Rare photos from the Russian Hermitage Museum Imperial Collection.
July 15, 2014—A single photograph may capture a moment; a collection can provide a window to the past.
Earlier this year, photograph conservators from the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia visited Harvard and shared some photographic treasures held by the Hermitage, many never before seen in the West. (Scroll down to see a slideshow.)
These include recently rediscovered personal photographs of Russia’s doomed royal family and nobility—hidden following the Revolution or “lost” to storage and transfers over the decades. Called the Imperial Collection, the photos and other materials provide invaluable information about Russian life in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Hermitage embarked on an intense effort to preserve and catalog the 500,000+ items.
“We know that the importance of photographic collections will only improve with time,” said Natalia Avetyan, a curator of photographs from the State Hermitage Museum.