Display of Religious Textiles


Tver is an ancient city (first mentioned in 1135) on the Volga River to the northwest of Moscow. Opened in 1866, the Tver Museum displayed natural and archeological items of interest as well as works of art and crafts from the region of Tver. Seen here are elaborately embroidered 17th-century examples of the epitrachilion (from Greek, meaning “around the neck”), a liturgical vestment similar to a stole worn by Orthodox clergy when conducting a service. In 1897 the Tver Museum was allocated space in the Imperial Transit Palace. Nationalized in 1918, the museum was given the entire Transit Palace in 192, where it remained until World War II. During the German occupation of Tver in the fall of 1941 the museum was severely damaged, resulting in the loss of most of its holdings. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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. In 1910, his work included the photographing of a number of exhibits in the Tver Museum.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Религиозные ткани

Type of Item

Physical Description

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: July 9, 2015