Did You know that Velimir Khlebnikov’s brother – Alexander Vladimirovich Khlebnikov – was a talented military engineer?
Velimir’s younger brother, Alexander Vladimirovich Khlebnikov (1887-1920), was a very broad-minded person: ornithologist (like his father had been), ichthyologist and a military engineer at the same time. He fully revealed his talent for inventions during the World War I. Among his numerous inventions the most remarkable are: the new construction of artillery shells, appliance for “breaking barbed wire with bullets”, a far-measurer and many other.
The collection of the Velimir Khlebnikov house-museum holds about one hundred copies of his drafts. We wish there came an enthusiast who would analyze and examine them and prove their significance for those (and may be for present) days.
We are pleased to present two of his drafts. What can the erudite of engineering say of them?
On the photo: The drafts made by Alexander Khlebnikov. The collection of The Velimir Khlebnikov house-museum.
Do you now that Velimir Khlebnikov’s father established the first Soviet reserve in the Volga Delta?Read about it
Velimir’s father, Vladimir Alexeevich Khlebnikov (1857-1934), was one of the initiators and the first director of the first soviet reserve in the Volga Delta (the present Astrakhan State Nature). For many years, he had been stoically struggling for its establishing until it was opened on 11 April 1919. Vladimir Khlebnikov always stated “every lifeform keeps secrets within for future researchers and after being destroyed it carries those secrets off”. That V.A. Khlebnikov’s statement can be confirmed by an example given at “The Descent of Man” by Charles Darwin whom he was very much fond of: “Humboldt saw in South America a parrot which was the sole living creature that could speak a word of the language of a lost tribe”. The Velimir Khlebnikov museum holds numerous printed works by V.A. Khlebnikov and the book by Y.S. Tchuykov “The First Commandment” on this outstanding scientist.
On the photo: It was Maria Miturich-Khlebnikova, V.A. Khlebnikov’s great-great-granddaughter, who laid these flowers on his grave that locates in Damchicksky section of Astrakhan State Nature.
Do you now that Velimir Khlebnikov’s portrait was continuously depicted on medals?Read about it
The figure of the Futurist poet who headed Russian Futurism is presented in medal art. Four craftsmen namely Y.A. Stripulis (1976), Y.Y. Simantis (1985), B.M. Medvedev (1985), A.A. Arkhipov (1986) made medals with the portrait of Velimir Khlebnikov.
Not long ago the new medal in honor of the brilliant “speecher” appeared. It was made by Alexei Kriventsov, an alumnus of The N.K. Roerich Art College (Saint-Petersburg). When Alexei was a student he made a ceramic medal in honor of Khlebnikov and even nowadays he keeps on looking at Khlebnikov’s creativity like into endless well.
Today Alexei lives in Finland and the medal he had made after making a long trip from Vaasa to Astrakhan successfully came to the native city of the poet’s ancestors to permanent domicile.
On the photo: A.Kriventsov. Medal “V.Khlebnikov”. The collection of the Velimir Khlebnikov house-museum.
What can pieces tell about?Read about it
Pieces of…fates, lives, reliquiae.
These two pieces of tiled stove were given to the Khlebnikov museum by E.A. Parnis, a khlebnikovlogist and a researcher of vanguard.
It was the very stove that stood in the workshop of N.I. Kulbin, the head of Saint-Petersburg association of avant-gardes. The futurists V.Mayakovski, V.Kamenski, A.Rodchenko, N.Kulbin, A.Lurye were photographed against that stove (1915). That photo was reproduced in the book by V.Kamenski “Life with Mayakovski” (1940) and in some other books. Now these two precious pieces are kept at the Khlebnikov house museum; at the museum dedicated to the poet N.I. Kulbin helped very much during his military service.
On the photo: Two pieces of the stove from N.I. Kulbin’s workshop. The collection of the Khlebnikov house-museum.
Do you know this is a scrap (a part, a piece) of Vera Khlebnikova’s grammar school certificate?Read about it
Well this is rather a scrap. If it is remembered that after Vera receiving this certificate her life as a student of Kazan grammar school was cut short and she began to live the life of professional artist. She took that decision after preliminary conversation with her father:
“- Daddy, I’m going to enter the Art School
- You can’t do that until you finish Grammar school
- I will certainly do that, daddy…I will. My desire will grow big and strong and win!”
(Vera Khlebnikova. Autobiographic notes)
On the photo: A part of Vera Khlebnikova’s grammar school certificate (Kazan). The collection of the V.Khlebnikov house-museum.
Do you know that Vera Khlebnikova was taught painting by the Dutch artist Kes van Dongen when she lived in Paris in 1912?Read about it
This is a scrap of Vera Khlebnikova’s letter addressed to Kes van Dongen. Unfortunately this is the sole part remained. Vera was confused by sudden departure of the professor to Egypt and didn’t know what to do. Should she go to Italy?
“I’m afraid Italy is yet so far away. (…) The only thing I know is I don’t want Academy! Professors (not in Paris). I have always wanted the Sun only to correct me. When it forsakes me – it is You…And thank you very much!!!”
So Kes van Dongen was her Sun. She didn’t want any other professors “to correct” her. Probably Vera didn’t send that letter. Ten years later in her “Autobiographic notes” written in remote Astrakhan, in her ancestors’ town, Vera reconstructed the most profound portrait of Kes van Dongen in Russian literature.
On the photo: A fragment of Vera Khlebnikova’s letter addressed to Kes van Dongen.
The collection of the Velimir Khlebnikov museum.
Do you know that Velimir Khlebnikov was a good horse-rider and an expert in horses?Read about it
Velimir spent his childhood years in “Horse Kingdom” (it was how he called his native Kalmykia). He likened his creativity to a quick gait of Przewalski’s horse.
His poems included in the set of works “Slap in the face of public sense” were placed there as a separate cycle entitled “Przewalski’s horse”.
On the photo: A cavalryman’s comb (for combing manes and tails of horses). It belonged to V.A. Khlebnikov, Velimir’s father, now it is exhibited in the Khlebnikov museum.
Do you know how many sisters Velimir had?Read about it
Only in order to spare your curiosity we shall answer. Two. The younger Vera whom he loved very tender and the elder named Katya he was not so amicable with as with the younger. He probably even quarreled with her. It was not just for the hell of it she gave him a postcard reproducing the painting by F.A. Bruni “Horace killing his sister Camilla in a burst of anger”. The dedication seems to have been made with joking attitude to the brother. Velimir, an eternal wanderer wrote to her sister in Astrakhan:
(…) In view of that hot affection you treat my fate I’m writing this letter.(…)
«Loving you tender» !!!???
On the photo: F.A. Bruni. The postcard “Horace killing his sister Camilla in a burst of anger”.
Can you count how many various birds Velimir recorded in his poems?Read about it
To begin with “stork, golden eagle, ringdove, bittern, turtledove, bustard, germander, skylark, crane, mallow, oriole, crake, gerfalcon, swan, robin, eagle, warbler, waxwing, white-throat, blackcock, duck, eagle owl, gull, egret, goldfinch, seagull, hawk…”. We won’t enumerate all the birds. There are more than one hundred of them. Apart from Velimir Khlebnikov’s articles on ornithology. We would hardly make a mistake if we told that none of the poets had ever recorded “the bird Russia” in such diversity.
On the photo: V.Klebnikov’s drawing “A bee-eater”
Doesn’t it seem to you that Khlebnikov made a mistake in the following verses:
How we liked that Pugachev’s movement years
A Cossack with an earring and dark earsRead about it
An earring might be thought unfit for man. We assure you that there is no mistake here. Khlebnikov was accurate and precise in any detail. He knew that if a Cossack was the only child in the family and went to the war the earring in his ear meant that he should not fight in the front ranks which almost entirely died during the battle but in the back ranks where he had more chances to survive and return to his parents and become support and breadwinner for them.
On the photo: Velimir Khlebnikov. “Cossack”. Academic sketch.