On display at Calvert 22 Space from Friday 28 – Sunday 30 April, 12pm – 6pm.
To accompany The Museum After the Revolution, the conference as part of our season The Future Remains: Revisiting Revolution, we're pleased to present an exhibition of historical photographs taken from the rich collection of the archives of the State Hermitage Museum.
In the exhibition, the familiar history of the Imperial Palace and its adjoining Museum are presented in unexpectedly palpable scenes: the evacuation of paintings to the Raphael Loggias; the Great Skylight rooms and the Gallery of the History of Ancient Painting at the New Hermitage; the meeting of the interim government within the walls of Nicholas II’s apartment; the parade on the Palace Square; and M. L. Bochkareva Women's Battalion.
Decades often elapsed between the events captured in the photographs and their arrival at the Hermitage. For example, the photographs of the cadets and sailors guarding the Palace, the parade and the Women’s Battalion were only donated to the museum by the widow of P. F. Gubchevsky in 1994. The author of many articles about the history of the museum and the first post-war travel guides, Gubchevsky collected historical photos and relics of the events of 1917 throughout his life.
Photographs of the personal chambers of the imperial family after the storming of the Palace also act as living illustrations of the aftermath of the "taking" of the royal residence, revealing gaping holes in the walls, wrecked furniture, and derelict picture frames.
Photography, still a young art at the beginning of the 20th century, unmistakably positions 1917 as a historical milestone not only in the history of the Palace and Museum, but of Russia as a whole.