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March 30, 2001
Exhibition of Early Color Photographs of Russia Opens
On April 17, the Library will open "The Empire that Was Russia: The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated," an exhibition in the South Gallery of the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building of 58 color images taken throughout Imperial Russia from 1907 to 1915. The photographs, which have been digitally reproduced for the first time from the original glass plates, have been selected from the Prokudin-Gorskii Collection of some 1,800 negatives that were purchased by the Library in 1948. The exhibition will be on view through August 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944), a pioneer in the field of color photography, embarked on a photographic survey of Russia in1907 and was commissioned by Czar Nicholas II in 1909 to record the vastness, diversity, and development of the Russian Empire. His unique images of Russia on the eve of revolution were recorded as three separate images on one glass plate and exposed in rapid succession through three different color filters. For this exhibition, the glass plates were scanned, and through an innovative process known as digichromatography, brilliant color images have been produced. "The Empire that Was Russia" will feature the digital technology that makes these superior color prints possible, and celebrate the fact that for the first time many of these wonderful images are digitized and available to the public.
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