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New book "Taganrog Society in everyday drawings of the 2nd half of the 19th century" unveiled yesterday

January 29, 2020: One of the many activities dedicated to Anton Chekhov's 160th birthday anniversary in Taganrog was a event at the historic building of Chekhov Gymnasium, where a new book was presented to the public. It's a new book in the form of a 19th century album that contains a unique collection of graphic art and photographs of the most famous Taganrog families and their entourage between 1860 and early 1880s, that is to say, Chekhov's childhood years in Taganrog.

Cover of the new book
The new book features several collections of the Taganrog Group of Museums, including the "De Bottari Collection", which was donated to Taganrog Chekhov Memorial Estate in June 2016. It was brought to Russia by Mrs. Patricia Elizabeth Engel (Norwalk, CT, USA) - a descendant of Achilles Dmitrievich Alferaki who in his turn was uncle to composer Achilles Nikolaevich Alferaki. Since that time the items from the new collections have been researched and many of them are featured in the 3rd chapter of the new book "Taganrog Society in everyday drawings of the 2nd half of the 19th century" written and compiled by Alla Tsymbal.

Video address by Patricia Engel
Patty Engel sent a video greeting, which was played at the book presentation. "Hello! My name is Patricia Engel. In June 2016 I had an opportunity to visit Taganrog thanks to an interesting event...The Alpherakis had a wide circle of friends that included many famous people. The pictures give a better understanding into the life of this prominent family of Taganrog. During my visit I learned a lot about this beautiful city and the role played by the Alferaki family in its history. The photographs and drawings create a window into the past, and I am so pleased that this book will be available for so many people to learn about the Alferaki family. Thank you very much!"

The new book
City Council President & City Executive Inna Titarenko came to congratulate museum staff with the finalization of this interesting book project and reminded the audience that Anton Chekhov himself was a representative of Taganrog society of this period of time and also used to write in albums.

"Unfortunately we cannot turn back the clock to see the city and its society of that time, we cannot hear their voices or feel their warm emotions. But we know well that still today we owe many things to these representatives of Taganrog's society of the 2nd half of the 19th century. They established the first public library in Taganrog, grammar school, public drugstore and the first museum", - noted Inna Titarenko, thanking the author - senior research assistant Alla Tsymbal and the whole museum staff for their hard work.

The new book was published in the city of Rostov-on-Don by Taganrog Group of Museums, Chekhov Initiatives Support Fund and Rostov Oblast Ministry of Culture.