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Chronicler of Fates

Chronicler of Fates
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December 13 – January 15
room 306

The book-illustrative exhibition “Chronicler of Fates” is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of an outstanding photographer, artist and master of the psychological portrait, Moses Nappelbaum (1869–1958). The exposition is open in the  Fine arts reading room (room 306), from December 13 to January 15.

The personality of Moses Solomonovich Nappelbaum plays an exceptional role in the history of the world and Belarusian photography. He created a real portrait chronicle of the era, thanks to which he preserved the historical memory of the representatives of the Soviet era: talented poets and writers, actors and artists, scientists and politicians. For many years of creativity, the master had created tens of thousands of portraits. Unfortunately, not all of his legacy has been preserved, but the works that have come down to our time are witnesses of the past, a real golden fund of photo art.

Today M. Nappelbaum is known as a pan-Soviet photographer, but the future master was born in Minsk and it was here, on Belarusian land, that the magic of photography captured him, it was here that he took his first steps into the world of photography, and later, having gained experience, opened his own photo studio in Minsk.

At first glance, portraits of M. Nappelbaum are not unusual, they are extremely simple: a person’s face, the gaze, facial expressions, the turn of a head... But peering intently at them, as if you penetrate into the depths of a human personality, you comprehend the verge of his or her character, traits of nature, the imprint of life and destiny. And this is no coincidence, because Nappelbaum always looked for a Human in a person, sought to present his inner essence, to preserve what characterizes a person, to reveal the qualities of high spirituality, and therefore he took pictures of outstanding people of the era, cultural and political elite. The execution technique is also noteworthy: the master used one light source, the so-called "Rembrandt" lighting, which made it possible to immediately draw attention to the most important thing in a person.

The exhibition presents a whole gallery of reproductions of photographic portraits by M. Nappelbaum. Among them, visitors recognize men of art: A. Tolstoy, S. Yesenin, A. Blok, A. Akhmatova, B. Pasternak, A. Barbusse, M. Gorky, A. Serafimovich, K. Stanislavsky and V. Nemirovich-Danchenko, V. Meyerhold, S. Eisenstein, D. Shostakovich, G. Ulanova, R. Rollan and many others. Separate photographs of political figures of the Soviet era are also presented, which are known to us from history textbooks and have already become textbooks.

Articles about the master and the book “Photographers of the land of Belarus. 1850-1918" by historian and falerist A. Velichko complement the exposition. Particular attention will be drawn to the priceless memoirs of Ida Nappelbaum, the eldest daughter of the photographer, as well as the book "From Craft to Art" by Moses Solomonovich, which was the result of his work.

The opening hours of the exhibition correspond to the library’s opening hours.
Admission is by library card or by ticket of the library's social and cultural center.

Information and tickets may be obtained at the registration desk.

For more info: (+375 17) 293 28 86.

Special Collections Service Department.


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