Inside the Conservatory. Yellow Plums. Blizhniaia Dacha, Kyshtym
From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural scenes. Among the towns Prokudin-Gorskii visited in 1909 was Kyshtym (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast), a settlement linked to an ironworking factory founded in 1757 by Nikita Demidov. Harsh working conditions at this factory contributed to periodic outbreaks of violence that swept over the region, most notably the Pugachev Rebellion (1774–76). When Prokudin-Gorskii visited in 1909, the Upper Kyshtym Factory was still one of the largest in the Urals. On the distant shore of the City Pond, which provided power for the factory, was a suburban area and park known as Near Dacha. The park included a large brick greenhouse, whose glass roof is visible here in the upper background. The greenhouse contained many exotic plants such as the yellow plums shown here. Prokudin-Gorskii frequently photographed rare plants to demonstrate the range afforded by his special three-color photography process. Using this process, he created a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Title in Original Language
Внутри оранжерей. Желтыя сливы. [На Ближней даче, Кыштым]
Type of Item
Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)
- Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.
Last updated: September 28, 2016