Arkady Shaikhet. A Witness to Time. Photographs from 1924-1940.

Main programme
9 June 2021Wednesday

June 3rd - July 25th

Arkady Shaikhet. "The driver and the car. Taxi stand at the Bolshoi Theatre." Moscow, 1935

Free admission on the day of the opening.

There is a single ticket for both festival exhibitions at the Kramskoy’s Art Museum. It can be purchased at the museum's ticket office (cash only).

Ticket price:

Full - 200 rubles

Preferential - 160 rubles

Exhibition opening hours:

During the festival - daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday - from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The ticket office stops working 45 minutes before the museum closes.

From June 21 - according to the usual schedule of the Kramskoy’s Art Museum.

Arkady Shaikhet (1898-1959) arrived in Moscow in 1922, already possessing photographic skills, which he managed to acquire in his hometown Nikolaev. In Moscow, Shaikhet got a job as a retoucher at the "Rembrandt" photo studio, whose owner began to trust him with photographing clients soon. At the same time, Shaikhet tried his hand at photo reporting, his pictures regularly appeared in "Rabochaya Gazeta".

Acquaintance with the chief editor of the "Ogoniok" magazine Mikhail Koltsov became a turning point in the life and work of Shaikhet: in 1925 he became the chief photographer of the country’s most popular illustrated magazine. The topics of his magazine reports are very different: the fight against illiteracy and the New Economic Policy, the Lenin's death anniversary, and the anniversary of the Bolshoi Theatre, automobile factories and metallurgical plants, the life of street children and the parades on the Red Square.

In 1927, Shaikhet was arrested on a false denunciation and spent several months in Butyrka prison. Through the efforts of Koltsov he was released (he was rehabilitated posthumously in 2006).

Arkady Shaikhet was one of the authors (along with Alexander Rodchenko, Boris Ignatovich, Georgy Petrusov, Mikhail Prekhner) who laid the foundations of the Soviet visual culture. In 1931-1932, the Russian Association of Proletarian Photographers (RAPP) was formed, and Arkady Shaikhet actively participated in its work. The photographers who were part of the RAPP argued with the members of the Oktyabr group, one of whose leaders was Alexander Rodchenko. Despite the differences of opinion, the photographers of these groups constantly interacted, used each other's experience in their work and were sincere in defending their own points of view.

In 1938, Arkady Shaikhet was dismissed from "Ogoniok"; he was no longer published in the "Sovetskoe Photo" and "USSR in Construction" magazines.

During the Great Patriotic War Shaikhet was a correspondent for the "Frontline Illustration" and "Pravda" newspapers from the very first day until the Victory day; after demobilization, he hoped to return to the editorial office of the "Ogoniok", but this was prevented by a large-scale anti-Semitic propaganda campaign.

Shaikhet had always been distinguished by a fanatical attitude to work, incredible scrupulousness, the ability to grasp the essence of the moment and to build an ideal composition. There was no opportunity for the photographer to refuse the editorial assignment or delay its completion. On November 18th, 1959, he died of his fourth heart attack while shooting for the "Young Technician" magazine.

At the exhibition "Arkady Shaikhet. A Witness to Time. Photos from 1924-1940" the photographs taken in different parts of the USSR are presented.

The pre-war photographs, carefully attributed by the MAMM employees, provide an opportunity to get acquainted with the Soviet visual culture.

The Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (MAMM) is a museum and exhibition complex, the first museum in Russia specialising in photography, video and media art, founded in 1996. The museum has hosted exhibitions of such photographers as Georgy Petrusov, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Leibovitz and many others. A repeated participant of the Platonov Arts Festival.