Orient Station: Street life – 19th century Georgia in Dmitri Yermakov’s photography

Dmitri Ivanovich Yermakov (1846-1916) was a Russian photographer considered the pioneer of ethnographic photography. After graduating in topographical studies from the military academy in Tbilisi, in 1886 he took up photography. During the Russo-Turkey war (1877-1878) he served as a war correspondent. He started his photography business in 1882-1883 by opening his own photography studio in Tbilisi. His main theme was street life in Georgian cities. His photographs presenting local crafts, bazaars and cityscapes offer a vivid portrayal of life in 19th century Caucasus. Yermakov travelled a lot. One of his first journeys was a tour to Constantinople, where he focused on photographing architecture and city life.  In subsequent years, he continued to travel around the Caucasus and the neighbourhood, visiting Armenia, Azerbaijan and Persia (Iran)

The exhibition “Street life – 19th century Georgia in Dmitri Yermakov’s photography” showcases a part of the photographer’s archive owned by the Georgian National Museum. Particularly interesting are photos focusing on Tbilisi which had always been the object of the photographer’s creativity. Yermakov’s collection is of particular historical and documentary value and it is also highly artistic. While photographing the monuments, Yermakov tried to show the character of the place not just to capture it but to impress those who would like to visit it. His rich archives are some of the few photography archives from this period and contain 25819 prints, 12536 glass negatives and 119 albums.

28 June – 1 July 2018 | outdoor exhibition available at all times | The Hartwig Alley

The exhibition will stay open until 31 July 2018.

Photos: Jakub Bodys

Photos: Urszula Tarasiewicz