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Russia's Journey through the History of Photography

The Russian Museum has joined forces with the city’s History of Photography Museum as well as a number of archives and libraries in both St. Petersburg and Moscow to create a journey through the past 150 years, as documented by the country’s most talented photographers.

This new exhibit explores the history of photography as a technological process, and showcases a number of techniques used throughout the history of this art from the middle of the 19th century. Daguerreotypes, prints on silver paper, bromoil prints and early experiments with the use of color are all on show. It showcases 400 incredible prints, including fascinating views of serene city landscapes from the pre-revolutionary era by Karl Bulla, and shots taken by Alexander Chekhov, the elder brother of the writer Anton Chekhov.

Such an exhibition would be unthinkable without featuring Bulla, who is often referred to as the father of photography reporting in Russia. Bulla documented the lives of Russian aristocrats, gentry and merchants, and his vast collection of prints covers the most intricate details of life in St. Petersburg at the start of the 20th century.

The photo biennale embraces all imaginable genres of photography, from portraits and landscapes to chronicles. The oldest items on display are daguerreotypes dating back to the 1840s. In addition to fascinating historical images, the exhibition also showcases various models of cameras and photographic equipment that were in use during the course of the past 150 years. 

Further information can be found here, and details of the exhibition here.

Photo: The artist Vladimir Makovsky, photographed in his workshop by Karl Bulla in 1911, is on show at the biennale.

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