18 April 2017 – 20 April 2017

Lecture Hall, Manezhnaya Street, 7

Organized by:
The Moscow Kremlin Museums

The photographic exhibition is organized in the framework of an annual research-to-practice Conference 'Museum Libraries in Contemporary Society', dedicated to the centenary of the 1917 Revolution.

In autumn 1917, the Moscow Kremlin was in the epicentre of the civil strife. On the resolution of the Moscow Military Revolutionary Committee, it had been under the heavy artillery fire during several days. It provided strategic overweight and victory, but the bombardment of the All-Russian shrine shocked the society. 

One of the most tragic pages in the Kremlin’s history was captured in memories and various documents, as well as in photographs. The photographs on display allow visitors to see the very objective picture of the events that took place in November 1917. The Moscow Kremlin Museums’ collection comprises ninety photographic prints and negatives, showing the result of the Kremlin buildings’ bombardment. The exhibition presents forty-seven of them.

The photography collection dedicated to the damaged historical monuments in autumn 1917 is based on the pictures by famous photographic and phototype studios of P.P. Pavlov. The collection also represents unique negatives made in November – early December of 1917. It is likely that a renowned Moscow photographer D.M. Gusev was the author of the shots. Most of the pictures are the sets showing various damages from all possible angles.

The first section of the exhibition is devoted to the outer defence line – the Kremlin towers. The Senate building which was occupied by the Moscow Court suffered mostly from the devastation following the gunfire. Progressive photograph series dedicated to the Assumption Cathedral demonstrates the route of the photographer taking pictures of the central dome with shell-holes. Two shells hit into the Patriarchal Vestry and caused severe damage to the works of art kept in the Kremlin. The Assumption Belfry was destroyed mostly inside than outside due to the artillery shells which hit directly through the windows. The photographs show that the attack also damaged two royal churches – the Annunciation Cathedral and the Upper Church of the Saviour.

Another section of the exhibition presents the Church of the Twelve Apostles, the Chudov Monastery, the Arsenal and the Minor Nicholas Palace, which were also hit by that shelling. As the headquarters of the Moscow military district was housed in the Nicholas Palace, it became the core target and suffered from the fire the most.

The photographs on display allow visitors to get in touch with a tragic page in the history of the Moscow Kremlin – the events of autumn 1917.