About the Project

The project became the winner of the Second Competition of Museum and Exhibition Grants of the Russian Jewish Congress for the development of projects in the field of Jewish culture.

The Project “Glimpses of the Past. Images of the Jewish People in the Russian Empire’s Photography. From the Collections of the Russian Museum of Ethnography" became the winner of the Second Competition of Museum and Exhibition Grants of the Russian Jewish Congress for the development of projects in the field of Jewish culture.

This is the first integrated project of the Department of Photography, which involved not only all Department members, but also the Deputy Director and Chief Curator N.N. Prokopyeva (author of the online exhibition and Yudovin graphics catalog) and Head of Automation and Systematization Department, I.Yu. Khurgina (the website catalogue and exhibition coordinator).

Active work on the project began in October 2020. The staff of the Department of Photography prepared photo collections for publication in the format of an online catalogue consisting of several albums. The catalogue was conceptualized by K.Yu. Solovieva with the participation of E.F. Kononova.

On the preparatory stage, K.Yu. Solovieva and E.F. Kononova organized systematization and attribution of photo collections on Jewish culture of the mid-19th – first third of the 20th century. In addition to studying the photographs, making inventories of photo collections and archival documents from the REM scientific archive, identification of photographic processes, consulting of museum staff (T.Yu. Emelianenko and L.A. Slastnikova), the authors expanded the source study base. The annotations to the photographs in the published catalogue, texts and reference books are based on information collected in course of study of a wide range of sources through online resources on Jewish Studies (toldot.ru, J-roots.ru, eleven.co.il, ujew.com, myshtetle.org, arzamas. academy), history of photography (rusalbum.ru, fototikon.blogspot.com), libraries, and archives.

K.Yu. Solovyeva has introduced photographs of such famous photographers as K. Brandel, F. Bonfils, S.A. Yurkovsky, I. Sh. Serebrin, A.Kh. Zimson, I.S. Felser, S.S. Felser, I.M. Yakobson, A.A. Posse, J.L. Tiraspolsky, and others, specified the time when photos from the collections of M.I. Greim, D.I. Ermakov, F. OrdeN, F. Bonfis were created, fully attributed A.D. Elkind’s collection, identified historical figures on the photographs (Hazzan S.M. Neiman, Hakham S.M. Pampulov). E.F. Kononova was the first to systematize expedition photographs of the staff and correspondents of the Ethnographic Department and photographs from the ethnographic expedition of S.A. An-sky, clarifications were made to the titles and dating, 4 more original negatives by S. B. Yudovin were attributed and registered in the REM collection. A total of nine sections were prepared for the online catalog.

The grant support of the Russian Jewish Congress made it possible to buy computer equipment, photographic equipment, and basic software to fill in all information blocks in Russian and English, annotations to photographs and S. B. Yudovin’s graphics were translated to Hebrew. Research associates of the Department Baranova N.A., Belogubtsev A.V., Smirnova Yu.S. scanned documents, photographs and filled in the Data base information.

Within the framework of the same project, 445 photographs on Jewish culture (including 48 negatives and 252 prints for the online catalogue) went through all the necessary stages of preservation. Art restorer V.A. Kostyuk performed the work on dedusting photographic prints, cleaning the non-emulsion side of negatives, gluing peeled-off cardboard passe-partouts, inputting information of photographs preservation into the EDB.

The Department’s photographers O.V. Ganicheva and A.A. Lyubimova made 3D photos of exhibits for an online catalogue, edited videos. K.Yu. Solovieva and O.V. Ganicheva designed and made title screens for the website and presentation.

To accompany the online catalogue, N.N. Prokopyeva prepared the online exhibition "The Jewish Wife and Her Role in the Family" and “The Jewish Town in S. Yudovin’s Graphics" catalog.


K.Yu. Solovyeva, Project Manager, Head of Department of Photography

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