"But a shadow of our past..."
Kanashovo, an estate near Vitebsk, Belarus, was a place frequented by renowned Russian men and women of letters, who were part of what today is known as the Silver Age of Russian Poetry. Poet Georgii Ivanov and his wife, dancer Gabrielle Ternisien; literary critic and poet Adelaida Gertsyk and her sister, translator Eugenia Gertsyk; Marina Tsveraeva and her sisters-in-law, and many others.
The exhibition shows the daily life of the estate, its owners, and famous guests taking boat rides, picnicking, and ice-skating on a frozen pond. These photos, "but a shadow of our past," as Adelaida Gertsyk poetically once said, are all we have left. The Kanashovo estate was looted and burned down by the local peasants during the 1917 revolutionary events and never restored. Most of its owners and guests emigrated and lived in Berlin or Paris. Some reached their literary fame while in emigration, others, in contrast, lost their inspiration away from home. Those who stayed died of hunger, were executed, or committed suicide. Their poems and essays live on, and so do the beautiful images of life they left behind.
Photos: Provided by Tatiana N. Zhukovsky. The archive of the Gertsyk-Zhukovsky family.