Snapper Moses Napplebaum’s photos on display in Belarus
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Snapper Moses Napplebaum’s photos on display in Belarus

Visitors to Minsk can learn more about one of the most significant names in the history of photography

Moses Nappelbaum exhibit
Moses Nappelbaum exhibit

The National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus is exhibiting portraits from famous Jewish photographer Moses Nappelbaum for the first time.

Until 15 October, visitors to the Belarussian capital, Minsk, can learn more about Nappelbaum, one of the most significant names in the history of photography, and see how he captured the Soviet elite.

Born 150 years ago in 1869, his talent was such that in 1918, when the Bolsheviks needed to portray the head of Soviet Russia to the world, they turned to Nappelbaum for the first portrait of Lenin.

Nappelbaum was dubbed “a master of artistic and psychological profile” and is considered a founder of the photo portrait, creating his own technique and performing revolutionary experiments with lighting.

The flyer for the Nappelbaum exhibition

Alongside Lenin, his sitting subjects included Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Blok, Sergey Yesenin, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Maxim Gorky, Alexei Tolstoy, Dmitri Shostakovich, Boris Pasternak, Semyon Budyonny, Anatoly Lunacharsky, Galina
Ulanova, Lev Landau and Otto Schmidt.

The exhibition, which has been organised by the Belarusian–Jewish Cultural Heritage Center, features more than 100 Nappelbaum portraits, personal documents and early works from Minsk, as well as the camera he used to photograph Lenin.

The exhibition includes lectures from leading art historians of Belarus as well as educational excursions along the Jewish streets of Minsk.

 

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