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Lev Borodulin
Diver, 1960
Gelatin silver print
Borodulin Collection
Curator: Judith Caplan, Associate Curator of Photography
On view March 17- June 30, 2004

Red in Black and White presents over seventy works by fifty Russian photographers, including Lev Borodulin, who documented the Soviet Union during the formative years of the Communist regime, the Second World War, and the years of intensive building that followed the war. Most of the photographers worked for the establishment or the Russian Photographic Agency, and some of the works bear the mark of

Stalin's influence. All the works on view are from the collection of Lev Borodulin and his son, Alexander.

Spanning fifty years of Russian photography, the exhibition represents three main periods. Photographs from the first period depict the early days of the Communist regime, when photographers were expected to document progress and industrial growth and to convey feelings of pride and happiness among Soviet citizens. The second period includes documentation of World War II, illustrating hardship, suffering, and destruction, combined with depictions of the brave endurance of soldiers and civilians and the sense of victory at the end of the war. The post-war period is represented through images of recovery, reconstruction, and a shift toward development.

E. Evserichin
Stay to Death! 1943
Gelatin silver print
Borodulin Collection

Yakov Khalip, Drink, 1950
Gelatin silver print
Borodulin Collection

In 1946, still a photography student, Borodulin was assigned by the Soviet government to collect photographs that documented the Soviet army's victory over the German forces -- from the defense of the homeland to the occupation of Berlin -- in which he himself participated as a soldier. In time, the young photographer developed a discerning eye and an ability to identify good photographs; and, during his years as a photojournalist, he asked his colleagues for personal prints of photos that he considered outstanding. As it turned out, most of the images Borodulin chose later became the milestones of Russian photography. In this manner, Borodulin managed to build a unique collection, in cooperation with his son Alexander, who later joined him in this family enterprise.

The exhibition is made possible by the donors to the Museum's 2004 Exhibition Fund: Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond J. Learsy, Aspen, Colorado; Hanno D. Mott, New York; and the Nash Family Foundation, New York.

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