(until the early 20th century, the Bogoiavlenskaia sloboda [tax-exempt settlement] of Mstera), an urban-type settlement in Viazniki Raion, Vladimir Oblast, RSFSR. It is located on the Kliaz’ma River, 14 km from the Mstera railroad station (on the Kovrov-Gorky line).
Mstera is one of the principal centers for the Russian folk art of miniature painting on lacquer ware. Beginning in the late 17th or early 18th century, an icon-painting industry arose in Mstera and subsequently became the settlement’s primary industry.
After the reform of 1861, there was intensive development of artistic trades (the manufacture of icons, religious articles, and satin stitch) and commerce. The peasant I. A. Golyshev, an ethnographer and artist, set up a lithography shop in the settlement.
In Soviet times, the Proletarskoe Iskusstvo artists’ artel was organized in Mstera (1931); since 1960 it has been a factory. The settlement is the site of the Detskaia Igrushka and Iuvelir factories, as well as embroidery, oil-cloth, shoe, garment, and furniture factories. Mstera has an art museum and is a tourist center.
REFERENCESSemenovskii, D. Mstera. Moscow, 1939.
Tits, A. A. Po okrainnym zemliam Vladimirskim (Viazniki, Mstera, Gorokhovets). Moscow, 1969.