A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum

Photographs and Negatives Department

Photographs and Negatives Department includes more than 500 thousand units.

Photographic material is very extensive. There are photographs of scenes from performances /drama, opera, ballet; operetta/, photo portraits of actors in life and on stage, drama writers, directors, artists, entrepreneurs and other theatrical figures; group portraits; photographs of theatrical buildings inside and outside.

Its time frame is from 1850’s /almost from the appearance of the first theatrical photo/ until today. Thus, the pictures of the performance “Woe from Wit” in the Maly Theatre with M.S. Shchepkin in the role of Famusov /premiere – 1832, photography – 1852/, are the earliest theatrical photographs represented in the fund.

Theatrical photograph is usually seen as the trustworthiest evidence about a performance. From our perspective, only video shooting is better in comparison with photograph. However, pre-revolutionary samples of photography have several particularities related to the level of the photo technique’s development of that time and conditions that accompanied the photography. Until 1920’s, theatrical photography was held not during the performance like today, but in photo atelier or /less frequently/ in theatre without spectators. In order to get the quality at that time, long exposure was required and that demanded from an actor extraordinary skills and very seldom allowed to show the true dynamic and vivid moments of a performance.

Collection of the negatives, the majority of which are available in the form of prints, is the base and the principal value of the fund. It should be mentioned that many prints, stored in the museum, acquired with time the highest value because of the loss of negatives’ originals.

Collection of the photographs and negatives of the Bakhrushin museum impresses with its breadth and size. Here, the evidences about almost every performance, which left a trace in the theatrical history, can be found. Imperial Theatres are extensively represented: Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Maly and Alexandrinsky, Moscow Art Theatre and Moscow Art Academic Theatre /as wells as Art and Literature Lovers Society and Alexeevsky Club/, Art Theatre’s studios /1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th/, Gabima Studio, Private Opera of Zimin, Private Opera of Mamontov; other pre-revolutionary private theatres and repertory theatre companies: Korsch Theatre, Sukhodolskys’ Enterprise; provincial: Kharkov Enterprise under the direction of N. Sinelnikov, Solovtsov Theatre, Svobodny Theatre; modern theatres: Mossovet Theatre, Taganka Theatre, “Sovremennik”, Boris Pokrovsky Chamber Musical Theatre; children’s theatres: N.I. Sats Theatre, Russian Academic Youth Theatre; currently not existing theatres, closed in the Soviet time: Realistic, Moscow Art Academic Theatre-2, Goset, Kamerny and many others.

Number of the “personal” collections is also high. The most interesting and detailed collections are devoted to such persons, like M.N. Yermolova, A.I. Yuzhin, G.N. Fedotova, O.A. Pravdin, N.A. Nikulina, A.P. Lensky, M.V. Dalsky, P.N. Orlenev, Y.M. Yuriev, E.N. Roshchina-Insarova, L.V. Sobinov, F.I. Chaliapin, A.V. Nezhdanova, N.A. Obukhova, A.D. Vyaltseva, N.V. Plevitskaya, N.F. Monakhov, N.G. and S.G. Legatam, T.P. Karsavina, V.F. Nizhinsky, A.P. Pavlova, M.F. Kshesinskaya, O.I. Preobrazhensky, A.A. Gorsky, M.M. Fokin, O.L. Knipper-Chekhova, V.I. Kachalov, I.M. Moskvin, A.G. Koonen, A.Y. Tairov, A.A. Rumnev, M.A. Chekhov, I.N. Bersenev, S.V. Giatsintova, M.I. Babanova, L.V. Tselikovskaya, A.K. Tarasova, O.N. Androvskaya, M.M. Yanshin, M.I. Prudkin, N.P. Khmelyov, M.V. and A.A. Mironovs, G.S. Ulanova, M.M. Plisetskaya, O.I. Dal, Y.G. Bogatyryov, I.M. Smoktunovsky, M.M. Kozakov and many others, as well as to several foreign artist – Ernst von Possart, Eleonora Duse, Sarah Bernhardt…

Unique part of the fund consists of the photographs with autographs and complimentary inscriptions. Alexey Alexandrovich Bakhrushin gave special attention to the collecting of them. This part of the collection is actively replenished until today.

Director of the Photographs and Negatives Department: Svetlana Gennadyevna Shamshilina.

Tel.: +7 /495/ 690 59 20

Department’s address: 11, building 2, Tverskoy Boulevard /Metro Stations “Tverskaya”, “Pushkinskaya”, “Chekhovskaya”/.

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115054, г. Москва

ул. Бахрушина, д. 31/12 стр. 1

ст. м. «Павелецкая»

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