New East Digital Archive

Follow of the week: window frames and shutters from all over Russia

Follow of the week: window frames and shutters from all over Russia

13 March 2017

Instagram account @nalichniki sets out to document the rich variety of traditional wooden window frames and shutters found across Russia.

A post shared by Nalichniki (@nalichniki) on

The project was created by photographer Ivan Hafizov, who started taking pictures of old carved wooden window frames in the town of Engels, situated on the Volga river in the Saratov region, later expanding to the whole country. In the captions for the photos, and the project’s website, the author highlights the diversity of styles of carving and painting, which change depending on the region, owners and function of the building.

The purposes of the exquisitely carved and painted frames and shutters beyond decoration are not clear, as the author notes on the website: “We are not sure if the carving was a kind of guard to protect the house and the family from evil [...].”

Most of the collection of frames and shutters comes from smaller towns and regions that still have intact wooden houses. Most of the frames pictured are relatively new, unless they were guarded and constantly restored through out the building’s history — wood is not the most durable building material.

The project also publishes a colouring book and posters of colourful window frames, available for sale through the Russian version of the website.