Biography of Mikhail Abramov
Childhood and youth of Mikhail Abramov
Mikhail Abramov was born in October 1963 in Moscow into a family of doctors. Misha’s parents were poor and, like all Soviet citizens, people indifferent to religion. Misha grew up like most Soviet children without faith in God and unbaptized. The boy visited Orthodox churches and the synagogue more out of curiosity than at the behest of the soul.
As Abramov likes to remember, he was a free religion. The passion for collecting icons was passed on to Misha from his stepfather, with whom the boy grew up. My stepfather was an intelligent person, doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, teacher. He had valuable icons in his house. Intelligence was in the blood of his stepfather, since his ancestors were manufacturers and breeders “from the former” – educated people and versed in art.
Businessman Mikhail Abramov – founder of the Museum of Russian Icons
Mikhail Abramov’s school years were spent in the 232nd Moscow school, which he successfully completed in 1981. In the same year, the young man entered the Faculty of Chemical Technology of the Institute of Light Industry.
After studying for a year at a Moscow university, Mikhail left in 1982 for the city of Yelets to serve in the Soviet army. In Yelets, a young soldier studies at a sergeant’s school, after which he continues to serve on the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic. After graduating from service with the rank of Senior Sergeant in 1984, Mikhail returned to Moscow and continued his studies at the university at the evening department of the same faculty. At this time, another important event takes place, which left an imprint on his future fate. Mikhail Abramov accepts Orthodoxy and undergoes a rite of baptism.
Mikhail Abramov – entrepreneur and philanthropist
Yielding to perestroika moods, in 1985 Mikhail organized a network of cooperatives for tailoring fur and leather products. In the 90s, cooperatives begin to cease to exist. Therefore, a young entrepreneur in 1991 begins working for the Ingosstrakh company, which is engaged in the construction of buildings in Moscow, and in 2000 he becomes the deputy general director of this company. Being engaged in the construction of cottages, offices, residential buildings and entire villages, Abramov accumulated an impressive amount. The question arose as to where to invest the money. Without a moment’s hesitation, he opted for icons and immediately acquired several hundred of them. Mikhail Yuryevich considers this act the most important thing in his life.
Since 2003, Mikhail began to seriously study and collect ancient icons. This work soon brought results. Eminent scientists and qualified specialists from St. Petersburg and Moscow help Mikhail Yuryevich organize exhibitions and displays of icons collected by the collector.
So at the exhibition “Returned Property” were presented icons returned to the Tretyakov Gallery. The exhibition “Masterpieces of Ancient Russian Icon Painting” presented a collection of icons of the XIV-XVI centuries from 23 world-famous collectors. M.Yu. Abramov firmly believes that icons, and not well-known works of Russian art, played a decisive role in the understanding of Russia by the West. The philanthropist strives in every possible way to return the national heritage to the historical homeland, acquiring icons at auctions, in private collections and antique shops of the West. Mikhail Yuryevich’s soul hurts because the icons, the original Russian heritage, are slowly drifting away from Russia.
Museum of the Icon of Mikhail Abramov
Through his efforts, in 2011 Abramov opened the doors of Russia’s first private Museum of Russian Icons with a total area of 2,500 square meters and about 600 icons. The value of the collection of the private Museum exceeds hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, according to its founder, no icon should be offered for sale or auction.
The opening ceremony of the Museum was marked by the transfer to the museum-reserve “Rostov Kremlin” of a carved altar cross of the 16th century, stolen fifteen years ago. This relic was found for Abramov by Irina Shalina, a museum researcher, in one of the private collections in Germany. Abramov considers icons to be the property of Russia and seeks to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to touch the national heritage. Therefore, the internationally recognized museum is open to everyone and admission is free.
The most valuable exhibits of the museum are: the icon of the Mother of God Hodegetria, the Greek iconostasis of the end of the 17th century and the icon of St. Nicholas of Myra of the 14th century.
In the fall of 2011, the Vatican and the Italian Ministry of Culture presented in Rome forty of the best works from the Abramov collection, including the most ancient icon of the icon painter Simon Ushakov, Our Lady Hodegetria of Georgia. The success of the exposition of Abramov’s private collection in the Castel Sant’Angelo was noted by all the media in Italy and Russia.
The Abramov Museum presents an Old Believer chapel, which attracts Old Believers here, who pray for it all day long. Therefore, the exhibits in the museum are prayerful.
Mikhail Abramov is not only a businessman, but also a philanthropist
Mikhail Yurievich maintains friendly relations with other collectors, art historians and museum workers. They all gather at his dacha on Nikolina Gora to discuss upcoming exhibitions and the possibility of uniting all collectors. In particular, Abramov highly appreciates the private collections of icons by Viktor Bondarenko and Mikhail Elizavetin.
Personal life of businessman Mikhail Abramov
Mikhail Yurievich visits the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery every Sunday, fortunately, it is located eleven kilometers from Nikolina Gora. With his purchases of icons, Abramov first surprised many of his friends and acquaintances. Many did not hesitate to call him crazy. Only his wife treated everything with understanding and respect.
Mikhail met his wife Svetlana while still a student. They studied together at the Institute of Light Industry. They have been married for twenty-three years. The couple has two children – a fifteen-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter. My son graduated from the Moscow School of Economics and is now studying abroad. He also supports his father in his efforts to bring back the cultural heritage of Russia and is proud of him.
Recently, in October, Mikhail Abramov celebrated his fiftieth birthday, which was attended by many famous guests, including famous singers. Variety prima donna Alla Pugacheva even broke her vow regarding singing in public. The singer performed several of her famous and beloved songs. Valery Leontiev, Stas Mikhailov, Valery Meladze also sang for the hero of the day.
Mikhail Abramov takes part in many charity events. At one of these events, he laid out an impressive amount for charity, making several dance “pas” with socialite Ksenia Sobchak.