Mikhail Ivanovich Smirnov (1869 – 1949) – historian and ethnographer - the museum's first director. It was he who initiated the collection of carved wood. In 1922, two works depicting Pensive Christ were received from the Assumption Cathedral of the Goritsky Monastery. The origins of this image must originate in Germany in the XIV-XV centuries. This image penetrates Russia in the 17th century and already in the 18th – 19th centuries. There are only ten such sculptures in the museum collection. Unfortunately, the names of the masters who created these works have not survived to this day.