Russian Folktales Illustrated by Children


Murmansk Art College for Children 

I visited Murmansk in Northwest Russia on several occasions, when teaching English at Finnmark University College in Northern Norway. I had heard through friends of the special type of art colleges for children that exist in Russia. I had also heard that both the pupils and the teachers at the Children’s Art College in Murmansk were especially gifted. I had seen evidence of this in a book of Russian folk tales published in Norway, Ivan tsarevitsj og den grå ulven, illustrated by the pupils of the college. 

With the idea of producing a similar book in English, I decided to visit the college, and was kindly shown around the different departments by the principal, V.K Chebotarj, and a teacher, I.N. Korobova I.N; I was also shown around another department of the college, by L.V. Marakulina.

The college’s principal and the teachers showed great interest in cooperating on a book project using the children’s paintings to illustrate a book of Russian folk tales. With this intent, the children at the college were asked to illustrate a number of Russian folktales, one of them being Father Frost, or Morozko, as he is called in Russia. 

Murmansk Art College for Children was founded in 1966 and was the first school of its kind to be built north of the Polar Circle in Russia. At the present there are 350 pupils enrolled at the college. The students receive a primary art education, learning the basics of painting, drawing, sculpture and composition. They also study art history. The illustrations in this folktale form part of a larger collection based on Russian folk tales. This collection has been exhibited in both Russia and Norway.

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One response to “Russian Folktales Illustrated by Children”

  1. saltandnovels avatar

    Amazing picture by amazing, talented children! Thank you for such an interesting post.

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