sr_photo_fab_merchant
Prokudin-Gorskii, Sergei Mikhailovich. Fabric Merchant, 1906-1911. 1 negative (3 frames) : glass, b&w, three-color separation. Library of Congress, Prokudin-Gorskii Collection.

Photographer to the Tsar: Revealing the Silk Road

Lower Gallery


Visitor’s Guide

The longest road on earth, the fabled Silk Road spanned several thousand miles,     connecting East and     West and stretching from China and India to Central Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean     Sea.  For two millennia, exotic goods, artistic styles and cultural traditions traveled in both     directions leaving a lasting impact on civilizations across vast expanses.  The Silk Road became a  symbol of economic and cultural exchanges between East and West.

A land of ancient oases and sun-burnt deserts, Central Asia became the possession of the Russian     Empire through conquest in the second half of the 19th century.  To conduct a visual survey of these     far reaches of the Empire, Tsar Nicholas II commissioned the innovative chemist and photographer     Sergei M. Prokudin-Gorskii to travel there by rail in the early years of the 20th century.  In vivid     color, he documented ancient ruins, vivid street scenes, and local people.  The exhibition features 26     photographs, presented in custom-made light boxes, bearing witness to the region’s fascinating past.

 

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