è  DEUTSCH   è  ENGLISH   è 

Stumpf and Belov- wonderful museum in the center of Omsk
Translation of Omsk interpreter Darya.
Special thanks to Olga and Shelby Oggio (USA)

The Museum of the Peoples Artist of Russia Kondraty Petrovich Belov opened in Omsk in March 1991, a few years after his death. In a way, the building for the future museum had been chosen by Belov himself. In the centre of town on Plotnikovskaya Street (now Ch.Valikhanova Street) there stood an old mansion- neglected and forgotten, but still retaining traces of its former beauty. If it hadnt been for Kondraty Petrovich, who bought the house, it would eventually have been demolished, like all other historical wooden buildings in the town center.

Museums are never quite like one another. Strictly speaking, all museums fulfill the same function- they are used for storing and preserving different objects of historical and artistic value for future generations to view and inspect. But each museum fulfills this function in a different way. The more unique a museum is, the more interest it attracts from the public.

The Omsk Museum of the Peoples Artist Kondraty Petrovich Belov opened, as we have already mentioned, on the 29th March, 1991. This particular museum is not old enough, nor does it have a sufficiently long history yet, to enable us to speak of its achievements. But it has a bright future ahead, for it is ardently loved by the citizens of our town, as well as by foreign guests who come to visit.

Thus, in the Museum Guestbook there are numerous entries of a truly Russian place, a wonderfully cozy family museum, culture, purity, spirituality, those who have visited here once, will come here again, amazing museum, one of the best in the country. These words are not only written, but are often said by those who have visited Belovs Museum. They say that there is something special in the atmosphere of the old mansion, and that something penetrates under ones skin, and makes one feel incredible. Few, they say, can resist this feeling when they are in the museum.

This is, perhaps, partly due to the houses age (over a hundred years old), its long and exciting history and the general architectural appearance. The building has intricate carving works, a graceful gazebo and high ceilings with moldings; however all these things have been preserved to this day only because in 1991 the building was transformed into a museum dedicated to the most outstanding Omsk painter, a patriarch of Siberian art of painting K.P.Belov. Otherwise the mansion would have been leveled to the ground, like the other historical mansions which stood on the expensive land in the centre of town; the house- and the museum- had a piece of extraordinary good luck.

There is a saying in our country that you will have to live long before you get your due. Kondraty Belov lived for 88 years, and he certainly got his due. He was widely known as one of the best landscape painters of the country and received many awards and honorary titles, such as Honored Artist of the RSFSR, Peoples Artist of the RSFSR. Unofficially people called him the patriarch of Siberian art of painting. The most prominent museums of the country searched for his works and he had numerous solo exhibitions in the most prestigious art halls of Moscow, Leningrad and many other cities. Kondraty Petrovich lived long enough to have a museum named after him. The decision to establish a museum dedicated to his art was made by the government in the painters lifetime. This is very unusual for a provincial town and the fact speaks for itself. It showed just how much the work and the person of K.P.Belov was loved, esteemed and appreciated by the people and the government. It meant absolute recognition, which is the dream of every artist.

Now in one of the rooms of the museum, among other paintings, there is the very last work of the artist, dated 1987. The painting shows an ancient Siberia village Pacha, situated on the banks of the Tom River. This is where the painter to be grew up, among his siblings, in a large peasant family. It is there that the hyper-sensitive to beauty boy got his first impressions of the severe Siberian beauty of nature, which remained in his works throughout his life. Here he watched the beautiful sky with its billowing clouds, the darkened with time wooden huts on the banks of the slow and majestic rivers.

The sky, the rivers, the clouds- these are the key elements characteristic of Belovs paintings. But each time these elements are shown in his works, they are depicted differently- the variations are truly unique. The loving eyes and hands of the artist are exquisitely sensitive to the smallest detail. Through constant watching, he always kept finding something new in the familiar landscape and paid tribute to these discoveries in the form of new paintings. His landscapes are vast, all inclusive views, like the universe, it is as if we embrace the whole world when looking at them. These paintings are deeply lyrical, personal and yet they have a truly epic quality. They have something monumental and almost cosmic about them, and at the same time they have that truly Siberian severity and roughness of nature in them.

The Museum of Kondraty Belov is famous for its warmth and hospitality. It hosts numerous exhibitions of Omsk painters, various concerts and artistic gatherings. The house has been visited by many famous writers, actors and public figures. The museum staff have noted many a time that whenever a visitor came in irritated or worried about something, he always became calmer and more relaxed after spending some time in the museum. This is what the magical atmosphere of the place does to people, they say.

The Museum of Kondraty Belov is unlike any other museum, with its fragrant, just-out-of-the-oven pies, and long heartwarming conversations. Here one feels at home. And it is already impossible to imagine our town without this small, warm, cosy house.

Philippe Stumpf
In 1987 the famous painter Kondraty Petrovich Belov began reconstruction of the house. The reparation and restoration works of the façade and the interiors commenced. The Peoples Artist of the RSFSR, the master of epic landscape painting Kondraty Belov dreamt of creating an art studio in the house. However, the painter died in 1988, and when the house opened in March 1991, it had the status of a museum. The local historians, the staff of the museum and V.K.Belova, the daughter of the late painter, worked hard to assemble all the facts and information they could about the life of Belov in order to compose his biography. One of the rooms of the museum is dedicated to Philippe Stumpf. Thus in one museum the lives and histories of two different, but equally important for Omsk and Siberia, people became intertwined. It is a curious fact that in the 1960s, long before the museum was established, Kondraty Belov created a painting where he depicted the house of Stumpf.
It is also interesting to note that Kondraty Petrovich Belov and the house which became his museum are almost the same age. The painter was born in 1900, and the house as built a year later.
In the over one hundred years of its existence the house has lived several absolutely different lives. Not all of those lives were happy ones. But the building survived, as if Fate itself had another life for it in store- the life of a wonderful warm museum, dedicated to one of the most gifted Siberian painters.

A nice pedestrain area
The house in question is situated on Valikhanova street. It was also reconstructed in 2015 and is a nice place to walk during the day and late in the evening.