Beginning with just a few windows of Engels (Saratov region) which were taken occasionally, now window frames collection contains several thousand images of more than seventy communities of twenty regions of Russia.
This project is a very vast, also it has the ultimate goal: to assemble a collection of window frames from all regions of Russia (and neighboring countries, as there are also at least in Belarus and Kazakhstan) and classify it. Perhaps – as the result will be so called atlas determinant of origin, homeland of carved window frames.
The reasons encouraged to work on this project lie in the fact that none of our ancestors did it before. Nor the scientific minds of Tsarist Russia of still living modern wooden architecture or the Soviet Union’s fundamental researchers. So you have to take a ride, make pictures, build fundamental hypotheses and search for their confirmation.
As it is better to work on the incorrect hypothesis than entirely without it, in this case now there are three of them:
1. Each location has a unique set of elements of carving wooden window frames – some code – prevalent only within this locality.
2. The origins of this unique set of elements of carving can be quite different – from far back in the mists of pagan, to the impact of major architectural movements beginning of XX century.
3. Distribution territory of carved window frames coincides with the distribution territory of the Russian language at the time of flowering of art of carving – that is the second half of XIX century.
At this moment, it’s a hypothesis born in the process of gathering information. Maybe they are correct, but perhaps not all of them. And maybe none of them will have accurate assumptions, and the truth will be much more diverse and wider.
Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that renewed interest in carved window frames – to this lacy page of our history – will give us more surprises!
And also, I believe that not only Vodka, Matroshka, Cheburashka, Gorbachev and Balalayka must be associated with our traditions. And Nalichniki – must necessarily take pride of place among the most recognizable symbols of our country!
Always yours , photographer Ivan Hafizov
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