A Woman's World and Her Hobbies

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The exhibition “A Woman's World and Her Hobbies”, revives forgotten traditions of the noble life of 19th – early 20th century.

The items of everyday life, fashion images, portraits, exhibited at the exhibition give the opportunity for today's audience to immerse into the atmosphere of forgotten past, to help to imagine how the day passed in a noble house from morning till evening. First of all, it is about the lady of the house, which determined the nature of domestic life.

The dressing room of fine lady devoted to her morning hours.The dressing table with mirror is gorgeous. There are ladies toiletries on the marble top and around the mirror – perfume bottles, powder, boxes and caskets. The elegant samples of women’s underwear (shirts, caps, stockings), handkerchiefs refer to the theme of the morning toilet. They usually made from thin batiste and decorated with lace or plain embroidery,lace collars and morning gloves-mitts, children’s underwear and clothes.

Needlework has been widely developed in the household: embroidery, weaving and knitting lace. Bedspreads, pillows, tablecloths towels were decorated with embroidery. Linen was labeled by embroidered initials. Thread, scissors and needles were stored in the needlework, or special dressing case.

In a number of highly artistic types of Russian Needlework it should be particularly noted the embroidery with beads. The different cases for pipes, ink, embroidered purses and handbags were made as gifts for family members and close friends. The whole picture is embroidered with beads. They were used as inserts in boxes, writing-pads, fireplace screens or interior decoration.

The lady of the house spent her time after breakfast in the Study. The sample of the Study with furniture in the style of “second rococo” is presented in the window.

The afternoon associated with business visits, walks or travelling. The ladies business suit accessories were gloves, bags and umbrellas. Going for the journey or on a picnic, travelers always took a road facilities: dining devices in special baskets or trunks.

Evening entertainment was quite varied. Each family had their own social circle with their interests. In the evening, one of the favorite pastimes was playing cards. Along with the cards nobles played bingo and dominoes. One of the Russian way of life typical details was afternoon or evening tea.

The Balls should be marked as an elements of social life. They were organized on holidays or on the occasion of significant dates. The Ball was a place of socializing and dating in compliance with strict rules of etiquette and good manners. The Theatre was the centre of social communication and cultural entertainment in the 19th century. Etiquette demanded the evening dresses, the attributes of which were reticules, binoculars, handkerchiefs and fans.


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