State memorial, historical, art and natural museum preserve of V.D. Polenov is One of the largest and most well-known memorial museums in Russia. It includes the original museum house, the artist's workshop, outbuildings, the Trinity Church in Bekhovo, and the grave of V. D. Polenov, as well as the parks, gardens, forests, fields, and meadows surrounding the manor.
The museum (the famous House over the Oka River) was founded in 1892 by Dmitry Vasilevich Polenov, a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts and the first people's artist of Russia. It is the first popular museum located in a Russian village, as in 1918 the government assumed ownership of the house to protect this national treasure.
According to Governmental decree on August 20, 2014, the museum preserve of V. D. Polenov was referred to the objects of federal cultural heritage.
The actual manor occupies 14.1 hectares, including 17 memorial structures built according to the design of the painter himself in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At the same time, Polenov designed the Church of the Holy Trinity, which was constructed in Bekhovo, and the Strakhovo village school, which now hosts a Youth Art Center.
The Big House is the actual museum. The architectural style of "the Big House" is difficult to define in conventional terms: at first, you recognize it as modern, but it is probably better thought of as "Polenov-style" Russian architecture. The main part of the exhibition includes the painter's personal collection, as well as that of his family. Four generations of Polenovs have made contributions to the creation of this museum.
he house preserved Vasily Polenov's personal belongings, including furniture partly made according to designs of the painter, and the family library. The collection of ancient Greek and Egyptian art (included into World Monuments Fund) were inherited by V. D. Polenov from his father, Dmitry Vasiliyevich Polenov, and supplemented by Polenov's own findings from a trip to the East in 1882.
The collection of arms contains an interesting Winchesterrifle that the painter brought home from the Serbian-Ottoman War of 1886-1887, where he volunteered.
In addition to works of Polenov and his sister, the collection of Russian painting and graphic art includes works by the painter's friends from the Academy of Arts and the Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions (Peredvizhniki): I. Repin, I. Shishkin, V. Vasnetsov and others, as well as the work of Polenov's students from the Moscow School of Arts, Sculpture, and Architecture: I. Levitan and K. Korovin. The collection of Soviet art contains works by N. Krymov, V. Baksheev, and the Kukryniksy collective. Among the works of West European painters are the 14th-century «Madonna of the Sienese School» which Polenov bought in France, and the 15th-century painting «Jacob Wrestling with God» by Veronese. The collection of applied and decorative art contains the works of folk masters and the items from Abramtsevo joinery and pottery workshops, including some works by M. Vrubel, S. I. Mamontov, and Polenov himself.