Photographer to the Tsar: Revealing the Silk Road

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the photographer’s former connection to the royal family became mortally dangerous. Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii and his family emigrated from Soviet Russia in 1918 taking with them about 3,500 negatives. Soviet authorities confiscated half of the photos, which have never been recovered. The United States Library of Congress purchased 1,600 glass negatives from Prokudin-Gorskii’s heirs in 1948 for $5,000 USD. With the advent of digital image processing, the Library of Congress undertook the project of scanning the collection and making this treasure of early color photography freely accessible to people across the globe.

Transcendent Art: Icons from Yaroslavl, Russia

This exhibition features 54 extraordinary icons from the Yaroslavl Art Museum. The treasured, and once venerated icons on view were painted in the 17th and 18th centuries, considered “The Golden Age” of Yaroslavl’s cultural and commercial life. Separating the exquisite icons of Yaroslavl from others of the same period is the highly decorative quality, the free composition, the mass of architectural detail and lavishly decorated robes to tell a story through a common symbolic language.

A Homespun Life: Textiles of Old Russia

This original exhibition presents over one hundred artifacts revealing the rich peasant culture of northern and central Russia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Featured are towels, bed skirts, area rugs, and pillow covers, along with spinning tools, garments, and costumes produced by peasant spinners, weavers and dressmakers. Designs and patterns were specific to regional centers of production, such as the Vologda, Riazan and Nizhnii Novgorod regions represented in this exhibition.

Susan Johnson