The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography

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The facade of the Lumiere brothers center for photography

The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography is a private exhibition organization located in the former chocolate factory Red October in Moscow.

Since its foundation in 2010, the center aims to explore and promote Russian and foreign photography, support emerging Russian artists and explore beyond the medium. A private collection of Natalia and Eduard Litvinsky laid the foundation for the center's collection.

Works from the center's collection were shown at the Fotofest 2012 Biennal, triennal Bergen Assembly in 2013, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, museum and exhibition association Manege, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

The center's exhibitions were shown at the State Russian Museum in St-Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk museum center, Cherepovets museum association, Kazan city hall, and Ekaterinburg museum of Fine Arts.


The collection was established 15 years ago and now contains more than 13000 prints by Russian and foreign artists.

The collection includes works by the outstanding Russian photographers of the late 19-early 20th century: Karl Bulla, Alexander Greenberg, and Yuri Eremin.

Among the collection's major works are photographs by Soviet Avant-garde artists: Alexander Rodchenko, Boris Ignatovich, Eleazar Langman, Mikhail Prekhner, Arkady Shaikhet, Georgi Petrusov, Yakov Khalip.

The center holds an important collection of early Soviet photography presented by works of Max Alpert, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Ivan Shagin, Naum Granovsky, Emmanuil Evzerikhin, Georgi Zelma, Vladislav Mikosha.

The collection comprises war reportages by Alexander Ustinov, Mikhail Trakhman, Yevgeny Khaldei, Dmitri Baltermants, Robert Diament, Yakov Ryumkin, Georgy Lipskerov, Vasily Kunyaev. Reportage photography from the late 1940s-early 1950s is presented by works of Nikolay Khorungy, Alexey Gostev, Semen Fridlyand.

The center holds a unique collection of works by photojournalists and club photographers from the 1960s-1970s: Valentin Khukhlaev, Andrey Knyazev, Vasily Egorov, Mikhail Savin, Vsevolod Tarasevich, Alexander Abaza, Lev Borodulin, Nina Sviridova and Dmitri Vozdvyzhensky, Igor Gavrilov, Nikolay Drachinsky, Yuri Krivonosov, Vladimir Lagrange, Yuri Lunkov, Lev Sherstennikov. The center also houses an important collection of works by the founders of the Lithuanian school that emerged during the period: Antanas Sutkus, Alexander Maciyauskas, Vitaly Butirinas, Romualdas Požerskis, Vaclav Straukas, Vergilius Shonta.

The center's collection reflects alternative trends of photography that emerged in the Soviet Union in the 1970s-1980s featuring works by representatives of Kharkov school such as Valera & Natasha Cherkashin, Shilo-group, Boba-group, participants of Kazan group TASMA and Novokuznetsk TRIVA, independent photographers Vladimir Perventsev, Alexander Graschenkov, Vyacheslav Tarnovetsky, Yuri Trankvillicky, Vladimir Filonov, Igor Savchenko, and Vladimir Antoshchenkov.

Tendencies of the late 1980s - early 1990s are presented in the collection by works of conceptual photographer Vadim Gushchin and the forefather of the Petersburg school Alexander Kitaev.

Exhibition programme[edit]

The center's exhibition programme aims to explore and present photography to a wider audience. The program has been built around the center’s collection and collaborations with archives, contemporary photographers, private collectors and photography associations.

The opening of the exhibition Icons of the 1960-80's

Exhibition programme is based on research activities focused on studying and interpretation of the Russian photography of the 20th century. Group exhibitions tracing the history of Russian photography from the perspective of genres (100 Years of Russian and Soviet History in Faces, PROzavod, The Moscow Stories. Twentieth century (1 and 2)) and cultural aspects (Soviet Photo, The Icons of the 1960s -1980s, The Icons of the 1990s, Time of the Little Bells) aim to put Russian photography in the context of world art history.[1]

The center puts emphasis on studying Russian photography from the 1950s to recent days. The center was the first to reintroduce reportage and club photography of the Thaw in its seminal exhibition Soviet photography of the 1960-1970s (2010). Collaboration with Lithuanian photographers and the Photography Art Society of Lithuania resulted in the project Classics of Lithuanian photography that included exhibitions The Phenomenon of the Lithuanian photography school (2010), Genius of the place (2014), Romualdas Požerskis]'s retrospective exhibition Large scale, Antanas Sutkus' solo exhibition Nostalgia for bare feet (2016).

The opening of the exhibition Ruth Orkin. Retrospective

Project Photo 80-90 explores independent Soviet photography, which remarkably contrasted with reportages from state-owned editorials and styles arising from amateur photo clubs, and includes solo shows of Vladimir Filonov (2015), Igor Savchenko (2013), Vladimir Antoshchenkov (2012), Vyacheslav Tarnovetsky (2014), Alexander Kitaev (2011), project of Valera & Natasha Cherkashin The End of the Epoch (2011), exhibition of Kharkov school Act of Disobedience (2013).

The center is committed to creating opportunities for young photographers. The center organizes exhibitions (Irony as a Landscape (2016), Experiences of Brownian Motion (2015), Field of Vision (2016)) of emerging Russian photographers involved in the international art scene.

The center has produced exhibitions of the classics of European and American photography including mid-century American West Coast modernist Wynn Bullock, the important figure of New York photography scene, Photo League participant, Harold Feinstein, reporters of the golden age of American photojournalism – Ruth Orkin and Steve Schapiro, humanist photographer Sabin Weiss, and conceptualist Arno Rafael Minkkinen. The center also works with young contemporary photographers such as Laurent Chehere and Shigeru Yoshida, and Mazaccio & Drowilal.[2]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • Soviet Photography of the 1960s–1970s
  • Boris Smirnov. The First Cosmonauts: Private Chronicle
  • Soviet Era by Mark Markov-Grinberg
  • Alexander Shchemlyaev. Yamal
  • 100 Years Of Russian History In Faces
  • Steve Schapiro. Living America
  • Yakov Ryumkin. Take Your Chance to Live
  • Vadim Gushchin. Object – Function – Image
  • Photographic Legends by Tim Mantoani
  • Arno Rafael Minkkinen. Retrospective
  • Harold Feinstein. Playground of America
  • Prozavod. Industrial Photography of the 20th Century
  • Wynn Bullock. Immersion
  • Soviet Photo
  • James Hill. Between War and Peace
  • Vladimir Filonov. Document / Metaphor
  • Mikhail Savin. It Will Be a Cold Winter
  • Gaudeamus. History of Student Life in the USSR and Russia
  • Antanas Sutkus. Nostalgia for Bare Feet

Publishing programme[edit]

Publications result from research activities and accompany the major projects of the center.

  • Photo 60–70. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. 2008. ISBN 978-5-9901613-1-3.
  • Moscow of Naum Granovsky. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. 2009. ISBN 978-5-9901613-2-0.
  • Icons of the 1960s-1980s. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. 2010. ISBN 978-5-9901613-3-7.
  • Icons of the 1990s. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. 2011. ISBN 978-5-905196-02-7.
  • Soviet era by Markov-Grinberg. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography / Damiani. 2012. ISBN 978-88-6208-227-3.
  • Time of the Little Bells. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. 2013. ISBN 9785905196034.
  • The Moscow Stories. Twentieth century. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. 2013. ISBN 978-5-98797-076-8.
  • PROzavod. Industrial photography. The twentieth century. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. 2014. ISBN 978-5-905196-04-1.
  • The Conquest. Yakov Khalip, Heir to the Russian Avant-Garde. Moscow: The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. 2016. ISBN 978-5-98797-129-1.

Educational programme[edit]

Its educational programme aims to contribute to a greater public understanding and appreciation of photography and creating opportunities for communication and collaboration between photographers, curators, amateurs and those interested in photography. The programme includes guided tours, workshops, screenings, artist talks, forums. Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Steve Schapiro, Laurent Chehere, Mazaccio&Drowilal and other prominent artists held their workshops in the center.


Boris Grebenshchikov at the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, 30.01.2013

Photobookfest is large-scaled international event, dedicated to the photobook industry and photographic art in Russia. The festival`s programme consist of exhibition and education blocks, as well as a Photobook dummy contest. The mission of Photobookfest is to promote the photobook as an independent artistic medium in Russia, to create a dynamic and profound space for experience exchange, to educate a broad audience about the form, content and function of photobooks. The festival is an opportunity for international cultural connections, experience exchange and – most importantly – live communication.

Library and café[edit]

Cafe at the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography

The center includes a café and library dedicated to photography. The library houses a large collection of books by Russian and foreign publishing houses. It encompasses books on the history and theory of photography, photography techniques, back issues of magazines Soviet photo, Ogonyek. The donations of prominent photographers and representatives of Soviet photography community – Alla Vakhromeeva, Igor Gnevashev, Ludmila Makukhina, Dmitri Vozdvyzhensky, Nikolay Rakhmanov, Antanas Sutkus, Yuri Krivonosov, Galina Gosteva,Yevgeny German, Elena Gasparova – laid the foundation for the library's collection.

Bookshop PhotoBookPoster[edit]

Bookshop PhotoBookPoster has a wide range of photography books from Russian and international publishers. The shop stocks a selection of artist’s books and zines by Shilo-group, Yana Romanova,Yulia Borissova, Igor Mukhin, Pavel Kosenko and Irina Popova. The shop hosts signing sessions and book presentations. Josef Koudelka, Romualdas Požerskis, Steve Schapiro, Greg Gorman, Mikhail Dashevsky, Igor Moukhin, Anton Lyalin have conducted signing sessions in the shop.


External links[edit]

Media about the Center[edit]