Russian photo exhibit at Cline Gallery
As an official photographer in the Kremlin, Dmitri Baltermants (1912-1990) had a close-up view of Russian history as it happened.
He photographed life in the Soviet Union for five decades. During World War II, he covered the Battle of Stalingrad and the battles of the Red Army in Russian and the Ukraine. Even though many of his photos were censored by authorities, he still managed to capture stunning images of death and hardship, as well as parades in Red Square.
One of his most famous images, “Grief,” depicts a 1942 massacre of Jews in the city of Kerch, a city on the Crimean peninsula. It is one of 20 images in a new exhibit that the L. P. Cline Gallery on Broad Street is showcasing.
“Faces of a Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union” will remain on view through March 3. An opening reception will be held Saturday, Feb. 3, at the gallery from 2 to 6 p.m.
Gallery owner Lynn Cline said Baltermants’ daughter, Tatiana, had 20 images from her father’s collection printed using the gelatin silver process and auctioned 25 portfolios in the mid-’90s.
“There were 25 sets made and we managed to get No. 15 at an auction,” Cline said.
“We’ve never shown them, but now just seemed like a good time.”
Cline specializes in Russian art, traveling to the area two or three times a year on buying trips. She bought one of the portfolios. Some of the winning bidders have sold off individual photos over the years for tens of thousands of dollars, she says .
“Grief,” shot in 1942, depicts a woman grieving over a loved one lost in Kerch while other women search among the dead for their family members.