Boris Ignatovich

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Boris Ignatovich
BornApril 4, 1899
DiedApril 4, 1976
NationalityThe Russian Empire, USSR
OccupationArtist, Photographer, Reporter, Cinematographer

Boris Vsevolodovich Ignatovich (April 4, 1899, the Russian Empire, Minsk province, Slutsk - April 4, 1976, USSR, Moscow) was a Russian artist and innovator, photographer,[1][2][3] photoreporter and cameraman.[4] He was a pioneer of Soviet avant-garde photography in the 1920s and 1930s, founder of national photojournalism,[5] one of the most significant artists and audacious "formalists" of that radical time.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Boris Vsevolodovich Ignatovich was born on April 4, 1899 in the city of Slutsk (the Russian Empire, Minsk province) into a family of a teacher of mathematics in the senior classes of a gymnasium.[7] From 1908 to 1914 he studied at the gymnasium in the city of Lodz (Poland), and from 1914 in the gymnasium of Lugansk (Ukraine).

Ignatovich was expelled from the Lugansk gymnasium in 1917 for publication of a handwritten magazine, Shantrapa, and participation in revolutionary disturbances.

In 1918 he graduated from the Vyborg gymnasium in Petrograd with a silver medal.


Having graduated, Ignatovich returned to Lugansk. There he began work as a journalist for the newspaper Severo-donetskiy kommunist, and in 1919–1920 joined the Communist Party. He worked as an editorial assistant in Kharkiv newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda and Kiev newspaper Vseizdat, then as a managing editor of the newspaper Krasnaya Bashkiria (Ufa, Bashkortostan). He was also in charge of the regional office of ROSTA (Russian Telegraph Agency) in Sterlitamak. He became one of the first members of the Russian Union of Soviet Journalists (1918), and participated in the First All-Union Congress of Journalists.

In 1921–22 he was appointed deputy editor and then chief editor of the Moscow newspaper Gornyak. However, for publishing allegedly unverified rabkor (worker-correspondent) letters he was demoted from membership in the Communist Party and made a candidate member. As well, he was dismissed from his job as editor. Soon he went to Leningrad, where he headed the editorial boards of Leningrad comic magazines Drezina, Smekhach and Buzotyor.


In 1923 he made his first photo report: a snapshot of writer Mikhail Zoshchenko buying apples, taken with a pocket Kodak camera at editorial office of the magazine Smekhach in Petrograd. In 1925 he was restored to the ranks of the Communist Party and returned to Moscow, where he worked as a managing editor of the magazine Rabochai︠a︡ nedeli︠a︡[8] an illustrative annex to the newspaper Trud ('Work').[9][verification needed]

In 1926 he bought his first cameras: reflex Nettel (9x12cm) and Voigtländer (10x15cm). He participated in an exhibition of photographic reporting organized by the Association of Moscow Photographers for the Press House (Moscow). In 1927 he went to then well-known newspaper Bednota (Moscow) as a press photographer, covering rural life, Volkhovstroy and the first Soviet-made turbines. In 1928 the editor assigned him to shoot the Ludorvaiskiy trial of rich peasants (kulaks) in Udmurtia. In 1929 eighteen of his photos appeared in Sovetskoe foto, in ten issues, two of them on the cover.

From 1929 he was a professional photographer for the magazines Sovremennaia arkhitektura, avant-garde Daesh' (which published 13 of his photo essays), Radioslushatel'[10] and Illiustrirovannaia rabochaia gazeta.[11] He was one of the first photographers to use the German small format Leica.[dubious ] A series of frames taken with this camera was published on the pages of the magazines Soviet Photo (The New Harvest, Krasnoarmeets, Group Portrait, In the Barnyard), and in Daesh.

He participated in the photo exhibition of the Society of Friends of Soviet Cinema (Obshestvo Druzey Sovetskogo Kino - ODSK, Moscow), at which time he met Alexander Rodchenko. He also participated in the legendary modernist exhibition Film und Foto (FiFo)[12][13] (exhibition of Art Photography) in Vienna (Austria) and Stuttgart (Germany).


In 1930 he shot the documentary film Today at the Soiuz-kinokhronika studio, to the screenplay of Esphir Shub. The magazine Kino i Zhizn' (Cinema and Life) published a number of stills from the film (1930, № 21). He also participated in the creation of one of the first sound films Olympiad of Art. In 1931 he worked as a photojournalist of the publishing house Izogiz. Together with photographer N. Shtertser, he made an extensive series of aerial surveys of Leningrad from an R-5 reconnaissance plane for a special issue of Izogiz's magazine, USSR in Construction (№ 11, 1931).

Together with Alexander Rodchenko, and until its dissolution in April 1932, he led the photo section of the group October; an umbrella organization with sections devoted to various arts and genres, of which the photography section became an independent creative photographic association, known in the history of Soviet photography as October Group. He took part in group exhibition in the Press House in 1931.

In 1932 he was elected chairman of the Moscow association of photo journalists. In 1932–34, working as a film maker for Soiuzkinohronika, he shot a documentary film How the Kukryniksy work, as well as the documentary film of the director A. Egorov The Electrification of the USSR.

In 1934–35 he headed the department of illustrations of the newspaper Vecherniaia Moskva (Evening Moscow), and contributed to newspapers like Pravda, Rabochaya gazeta, Trud, and Komsomolskaya pravda, plus the magazines Projector, Krasnaya niva, Ogonyok, Smena Vekh ("Change of Signposts"),[14] and Soviet Photo.

In the mid-1930-s the so-called Brigade Ignatovich acquired special prominence. It provided images for the newspaper Evening Moscow and the photo agency Soiuzfoto. In the Brigade along with Boris Ignatovich were E. Langman, J. Brodsky, L. Bach, Olga Ignatovich and Elizaveta Ignatovich.

One time in 1936 I asked Rodchenko whom of the contemporary photographers he respected the most. Above all Ignatovich. He has not only the keen eye of a reporter, but good taste. He's a gifted lad, a true artist

Alexander Berezin

In 1935–36 he did a series of reports on the Stakhanov movement, and a photoseries called Cossacks.

From 1936 to 1937 he worked as a photo reporter for Komsomol'skaia pravda. In 1937-38 he took part in the First All-Union exhibition of photographic art (at Moscow's Pushkin Art Museum, Leningrad’s Russian Museum, and Kiev). From 1937 to 1941 he worked as a staff photojournalist for the magazine Construction of Moscow, continuing to cooperate with the magazine USSR in Construction. In 1938 he participated in an exhibition of Soviet photography in Kaunas (Lithuania) and in 1938–39 – in an international photo exhibition in England.

World War II[edit]

From the first days of the Great Patriotic War he was a military photographer for the newspaper Boevoe Znamia of 30th army on the Kalnin front. He kept up with the action in various sectors on horseback, reporting on everything from sapper squads to cavalry, snipers, scouts, front line barbers, and field kitchens. His photos were chronicles, vignettes, genre scenes, group and personal portraits.

In 1943–44 he was sent by studio of military photographers of M.B. Grekov to the Western and Bryansk fronts. In Bryansk region he worked with the partisan detachments. At the Potsdam Conference in 1945 he took photos of Marshal Zhukov signing the Potsdam Declaration. From 1943 to 1950 he worked in the studio of M.B. Grekov as a military photographer. In 1950 he was discharged with the rank of captain.


The period after war service provided Ignatovich with the opportunity to make his first forays into colour photography, with which he photographed landscapes, and devoted much time to portrait photography.

He worked as a photographer for the Pravda publishing house and the magazine Ogonyok in 1950–51, and then as photo artist of technical workshops at the All-Union agricultural exhibition (VSKhV). There in 1952 he set up a colour photography laboratory. In 1953–54 he was working as a photo artist for publishing house Izogiz, and participated in the exhibition Photo Art of the USSR, 40 years, in Moscow. He worked as a photographer for Zhurnal mod (1954–55), Stroiizdat (1955–56), and headed a department at the publishing house Iskusstvo. In 1957 publication of the magazine Soviet Photo was resumed, and he worked about a year on the literary side. In the years 1959 to 1965 he supervised a photo studio in the factory Serp i molot, consulted for the photo studio club Trudovye rezervy, and led the photo reporting section in the country's biggest photography club, Novator[15] (Moscow), taking part in club exhibitions.

"It was impossible to live with Boris Ignatovich and not help him in his work, because he lived and breathed this work, and filled the atmosphere around him with it. Everyone who knew Boris Vsevolodovich was inspired with sympathy and love for him. He was a big artist and charming person. He didn't like half measures or slapdash work. Whatever it might take, everything had to be done just right. At rest he was easygoing, cheerful, relating to everyone with a sense of humor, while in work he was as rigorous as can be. Ignatovich developed his film himself, and he printed it himself, explaining - How could a darkroom technician know what I saw in a shot?[citation needed]

Late years[edit]

The last years of Ignatovich's life centered on his communal apartment on Lenin Prospect. Young photo aficionados would visit to present their work and try to learn from Ignatovich.

"I served as an assistant, a photo model, and a cook for him. Boris Vsevolodovich was working until the very last."

Klavdia Ignatovich, Wife and Archivist.

Boris Ignatovich died on the 4th of April, 1976. He is buried in Rogozhskoe cemetery in Moscow. He was survived by his wife Klavdia Ignatovich on the 8th of July, 2015. She is buried in Rogozhskoe cemetery in Moscow.



  • Documentary film Today, 1930, at the Soiuz-kinokhronika studio, to the screenplay of Esphir Shub. The magazine Kino i Zhizn' (Cinema and Life) published a number of stills from the film (1930, № 21).
  • The first sound film Olympiad of Art, 1930. Cameramen Boris Ignatovich with Dmitriy Debabov
  • Documentary film How the Kukryniksy work, 1932. Soiuz-kinokhronika studio, Moscow
  • Documentary film of the director A. Egorov The Electrification of the USSR, 1934. Cameramen Boris Ignatovich


  • Sowjetische Fotografien. Politische Bilder 1918-1941. Soviet Photographs from the Daniela Mrázkowá Collection/The Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation. Steidl, 2010. 240 pp., 324 color illustrations [[Служебная:Источники книг/3869300531|ISBN 3869300531]]
  • Margarita Tupitsyn, Glaube, Hoffnung - Anpassung: Sowjetische Bilder 1928-1945, Essen, 1995
  • Galerie Alex Lachmann, Soviet photography of the 20s and 30s, 1991
  • What is Photography, 150 years of Photography, Praha, 1989, pp. 128–129
  • A.Lavrentiev, P.Sers, Rodtchenko et le Groupe Octobre, Hazan, 2006, p. 258
  • McDarrah, Gloria S., et al. The photography encyclopedia. New York: Schirmer, 1999. // [[Служебная:Источники книг/0028650255|ISBN 0028650255]]
  • Schwartz, Dona. Camera Clubs and Fine Art Photography: The Social Construction of an Elite Code.. — Originally published in Urban Life, vol. 15, no. 2 (July 1986), pp. 165–195
  • Lynch-Johnt, Barbara, and Michelle Perkins. Illustrated dictionary of photography: the professional’s guide to terms and techniques.. — Buffalo, NY: Amherst Media, 2008. [[Служебная:Источники книг/9781584282228|ISBN 9781584282228]]
  • Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief). 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [[Служебная:Источники книг/0240807405|ISBN 0240807405]], [[Служебная:Источники книг/9780240807409|ISBN 978-0240807409]] — 2007.
  • Фотоальбом «Государственная Оружейная палата в Московском Кремле», Москва
  • Игнатович Борис «Фотографии 1972—1963» Фотоальбом Издательство Московский дом фотографии, 2002 г. 144 стр. [[Служебная:Источники книг/5888960993|ISBN 5-88896-099-3]]
  • Валерий Стигнеев «Борис Игнатович. Фотографическое наследие», Издательство Арт-Родник 2007 [[Служебная:Источники книг/9785956102718|ISBN 978-5-9561-0271-8]]
  • Антология Советской фотографии, 1917—1940. Издательство Планета, Москва 1986
  • Антология Советской фотографии, 1941—1945. Издательство Планета, Москва 1987
  • Propaganda & Dreams, Edition Stemmle 1999 [[Служебная:Источники книг/3908161800|ISBN 3-908161-80-0]]
  • D.Mrazkova, V.Remes, Early Soviet Photographers, Museum of Modern Art Oxford, John Hoole Edition, 1982, pp. 28–29
  • Pionniers de la photographie Russe Soviétique, Editions Philippe Sers, Paris, 1983, p. 57
  • Political Images, Soviet Photographs, The Daniela Mrazkova Collection, Museum Ludwig, Steidl, 2009, p. 66
  • Волков-Ланнит Л.Ф., Борис Игнатович. Москва, 1973
  • Борис Игнатович: Классик национальной фотографии. 1927–1963. Каталог выставки в честь 100-летия со дня рождения. Из собрания Государственного музея изобразительных искусств им. А.С. Пушкина, архива семьи Б. Игнатовича и других частных собраний. Авторы статей К.Н. Игнатович, А.Н. Лаврентьев. М., 2002
  • Борис Игнатович. Альбом-каталог. Из собрания Центрального архива аудиовизуальных документов Москвы. М.,2006. Н.Н. Митрофанов
  • Великая утопия. Русский и советский авангард, 1915-1932. Издательство: Галарт, Бентелли, 1993
  • Stepanova, Varvara (1894-1958), book designer. Kaganovich, Lazar (1893-1991). From Merchant Moscow to Socialist Moscow [Ot Moskvy Kupecheskoy k Moskve Socialisticheskoy]. IZOGIZ, Moscow 1931. 22 pages of b/w illustrations, with photos contributed by Rodchenko, Ignatovich, Langman, and other leading Soviet photographers.
  • Wilhelm Hornbostel, Karlheinz Kopanski, Thomas Rudi, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Wintershakk AG, Kassel; OAO Gazprom, Moskau. Russische Avantgarde 1910-1934: Mit voller Kraft, Hamburg Edition Braus, 2001


The Innovator Foundation: Boris Ignatovich Estate Collection. Moscow, Russia



  • 1926 Photoreportage. Association Moscow photoreporters at the Print House, Moscow
  • 1927 Photo exhibition for the first time, organized by ODSK (Obshchestvo druzei sovetskogo kino, the Society of the Friends of Soviet Cinema). Polytechnic museum, Moscow
  • 1928 10 Years of Soviet Photography. Organized by the State Academy of Artistic Sciences. Moscow and Leningrad.
  • 1929 Film und Foto. Deutscher Werkbund. International Werkbund exhibition in the New Exhibition Hall on Interim Theatre Square. Stuttgart. Germany
  • 1929 First October exhibition. Gorky Park. Moscow. Opens March 27.
  • 1929 Exhibition of Art Photography, Vienna. Austria
  • 1931 Exhibition of October group, Print House. Moscow
  • 1931 October exhibition of photomontage. Gorky Park. Moscow.
  • 1935 Exhibition of the Work of the Masters of Soviet Photography (Vystavka rabot masterov sovetskogo foto-iskusstva). Moscow.
  • 1937 20 Years of Soviet Photography(20 let sovetskogo fotografii). Moscow. Opens November 26.
  • 1937–1938 First Photoart Exhibition in USSR. Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev
  • 1938 Soviet Photoart. Museum of Culture named after Vitautas. Kaunas. Lithuania
  • 1938 Exhibition of artistic photography. The Central House of Writers. Moscow.
  • 1939 International Exhibition of Photography, UK
  • 1945–1950 Participant in Exhibitions at the Grekov studio, Moscow
  • 1946 Moscow Exhibition of Professional Photographers (Moskovskaia vystavka professionalnykh fotografov). Moscow
  • 1947 One-Man Exhibition in Czechoslovakia, Prague
  • 1948 One-Man Exhibition, Central House of Art, Moscow
  • 1948 World War II in Photoart, Moscow
  • 1949 One-Man Exhibition in Yugoslavia, Belgrad
  • 1953–1954 40 years of Photoart in USSR, Moscow
  • 1955 Exhibition of Artistic Photography (Vystavka khudozhestvennoi fotografii). The Central House of Journalists. Moscow.
  • 1958 Men and the Sea, International Exhibition of Photography. Yugoslavia
  • 1963–1966 Participant in Exhibitions at the Photoclub «Novator», Moscow
  • 1967 Jubilee Exhibition «My Moscow», Moscow
  • 1969 One-Man Exhibition at the Central Journalist Houser, Ignatovich 70's Anniversary, Moscow
  • 1969–1971 Participant in Exhibitions at United Committee of book painters and graphics, Moscow
  • 1972 One-Man Exhibition in Vilnius, Lithuania
  • 1975 30 Years of Great Victory, Moscow
  • 1975 60 Years of October Revolution, Moscow
  • 1977 One-Man Exhibition in Czechoslovakia, Bratislava
  • 1981 Moscow-Paris / Paris-Moscow. 1900–1930, Exhibition in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow and The Centre Pompidou, Paris
  • 1982 One-Man Exhibition. 60 years of education in the USSR. The Voronovskaya Gallery of Art, Moscow
  • 1982 Early Soviet Photographers, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. UK
  • 1986 One-Man Exhibition. The Mayakovsky State Museum. Moscow
  • 1989 150 Years of Photography. Prague. Moscow
  • 1989 Photomaster Boris Ignatovich. 1920–1930. Devoted to the 150 Years of photography. «Photocenter». Journalists Union of USSR Association. Moscow
  • 1990 20 Soviet Photographers, Amsterdam. Nederland
  • 1991 Soviet Photography 1920s and 1930s. Alex Lachmann Gallery, Cologne. Germany
  • 1992 The Utopian Dream: Photography in Soviet Russia 1918–1939. Laurence Miller Gallery, New York. USA
  • 1992 The Great Utopia. The Russian AvantGarde 1915–1932. Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum, New York; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
  • 1992 Photography in Russia 1840–1940. Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. UK
  • 1993 Russian AvantGarde in 20th Century. The Ludwig Museum, Cologne. Germany
  • 1994 Boris Ignatovich. Pioneer of Soviet Photography. Alex Lachmann Gallery, Cologne. Germany
  • 1995 Photomaster Boris Ignatovich. Moscow Research Institute of Fine arts History, Moscow
  • 1996 Moscow–Berlin. 1900–1950. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow-Berlin
  • 1997 History of Moscow. Russian and foreign photographers. Moscow House of Photography, Moscow
  • 1997 Photorelay race from Rodchenko up to now. Moscow House of Photography, Moscow
  • 1999 Boris Ignatovich. 100years of photomaster. Moscow House of Photography, Moscow
  • 1999 Red Square. 20th Century. Polytechnical Museum, Moscow
  • 2000 Classics of Soviet Photography. Central House of Artists, Moscow
  • 2000–2001 Propaganda & Dreams. Photographing the 1930s in the USA and USSR. The Corcoran Gallery of Art Washington. International Center of Photography, New York. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow
  • 2001 Red Square. The State Historical Museum, Moscow
  • 2002 One-man exhibition "Boris Ignatovich. Classic of the National Photography, 1927-1963" devoted to the 100th Anniversary. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow
  • 2002-2003 Idea Photographic: After Modernism. Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
  • 2003 Boris Ignatovich. Unknown masterpieces. Center of Photography behalf of the Lumiere brothers. Moscow
  • 2003 Seasons of Russian photography. Palazzo Arese Borromeo. Milan, Italy
  • 2003 One-man exhibition "Boris Ignatovich". Imago Fotokunst.[23] Berlin, Germany.
  • 2003 Moscow: City, Spectacle, Capital of Photography. Exhibition of 20th-century photographs of Moscow. Columbia University's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery,[24] USA
  • 2003–2004 Russische Tafelrunde Russisches Haus der Wissenschaft und Kultur. Berlin, Germany.
  • 2004 Moscow–Berlin. 1950-2000. Half a century in photographs. The State Historical Museum, Moscow
  • 2004 Photorelay race. From Rodchenko and up to now. Moscow House of Photography, Moscow.
  • 2004 Pioneers of Soviet Photography IV. Howard Schickler Gallery, NY, USA.
  • 2004 Sowjetische Fotografie der 1920er und 1930er Jahre. Von Piktoralismus und Modernismus zum Sozialistischen Realismus. Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
  • 2004 Fotografie der Russischen Avantgarde aus der Sammlung Ludwig - Alexander Rodtschenko und Zeitgenossen. Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum. Aachen, Germany.
  • 2006 One-man exhibition "Boris Ignatovich. 30 years from the date of death". Photounion Gallery, Moscow
  • 2006–2007 One-man exhibition Kunst im Auftrag. Boris Ignatowitsch. Fotografien von 1927 bis 1946. Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst. Berlin. Germany
  • 2006—2007 The Soviet photomontage - 1917-1953. Multimedia Art Museum. Paris, France
  • 2008 Perspective Rethought: Russian Constructivist Photography. Spencer Museum of Art. University of Kansas, USA
  • 2008 One-man exhibition Boris Ignatovich. Rachmaninov Garden Gallery. SantPetersburg
  • 2008 Art features Soviet Art between Trotsky and Stalin, 1926-1936. Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow
  • 2009 One-man exhibition Boris Ignatovich. Selected works. 110years of photomaster and 170 Years of Photography. «Photocenter». Journalists Union of USSR Association. Moscow
  • 2009 European&Russian Photomontage, 1920–1940. UBU Gallery.[25] New York, USA
  • 2009 – 2010 Politische Bilder. Sowjetische Fotografien 1918-1941. Museum Ludwig. Köln, Germany.
  • 2011 One-man exhibition Boris Ignatovitch: Platonov's Time. Multimedia Art Museum/Moscow House of Photography. Voronezh, Samara, Russia
  • 2011 The Life and Death of Buildings. Princeton University Art Museum. NJ, USA
  • 2011 Epoch of Optimism. Art and propaganda in Soviet photography in the 1920-1940s. State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography ROSPHOTO. Saint-Petersburg, Russia
  • 2011 Photography as Propaganda: Politics&The Utopian Dream. Lumière Fine Art Photography Gallery. Atlanta, USA
  • 2011 Land. City. Real. Imagined. Diemar/Noble Photography Gallery. London, UK
  • 2012 Russia. XX century in photographs. 1918-1940. Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/Moscow House of Photography. Moscow
  • 2012 A New Vision: Modernist Photography. Currier Museum of Art. Manchester, New Hampshire, USA
  • 2013 Soviet Photography. Rosphoto. State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography. Saint-Petersburg, Russia
  • 2013 Paris Photo, France. Exhibited by: Nailya Alexander Gallery. NY, USA
  • 2013-2014 Photography and History in the USSR, 1920-1940. 100 Masterpieces from the Collection at Regali. Noorderlicht Photo Gallery.[26] The Netherlands
  • 2014 Paris Photo Grand Palais, France. Exhibited by: Nailya Alexander Gallery, NY, USA
  • 2014 XVII Encuentros Abiertos, Festival de la Luz 2014. Fundación Luz Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentine.
  • 2015 PROzavod. The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2015 Wir müssen den Schleier von unseren Augen reißen. Kunstmuseum Bochum.[27] Bochum, Germany.
  • 2015 Soviet Photo. The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2015 Military photographers dedicated. Territory Victory. Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/Moscow House of Photography. Moscow, Russia
  • 2015 Fotofever Paris 2015. Сarrousel du Louvre Paris. The rendezvous of the contemporary photography scene. Lumiere Brothers Gallery which constitutes the most important private collection of Russian photography. France
  • 2015 Soviet Photography: 1920s-1930s. Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York, USA
  • 2015-2016 The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film. Jewish Museum, New York, USA
  • 2016 Man at work. Deutsches Technikmuseum, Berlin, Germany.
  • 2016 The Kiss. The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow, Russia.
  • 2015–2016 Modernists: Selections from the European Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • 11 February – 17 April 2017 Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932. Royal Academy of Arts. Burlington House, Piccadilly, London
  • 30 March - 2 April 2017 Boris Ignatovich Estate in the AIPAD Photography Show. Nailya Alexander Gallery. Booth 706, Pier 94. NYC, USA


"He worked a frame like a sculptor, shearing off anything superfluous, and brought it to life like a movie. That's how he has entered his name in history. The epoch of Ignatovich saw photographs acquire a language of their own, an artistic expressiveness of their own. The revolution in Russia swept away the bourgeois order and the bourgeois aesthetic. The builders of a new society needed their own language and idols. On this great, fast-moving wave of art rose Mayakovsky, Rodchenko, Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Deineka, El Lissitsky, and others. More accurately, they made this art. Boris Ignatovich made photography"

Valeriy Stigneev. Photography Historian, Writer

"The history of photography in the 20th century was greatly influenced by outstanding talents. One of the talents is Boris Ignatovich. His unmistakable artistic signature has left a significant mark on Soviet photography of the 1920's and 30's. His attempt to give reportage photography a completely new effect using new forms and photo experimentation makes Ignatovich one of the most interesting photographers"

Alex Lachmann. Collector, expert

"A. Rodchenko: 'It's a pleasure to look at your works. It makes me want to take pictures';

"B. Ignatovich: 'And do you think you weren't influencing my work?'"

Varvara Stepanova

"Your plans for the future?

I have only one plan. To learn how to shoot photos well.

Isn't it a bit late for you?

Titian painted his masterpiece Venus with a Mirror when he was 90, and I've only just turned 70. There's time"

Leonid Volkov-Lannit speaking with Boris Ignatovich

"Boris Ignatovich was a universal photographer. He was a journalist and a reporter, a war photographer, a portraitist, a pedagogue, and a master of applied photography. Ignatovich's own prints were unrepeatable artworks of his darkroom. Master didn't do any retouching, but achieved his effects by exposing different parts of the print so as to maximize depth and space, sharpen the message, accentuate the compositional center, and bring out the color texture of the subject. The tonal richness of Ignatovich's prints is akin to painting. He turned photographs into art, because he understood what art is. But he was not imitating painting. It all flowed from his technique, from what he'd seen, from mastery"

Aleksandr Lavrent'ev. Art Historian, grandson of the photographer Alexander Rodchenko, Director of the Rodchenko-Stepanova archive

"In youth we all fantasize desperately. I could make myself believe many things then. But I never would have believed that I would become a professional photographer"

Boris Ignatovich

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Rosphoto. State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography. Saint-Petersburg, Russia".
  2. ^ McDarrah, Gloria S.; et al. The photography encyclopedia. New York: Schirmer, 1999.
  3. ^ Schwartz, Dona. Camera Clubs and Fine Art Photography: The Social Construction of an Elite Code. Originally published in Urban Life, vol. 15, no. 2 (July 1986), pp.165-195.
  4. ^ "The Innovator Foundation: Boris Ignatovich Estate Collection. Life/Cinema".
  5. ^ "Multimedia Art Museum / Moscow House of Photography. Russia".
  6. ^ "Boris Ignatovich / The official facebook profile-page".
  7. ^ Maria Mikhailovna Ignatovich. My family tree, my confession. November 26, 1939
  8. ^ Rabochai︠a︡ nedeli︠a︡ "Fabzavkom". (1925). Moskva.
  9. ^ Trud. (1900). Moscow: publisher not identified.
  10. ^ Radioslushatelʹ. (1928). Moskva: Izd-vo N.K.P. i T.
  11. ^ Rabochai︠a︡ myslʹ: Sot︠s︡īalʹno-ėkonomicheskai︠a︡, obshchestvenno-literaturnai︠a︡, politicheskai︠a︡ i illi︠u︡strirovannai︠a︡ gazeta. (1906). S.-Peterburg: publisher not identified.
  12. ^ "The Museum of Modern Art. NYC, USA".
  13. ^ Валерий Стигнеев. Фотографическое наследие. — Арт-Родник, 2007. — С. 96. —. ISBN 978-5-9561-0271-8.
  14. ^ Rossiĭskiĭ leninskiĭ kommunisticheskiĭ soi︠u︡z molodezhi., Vsesoi︠u︡znyĭ leninskiĭ kommunisticheskiĭ soi︠u︡z molodezhi., & MK VLKSM. (1924). Smena. Moskva: Pravda.
  15. ^ "Photography club Novator (Innovator), Moscow".
  16. ^ "Art Institute of Chicago Collections. Boris Ignatovich".
  17. ^ "Chronological insights into the Photography Collection – Photography of the 1920th and the 1930th".
  18. ^ "The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at the George Eastman Museum. Rochester, NY, USA".
  19. ^ "Richard And Ellen Sandor Art Foundation/Family Collection. Chicago, Illinois, USA".
  20. ^ "Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York".
  21. ^ "The Robert Koch Gallery".
  22. ^ "The Innovator Foundation: Boris Ignatovich Estate Collection".
  23. ^ "Imago Fotokunst. Berlin, Germany".
  24. ^ "The Columbia University's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery".
  25. ^ "UBU Gallery. New York, USA".
  26. ^ "Noorderlicht Photo Gallery. The Netherlands".
  27. ^ "Kunstmuseum Bochum. Bochum, Germany".