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The Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts

Демченко Анжела Владимировна,
учитель английского языка
ГБОУ СОШ №891 им. А. Молдагуловой, ВАО, г.Москвы

My dear friends,
I would like to invite you to Saransk, because there is a very interesting museum there. It is the Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts. The museum is named after Stepan Dmitrievich Nefyodov, a Mordvin sculptor.Nefyodov chose a pseudonym Erzia after the native ethnic group, the Erzia Mordvins. He was born October 27, 1876 in the village Bayevo. In 1892 his family moved to Alatyr; Stepan became an apprentice of various icon-painting studios. In 1893–1897 he lived in Kazan, previously at the joiner's shop.That time Erzia decorated churches in the various cities and villages of the Volga area and attended Kazan Art School.
Then he studied at Moscow School of Sculpture and Architecture, participating in the exhibitions.Later he lived and created in Italy and France. In 1914 he returned to Russia and worked in different towns creating his monumental works.
In 1926 the Soviet government took a decision to send Stepan abroad "to spread the knowledge of the Soviet art". He worked in Buenos Aires, creating portraits of Lenin, Moses, Tolstoy and Beethoven.There Erzia, a representative of a minor and browbeaten nation, developed a project of transforming entire mountains in the Andes into monuments to the heroes of the war for independence. The local authorities approved his plan, but failed to finance its implementation. While in Argentina, Erzia invented a method of processing some locally grown, extra-hard types of wood: algarrobo and quebracho. Stepan Erzia died in 1959 in Moscow and was buried in Saransk.
To honour the great Mordvin the Museum was opened in Mordovia in 1958. The museum has the most complete collection of Erzia works.

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