about the EXHIBITION

Gen. Gilchevsky in Tiflis, Georgia, 1898.

The photographs in this exhibition come from the archive of Konstantin Gilchevsky (March 5, 1857 -- after 1927), a Russian general, who for many years lived and traveled through the Caucasus and the Middle East. An enthusiastic amateur photographer, Gilchevsky left us invaluable photos of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkey, as well as of the officers in the Russian Imperial Army and their families stationed in these countries.

In 1905, Gilchevsky refused to use his troops against the revolting farmers of Georgia, a Russian province in the Caucasus at the time. This earned him a status of a hero among the locals. After the Russian Communist Revolution of 1917, the Imperial Army was dissolved, and Gilchevsky had to leave service. His financial situation deteriorated and in 1927, he wrote to the Communist government, asking for a pension and boldly criticizing the government on many issues. A letter like this would have inevitably brought harsh consequences, but no reaction followed this time. Some historians speculated that Stalin, a native of Georgia, may have remembered Gichevsky's status of a hero in the Caucasus and did not retaliate. The old general was not given a pension, but his military memoirs were published in 1928 providing him with some income. Unlike families of other Imperial Russian officers, Gilchevsky's family was also spared and continued to live in Georgia until 1950s.