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about the EXHIBITION

Vera Efron, Georgiy Ivanov, Adelaida Gertsyk  | Old Photos |

Alexander Zhukovsky (1859-1928) in the photo lab in his house. Kanashovo, Russia.

April 1900

The photos in this exhibition come from the archives of the Zhukovsky-Gertsyk family, whose members and friends were prominent Russian poets, literary critics, and translators. While these photos provide valuable historic evidence of life in a Russian suburban estate in the late 19th–early 20th century, they also include portraits of those who were important in the history of the Russian Silver Age. You can enjoy these early images without knowing anything about them, or you can read about the people in the photos, which will take you experience of this exhibition to a deeper level.

Gertsyk, Adelaida (1874 - 1925) — Russian poet, writer, and translator in her own right, Adelaida was friends with many major figures of the Silver Age, including philosophers Lev Shestov and Sergei Bulgakov and poets Maximilian Voloshin and Marina Tsvetaeva. Tsvetaeva wrote, "Max (Voloshin) described her to me as deaf, unattractive, not young, and entirely irresistible. She loved poetry and invited me to visit her. I went and saw only irresistible. We became most passionate friends." In 1903, Adelaida lost her hearing as a result of a shock experienced at the sudden death of a man she loved. In 1908, she married Dmitry Zhukovsky. Adelaida's first book of verses, written in the style of Russian Symbolism, won acclaim of many prominent poets of the Silver Age. After the Revolution of 1917, Adelaida and her family went through starvation, confiscation of family property, and arrest in 1921. She died in 1925 in Crimea, Ukraine, the location of her grave unknown.

Gertsyk, Eugenia (1878-1944) — sister of poet Adelaida Gertsyk, literary critic and translator of Nietzsche and Alfred de Musset. "My friendship with E.G. was most important to me. I consider her one of the most prominent women of the 20th century in her sophistication, culture, and permeation with the spirit of Renaissance." Philosopher Nikolai Berdiaev.

Gertsyk, Vladimir (1885-1976) — brother of poet Adelaida Gertsyk, husband of Lubov Zhukovskaya-Gertsyk.

Ivanov, Georgy (1894-1958) — poet, writer, essayist, and a key figure of the Silver Age. Started as a poet in St. Petersburg, Russia, in a popular monthly periodical dedicated to literature and the fine arts, Apollo. In 1922 he left Russia for Paris to become a key poet and essayist of the Russian emigration. Married to dancer Gabrielle Ternisien (1915—1918) and then to poetesse Irina Odoyevtseva. Buried in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Cemetery in Paris, France.

Ternisien, Gabrielle (1892–1971) — French actress and dancer. Worked at Meyerhold's Theater and danced at a famous café, the Stray Dog, in St. Petersburg in 1911-1915. Wife of Georgii Ivanov. Left Russia after the Revolution of 1917 with her daughter Elena. Buried in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Cemetery in Paris, France.

Zhukovsky, Alexander (1859–1928) — owner of the Kanashovo Estate and author of the photographs in this exhibition. "I would be hard pressed to name another couple so different in their internal workings as my father and mother were in their life together. My father was business like and dry to the point of being cruel in many ways, while my mother was an artistic soul, who lived entirely for the arts..." -- Alexei Zhukovsky, "My family origins."

Zhukovsky, Dmitry (1866–1943) — publisher of a major symbolist journal, Novyi Put' (The New Path), younger brother of Alexander Zhukovsky, and husband of poet Adelaida Gertsyk.

Zhukovsky, Lubov (1890–1943) — daughter of Alexander and Valeria Zhukovsky, wife of Vladimir Gertsyk.

Zhukovsky, Valeria (1869–1938) — Valeria was the grand-niece of composer Mikhail Glinka and had a beautiful mezzo-soprano. She chose family life over her career in opera, but took up occasional performances, including at the Leipzig Trade Fair in Germany. Wife of Alexander Zhukovsky, owner of the Kanashovo Estate.

Zhukovsky, Vasilisa (1892–1959) — daughter of Alexander and Valeria Zhukovsky. Vasilisa was part of the "exuberant" circle of young poets and was close friends with sisters Vera and Elizaveta Efron and poet Marina Tsvetaeva. During WWI, at age 22, Vasilisa became a nurse and volunteered to the front.

Zhukovsky, Alexei (1896–1976) — son of Alexander and Valeria Zhukovsky

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