The Glass and Crystal Museum in Nikolsk is located in a dedicated two-storey building, even though it had previously occupied two small rooms in the building of the plant administration. Arguably, the museum has existed since the late 18th century. The fact is that before September 2005 the museum had comprised a part of the Red Giant Plant, one of the oldest glass-making enterprises in the domestic industry, formerly known as the Nikolsko-Bakhmetyevsky Crystal Plant.
The plant was founded in Nikolsk in 1764. Before the Revolution of 1917, the plant had belonged to three generations of the Bakhmetyevs and the Obolensky Princes. To keep the enterprise in touch with all artistic and technological discoveries of the glass-making industry, in the late 18th century a sample collection was created at the plant. It included both the proprietary works of the enterprise and those of other glass-making plants. Over time, the regularly updated collection turned into an excellent museum exhibit. The collection of glass and crystal of the Nikolsk Museum now comprises over 13,500 items.
Even in the first decades of the existence of the Nikolsko-Bakhmetyevsky Plant, the later famous dynasties of hereditary craftsmen started forming. Peasants Ivan and Petr Vershinin, founders of the famous Vershinin-Protasov dynasty, were one of the first apprentices at the plant. In the late 18th century, Alexander Petrovich Vershinin became the chief foreman. Under his management the plant completed even the most complex and prestigious orders. Vershinin himself was the author of unique crystal work. Unfortunately, his earliest works did not survive or only their fragments were preserved. One of the most interesting works of Vershinin is a double-bottomed glass with inter-wall applique made from moss, straw, paper, fabric, and feathers.
The museum was as a rule managed by old workers, familiar with the production process and the plant's history. Unfortunately, their names remain unknown.
From September 1, 2005, the Nikolsk Plant of Glass and Crystal became a branch of the Konstantin A. Savitsky Penza Oblast Art Gallery. In 2006, 2009, and 2011, glass-making enterprises operating in Nikolsk hosted international symposiums on blow-molded glass. The symposiums were initiated and organized by a Nikolsk artist, Alexander Fokin, whose proprietary works going back several years are a part of the museum's collection. The works gifted to the museum by attendees of the symposiums have comprised a separate, independent collection in the museum's holdings, radically different from its main, academic exposition.
|Phone number:||8(4165) 45524|
|Address:||Penza Oblast, Nikolsk, Komsomolskaya St., 25|