed.

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Napoleon army, he was marveled to find Voltaire's works in the houses of the Russian noble class.


From the second half of the 18th century, the idea inherited from the French philosophers--education of an individual is the key for improvement of the society-captured the country. During the ruling of Catherine II moral education focused on the upbringing of humanism, justice, respect for law and clemency came to the front line for the first time. Judgments of the empress determined the future and nature of pedagogical thinking of the second half of the 18th century.




Catherine II was an advocate of high pedagogical requirements when speaking of the upbringing of her beloved grandson Alexander. In the letter to the Prince Nikolai Saltykov, who in 1783 was invited to be in attendance of the cesarevitch, she stated her principles: "The basic advantages of education of children shall consist in neighborly charity (treat other people as you'd like they treat you), general benevolence to the humankind, good feeling to all people, endearment, honesty and well-doing, sincerity, control of anger, fearfulness and empty suspiciousness ...". It is not by chance that Alexander, who was brought up on the best traditions of the European Enlightenment, when enthroned, was considered one of the best-educated monarchs of Europe.


Institutors of the exposition were also wished to tell the visitors about the traditions of upbringing of children in the noble families before that period. Most children were taught by family teachers, tutors, as a rule foreigners, and the level of education was very poor. Parents were not interested in a good education of their children since that time ranks were awarded not for achievements, but for the time in service. That is why early enrollment to regiments was a generally accepted practice: year passed, carrier developed. It was Alexander I who made the noble class study.


His accession to throne was marked by a phenomenal social motion. Pushkin called that period the time of hopes when new plans of restructuring of the Russian State occurred--"A sound dawn of Alexander's ruling". Allies of the emperor, "young friends", members of the "Secret Committee", whose portraits are making part of the exposition, developed projects of new ministries, reform of the Senate and other documents. The Ministry of Peoples' Education was the first in a queue, its name was proposed by a future director of one of its departments Ivan Martynov (father of Pushkin's classmate in the Lyceum), since the main objective of a new institution was to ensure general education. This was the central idea of the project of civil education "with regard to the obligations and benefits for each class". New universities, colleges, districts and parish vocational schools were established. New charters--for universities and schools--were developed. Educational districts were allocated.


That was the time when the Lyceum "for tuition of the noble youth with special talents for the most important areas of civil service" was formed. This objective is stated in the first paragraph of its Charter, exhibited within the exposition. The school was named the Lyceum by Mikhail Speransky, author of the project. According to the plans of this outstanding advisor of the emperor striving to carry out a complex restructuring of the Russian State, the institution was aimed to prepare young people to future reforms and public service after their completion. As explained by Konstantin Voyensky,

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historian of the late 19th-early 20th century, the "Lyceum was established with the hope to form a class of statesmen who must lead Russia to the enlightenment and common benefit".




The exposition includes portraits of students of the first year of tuition: Alexander Pushkin, Anton Delvig, Ivan Pushchin, Nikolai Korsakov, Sergei Komovsky, Sergei Lomonosov, Fyodor Matyushkin, Alexander Gorchakov. Some of them are in the lyceum uniform.


The first cohort of graduates turned out a real success. In the 19th century it was called "golden", today we call it "Pushkin's". According to Modest Korff, public figure and Honorary Member of St. Petersburg AS (from 1852), "Pushkin alone could eternalize it; but almost all of the limited number of 29 students made a choice in favor of public service and reached the top". They formed traditions the Lyceum was proud of for the whole period of its existence and made everyone respect students of this educational establishment. Each new generation of students answered for their moral portrait, deeds

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and behavior before the ancestors. Those who came after Pushkin and his friends are part of the exposition too.


Section of the exposition "Graduates on the State Service" is of special importance. Speaking of the famous graduates, they used to name only writers and poets, scientists and cultural figures somehow associated with the revolutionary movement. Portraits of these brilliant people you can see today in the exposition: satirist Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, poet Lev Mey, writer and journalist Vladimir Zotov, scientist, philosopher and naturalist Nikolai Danilevsky (author of Russia and Europe), incorporator of the association of socialists--utopianists Mikhail Butashevich-Petrashevsky, outstanding scientist-linguist and Academician of St. Petersburg AS (from 1856) Jacob Grott, economist and Academician (from 1852) Konstantin Veselovsky. However, a question arises: were there any students who graduated the Lyceum and became prominent politicians since it was the main objective of this establishment? It was not without reason that Alexander Berg, graduate of the Lyceum, chamberlain, Councillor of State, who held a position of Councillor General in London, when recommending an educational establishment to his nephew, wrote: "...if you want to serve the State and make a carrier on the top level... you should be here, in St. Petersburg... so that you could prepare to enter the Lyceum under my supervision for a year..."


Mikhail Speransky aspired to see graduates of the Lyceum among followers and supporters of Emperor Alexander I. But most of the graduates of the first years began their conscious social life in the reign of Nikolas I (1825-1855). And after enthronement of Alexander II (1855-1881) they caught their sidereal hour: the same liberal ideas, the same hopes of the society. It was the period when former students found their way: well-educated people, they were absolutely sure that their social responsibility shoud benefit the society. You can see portraits of people who implemented reforms of Alexander II on pictures and engravings.


For example, Alexander Gorchakov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorary Member of St. Petersburg AS (from 1856). As depicted by historian Vasily Klyuchevsky, he "...had a posture of a Russian seignior of the past and was a master of a bright patriotic oratory, which was very useful in the moments of international humiliation of Russia; advocate of liberal ideas, Prince Gorchakov was recognized even by his opponents as a gifted diplomat and, moreover, was able to get into the domestic affairs and soon became one of the most powerful Alexander's counselors."


Dmitry Zamyatin, Minister of Justice. "This name is to be highly esteemed in the history of the Lyceum", Dmitry Kobeko, historian and bibliographer, said. Destiny gave him a lucky chance to implement one of the most significant reforms of Alexander II--restructuring of the judicial power of the empire. According to the minister, the day when new courts opened was the happiest in his life. The following inscription was made over the entrance to one of the courts in St. Petersburg: "Truth and mercy shall reign in courts!" When Zamyatin headed the procuracy supervision, he always recommended officials to keep within the law and not take into account casual administrative considerations and opportunities. He was the first to introduce the trial by jury in Russia.


Alexander Golovnin, Minister of People's Education, Honorary Member of St. Petersburg AS (from 1861), developer of the new university charter of 1863, was in charge of the implementation of university, secondary school and censor reforms of the 1860s. He improved the status of the Ministry of Education that was not perceived as something really important.


Mikhail Reutern, Minister of Finance, Honorary Member of St. Petersburg AS (from 1863), a votary of political openness. He was the first who ventured to open the secrets of the state budget. He drew up a special report for the Emperor Alexander II where he described a current financial and political state of the country. He published a document on failures in the

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operation of the Mint in an official magazine. When the administration of the Mint made comment on the offensive nature of the publication, Reutern answered: "On the contrary, I give you the opportunity to justify yourselves in writing."


Lyceum relics--a meerschaum pipe with signatures of the graduates and the inscription "Remember the Lyceum"; impresses of the lyceum seal with two hands in a handgrip and the inscription "Perhaps, the destiny made us eternal friends to separate us in future"; briefcase of Major General Vladimir Volkhovsky (who participated in military campaigns in Persia and Turkey); desk pad from the family of Vasily Malinovsky, the first Director of the Lyceum; seven notebooks for each day of the week kept by the family of descendants of Pushkin's classmate and friend Alexander Tyrkov--always attract a lot of visitors.




The history of the Imperial Lyceum is traditionally divided into two periods--Tsarskoye Selo and St. Peters-


Science in Russia, No.6, 2011

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burg periods. The Lyceum was located in Tsarskoye Selo from 1811 to 1843. On November 6, 1843, pursuant to the Order of Nikolai I, it was renamed to the Imperial Alexander's Lyceum in honor of its founder Alexander I and transferred to the capital. In St. Petersburg, it was located at Kamennoostrovsky Prospect in house No. 21 and existed there till its official closing in May 1918. A significant part of the exposition--portraits of famous professors and their students, documentary photos of the interior design of classrooms, lyceum relics and commemorative books--describes this obscure period of existence of the Lyceum.


For a long time scientists believed that the St. Petersburg period is of no interest, since the Lyceum lost its advanced nature, having transformed "from the democratic educational institution of the 19th century that gave birth to great writers and liberators to a religion and monarchy-oriented facility" (the first custodian of the Lyceum Maria Rudenskaya, historian Svetlana Rudenskaya "Let's pay tribute to our teachers", Lenizdat, 1986).


They used to think that Alexander's Lyceum could not compete with the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum by the number of outstanding graduates; freedom of conscience, considered one of the key values of the Lyceum in the past, was eradicated, which led to an absolute setback. However, after deep historical research, specialists made other conclusions: many bright people inseparable from the national history graduated the Lyceum after the 1840s.


For example, Vladimir Kokovtsov, Minister of Finance, Chairman of the Council of Ministers. A famous writer Mihkail Saltykov-Shchedrin also had a graduation certificate of Alexander's Lyceum. Many respected financiers such as Yevgeny Lamansky, Sergey Timashev, Dmitry Solsky, Eduard Pleske, Ivan Shipov were among students of this educational establishment. As for philosophers and sociologists, we can name Grigory Vyrubov, Yevgeny de Roberti, Nikolai Timashev. And this list of prominent graduates is far from being complete.


Alexander's Lyceum is associated with the names of prominent scientists who taught students here: theorist of literature and Academician Nestor Kotlyarevsky, geographer and economist Vladimir Bezobrazov, renowed lawyers Nikolai Tagantsev, Fyodor Martens, Anatoly Koni, historian Vasily Semevsky, mathematician Pafnuty Chebyshev.


Koni delivered the course of criminal proceedings and always started with the lecture "Moral principles in the criminal proceedings". He used to tell the students about his hero--doctor Fyodor Gaaz who spent his life working in prison hospitals. He often cited Confucius: "Respect to a person is measured by the love he can manifest." And the last words Koni said on his deathbed were: "Education comes before everything."




The Lyceum was proud of the fact that the great Russian poet was brought up there; the school always headed all

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initiatives associated with his name, for example, the project of creation of the first monument to A. Pushkin inaugurated on June 6, 1880, in Moscow (sculptor Alexander Opekushin). It was there that Pushkin's library originated, the first Pushkin museum was established, Pushkin Lyceum Society was set up. The nineteenth day of October, praised by the most famous graduate of the Lyceum, was eternalized as the day of friendship and poetry by efforts of Alexander's Lyceum and is celebrated until now. A separate hall of our exposition was allocated to describe creative work of the graduates in the second half of the 19th century; many of exponents are kept now by the Pushkin Museum established by them in the Lyceum of the past.


In the center of the hall, there is a model of the monument dedicated to Pushkin by sculptor Opekushin, owned by Alexander Gorovnin and donated to the Lyceum after his death by his sisters.


The interior of Pushkin Museum was also partially reconstructed on the basis of preserved photos in this very exposition hall. On the wall, there is a famous picture by Ilya Repin "Pushkin on the act in the Lyceum", ordered by members of the Pushkin Lyceum Society in honor of the 100th anniversary of the educational establishment. The painter got to work with genuine interest. He was made to know the full list of participants of the act, delivered portraits of some of them, provided with the description of the clothes of that time, decoration of the hall where the act took place. Professors and students of different years of tuition participated in a specially organized stage aimed to reconstruct the act, which was fixed by photographer Karl Bulla. Today this interesting photo is in the center of the exposition near Repin's picture.


This picture was the first exciting and touching present the Lyceum received on the day of its anniversary. In was transferred in the presence of all current and former students. Then it took its place in the Pushkin Museum of Alexander's Lyceum.


One more valuable thing kept someday in the lyceum museum--a case folder in which Mikhail Yakovlev, Pushkin's classmate, donated an autograph of the poem October 19 (1825) by Pushkin, to the educational establishment. There is an inscription on the cover: "October 19. Autograph by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin. Mikhailovskoye, 1825. From graduate Mikhail Lukyanovich Yakovlev, donated to the Lyceum on March 2, 1855." This poem, a hymn to the lyceum fellowship, was written at the family estate Mikhailovskoye, and each student deemed it duty to know the poem by heart. The autograph itself is kept at the RAS Institute of Russian Literature.




One more museum--"Lyceana", established in Alexander's Lyceum--was dedicated to the history of educational establishment and the destiny of its graduates. The collection was formed on the basis of a library consisting of books written by former students of the Lyceum (it is worth saying there was nothing similar in

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any educational establishment of the country). In addition to the library, the "Lyceana" preserved academic archives, group photos and Iyceum relics. The museum was located in "Kamenka"--a room where a stone from the basement of Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum delivered to St. Petersburg to continue the succession of best traditions and show the inextricable connection between Tsarskoye Selo and Alexander's Lyceum, were kept. We are exhibiting a big decorated reproduction of "Kamenka" interiors and old photos from the "Lyceana" collection.


One day, Director of the Lyceum Yegor Engelhardt decided to unite all his students with a material sign--cast iron rings to commemorate a six-year period of their studentship. There was another custom in Alexander's Lyceum. All graduating students gathered in "Kamenka" on their last day in the Lyceum. They put a hand bell, a faithful companion of their studentship that called them for "prayers and studies", on the stone from Tsarskoye Selo, and each student took a piece of it to memorize the fellowship, friends and the school itself. Then, the pieces of the bell were encased in gold and served as breloques.


In 1911, the 100th anniversary of the Lyceum was celebrated. Emperor Nikolai II visited the Lyceum thrice. Commemorative publications and medals were released. A reception was organized in the Winter Palace, a gala performance in the Mariinsky Theatre was staged in honor of the Lyceum. The school received a million of telegrams, greetings and celebrations highly appreciating its labor "For common weal" and listing names of its famous graduates, first of all Pushkin. And no one could even imagine that the Lyceum would cease to be in only six years.


New exposition includes materials telling us about anniversary celebrations, participation of its former students in the First World War, its last students and hard lives of the graduates after the October revolution-some of them left and others stayed in Soviet Russia. Nevertheless, the Lyceum was a "bright pharos" for them all, according to the poem by Alexander Myasoyedov (October 19, 1955). No doubt, such glowing feelings after so many years could be aroused only by remembrances about the school where everyone felt respected and learned high ideas of social service.


Viktor Kuchelbecker, grandson of Wilhelm Kuchel-becker, Pushkin's classmate and poet-Decembrist, wrote in 1897 in immigration: "...fellowship, strong traditions of the Lyceum, as well as multifaceted education and sound cultivation of personality the Lyceum was famous for, made it a unique educational establishment that played a very important role in the history of the Russian Empire of this century, and hardly had 'rivals' throughout the world."

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