Moscow 1900-1960

In recent years, a lot of surprisingly rich archival photo series has been published on Moscow and on Russia in general. This is only partly explained by the easier access to the archives and collections of the former Soviet Union. A rather more important reason is that the interest in the city and its history has been livened up in a previously unimaginable way both at home and abroad, which created a wide public for this kind of photos. We have also written on a number of these series, the photos of the 1896 coronation proceeding through all Moscow, František Krátký’s colored glass slides on the same, the first color photos made by Branson DeCou on the two capitals in 1931, the photo collections of the 1960s and 70s, and several more series are waiting to be presented here.

On this interest builds also the exhibition recently opened on the images of the city from between 1900 and 1960 in Moscow’s Lumière Brothers Photo Gallery. In contrast to the above mentioned ones, these photos are not unknown. Most of them appeared in magazines and albums during the past decades. Being press photos, they offer mostly daily impressions; they do not include many photo documents on the old Moscow disappearing just in these decades, neither on that dense fabric of the city which is explored with preference by today’s photographers. Nevertheless, in this way, exposed together, they give a good picture on a decisive half century of Moscow’s history, on that characteristic one-time atmosphere which has been completely transformed on the way of becoming a modern metropolis.

From the more than three hundred photos of the exposition the Мир на карте blog yesterday published almost a hundred ones. The photos taken on the spot are sometimes blurred, sometimes they reflect the neon lights of the gallery, but even so they are very enjoyable. The pictures on exposition, she writes, had been made by thirty photographers; unfortunately she does not include their names. Some of them can be recognized: Naum Granovsky, Alexandr Ustinov, Boris Ignatovich, Yury Trankvilitsky, Viktor Ahlomov, known press photographers of the period. On the others perhaps the catalog of the exhibition could tell more. We hope we would get it soon.

Bulat Okudzhava: The last trolley, 1957

Когда мне невмочь пересилить беду,
когда подступает отчаянье,
я в синий троллейбус сажусь на ходу,
в последний, в случайный.

Последний троллейбус, по улицам мчи,
верши по бульварам круженье,
чтоб всех подобрать, потерпевших в ночи
крушенье, крушенье.

Последний троллейбус, мне дверь отвори!
Я знаю, как в зябкую полночь
твои пассажиры, матросы твои
приходят на помощь.

Я с ними не раз уходил из беды,
я к ним прикасался плечами...
Как много, представьте себе, доброты
в молчанье, молчанье.

Последний троллейбус плывет по Москве,
Москва, как река, затухает,
и боль, что скворчонком стучала в виске,
стихает, стихает.
When I cannot overcome misfortunes
any more, when despair rises,
I get on a blue trolley
the last one, a random one.

Last trolley, run all over the streets
drive round all the boulevards
pick up all who have suffered
a crash, a crash in the night.

Last trolley, open your doors to me!
I know that in the chilling midnight
your passengers, your sailors
will come to my help.

More than once I came out of trouble
while touching them shoulder by shoulder
Imagine, how much kindness there is
in the silence, in the silence.

The last trolley is floating over Moscow,
Moscow, like a river, falls asleep
and the pain, throbbing in my temple like
a young starling, calms down, calms down.

2 comentarios:

languagehat dijo...

Wonderful, many thanks for sharing these! A caption correction: Кино Ударник is not the "Drummer" Cinema but the Udarnik (or Shock Worker) Cinema.

Studiolum dijo...

Thank you! Of course it is – we also have it as a loan word. This is the result of translating a large amount of captions in the middle of the code without checking the pictures to which they belong. Now I’ve corrected it.