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The Things of LifeMateriality in Late Soviet Russia$
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Alexey Golubev

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752889

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752889.001.0001

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History in Wood

History in Wood

The Search for Historical Authenticity in North Russia

(p.61) Chapter 3 History in Wood
The Things of Life

Alexey Golubev

Cornell University Press

This chapter turns to other types of material objects that were capable of performing history: timber buildings associated with cultural heritage and historical ship replicas. The last three decades of the Soviet Union evidenced a fast growth in the number of heritage sites related to traditional wooden architecture. The chapter examines the museumification of old architecture as a process that was similar to the scale modeling hobby in its politics, but stimulated the nationalist understanding of Soviet history in its Romantic, rather than Techno-Utopian, interpretation. In particular, the chapter shows how wood, a traditional building material, became a symbol that objectified the “deep cultural roots” of Soviet society and served, because of its texture, as a living witness of its authentic history.

Keywords:   material objects, timber buildings, cultural heritage, ship replicas, traditional wooden architecture, Russian heritage sites, museumification, Soviet society, old architecture

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