Valery Akishin’s Museum of Clowns
Tula, Sovetskaya st., 96
Tel.: +7 (902) 901-42-01
Daily from 9:00 to 21:00
Any day during circus performances or guided tours
Founder/Owner of the museum
Valery Alekseevich Akishin
The Museum of Clowns was founded by renowned circus artist Valery Alekseevich Akishin.
Valery Alekseevich first started collecting clown figures in 1972 and has been doing so for almost 50 years. His collection includes about 5000 clown figures of all kinds and includes mass produced figures, collectables and designer figures, figures that are 3-5 centimeters in size as well as human-sized ones, and figures that are made from fabric, cast iron, bronze, ceramics, porcelain, Murano glass, wood, rubber, and papier-mâché. The oldest ones are more than a hundred years old. At first they were stored for a long time in his apartment and then at the “Aquamarine” Circus of Dancing Fountains. Today you can see Valery Akishin’s collection while visiting the Tula Circus, as it was moved there from Moscow in 2009.
“I bought my first clown at the Children’s Store in Tashkent, when I and my childhood friend, who is now an honored artist of Russia, got accepted to clown school. And then one thing led to another. I bought more of them and received others as gifts”, says Akishin. “But there are also some memorable pieces in my collection. The most precious one is called “Silver Clown”, and was an award I received in 1990 at the International Festival in Monaco for my Funny Jump Ropes act. You can’t buy that kind of figure, you can only earn it and that’s really hard to do. Those who succeed will forever be a part of the world history of the circus “.
Akishin’s acrobats jumped ropes in pairs, threes and fours, standing on each other’s shoulders. The act won multiple awards at various competitions. The Funny Jump Ropes act was such a great success that it became an acrobatics genre of its own, known in circus circles as the Akishin Jumping Ropes.