Investment in the Soviet military photograph
ARTinvestment.RU   19 мая 2011

Soviet military photo belongs to the category of works of art, which has a museum quality a priori, ie, on the very place and time of its creation. In recent years, the Soviet military picture is increasingly bought and sold at auction

Soviet military photo belongs to the category of works of art, which has a museum quality a priori, ie, on the very place and time of its creation. However, military photos - this is what is, perhaps, in every family. That is why in our country, collecting Soviet military photos - it's a very special area of ​​collecting, in which professional assessment of the plot, the construction of the frame and the print quality is combined with something very personal. The emergence of military pictures at international auctions - a huge step to ensure that the names of Soviet masters knew the whole world. In recent years, the Soviet military picture is increasingly sold and, most importantly, bought at auction. Collectors have the honor in a collection of photographs, several military as well-known artists, filmed not only war but also the Soviet prewar and postwar life, and little-known photographers, depicting events of the Great Patriotic War at the outbreak of hostilities.

EUGENE HALDI Victory Banner over the Reichstag in 1945. Source:

most expensive shot today - photo by Eugene Chaldea "Victory Banner over the Reichstag", sold for 3,840 pounds at auction Bonhams in London in 2008. Chaldean made this shot May 2, 1945 in Berlin. It is known that he always carried with him three big red flag, made from scrap vehicles. In fact, it was the tablecloth with a deposited Soviet symbols. But then it was important gesture itself.

During the Great Patriotic War photographers were the same soldiers, were walking along a military road "from" watering "and a notebook, and even with a machine gun through the fire and cold ... ", shared with the soldiers the soldiers grief and adversity. It was necessary to possess not only a sharp eye and skill, but also a lot of courage to make the desired frame during a fight.

During World War II political leaders controlled photojournalism. Editors military newspapers were responsible for the political subtext pictures, so not all that take pictures, could go to press. Never remove the pattern of retreat, escape, defeat in the battle - all of which could adversely affect morale. Photographers had to capture only those aspects that have mobilized people to fight the Nazis. Therefore, most of those years in photographs published in the front and national newspapers - the Red Army offensive, the infantry in the attack, artillery fire. Separate place occupied pictures broken German engineering and killed fascists. Such images inspired to fight the enemy. Many photographers, after regretting that did not relieve the suffering of people, the general economic disruption and hardship to show through what people had to go for victory.

Still photographers do not always take only what they pointed editor. Many of the shots did not fall into the newspapers, they remained in the archives were discovered decades later. So now we have the opportunity to see different shots of the war years.

EUGENE HALDI Nuremberg after the bombings. 1946 EUGENE HALDI Nuremberg after the bombing of 1946. Source: EUGENE HALDI Murmansk. 1941 EUGENE HALDI Murmansk. 1941

photographer Eugene Chaldea "Victory Banner over the Reichstag" The whole world knows. Pictures from this series were sold at Christies, and the Dorotheum, and Bonhams, at prices ranging from 2 to 7 thousand dollars. Photographer of international renown Eugene Khaldei (1917-1997) worked as a correspondent for TASS News in pictures ", was the war, filmed the Nuremberg trials. After the war, during the anti-Semitic campaign "against cosmopolitanism" Chaldea was dismissed from Tass. After Stalin's death was "rehabilitated." The average auction value of his photographs - from 800 to 3,500 pounds.

Dmitry BALTERMANTS Mountain, Kerch. 1942 DMITRY BALTERMANTS Mountain Kerch. 1942
Dmitry BALTERMANTS attack. 1941 DMITRY BALTERMANTS Attack. 1941

Dmitri Baltermants (1912-1990) was shooting for the newspaper Izvestia. In 1942 due to an unfortunate failure of the publication of an erroneous picture him demoted and sent to a penal battalion. In 1944, despite the amputation of his legs, Baltermants returned to photojournalism, but in a newspaper "to defeat the enemy." After the war he worked in Ogonyok. His photographs have become popular not only in the Soviet Union and abroad. According to the database ARTinvestment.RU, from c 2001 Baltermantsa photographs were sold at various auction sites 26 times. The highest price - 6,875 pounds - paid in 2010 on the Philips De Pury auction for a picture of Yuri Gagarin. Famous shot Baltermantsa "Attack" was sold at auction several times, the most expensive at Bonhams in 2008 - for 1,560 pounds. Photo Baltermantsa "Woe, Kerch. 1942 "bought at auction Piasa in Paris in March this year for 4,463 euros.

IVAN Ivan Shagin The capture of the Reichstag. 1945

Ivan Shagin (1904-1982) belongs to a generation of photographers formation of the USSR in 1930. Despite his age, did not hesitate, he went to war, came to Berlin, worked as a photojournalist in the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. Photos Shagin sold at auction in the range from 300 to 1,500 pounds. Snapshot "Taking the Reichstag" exhibited by auction house Bonhams with the estimate 2-3 thousand dollars in 2005, but the buyer is not found.

Yakov Khalip . Fathers - in front of children - in a factory! Moscow. 1941. Source:

Photos James Khalip (1908-1980) can also tell a lot about the war. Khalip was a correspondent for the newspaper "Red Star", after the war - in the magazines "Spark" and "Soviet Union". Khalip studied with , so the constructivist style with great dynamics and composition of the present in his photographs. On auction sites are sold mainly photographs Khalip 1930 in the range of 1-2 thousand pounds sterling.

MIHAIL MICHAEL TRAHMAN Farewell to the son. 1942

During the war Michael Trahman (1918-1976) worked as a photographer for the Soviet Information Bureau, captured the blockade of Leningrad, guerrillas behind enemy lines. In 2009, at an auction in Cologne Lempertz picture Trahmana "Farewell to the son" (1942) was exhibited with the estimate 1,200 euros.

YAKOV Ryumkin In the Moscow sky. 1940

Jacob Ryumkin (1913-1986) shot on the south-western front for the newspaper Pravda. His photograph "in the Moscow sky" bought for 1,320 pounds at Bonhams auction in 2008. The average auction price of his works - from 1,000 to 1,800 pounds.

ARKADY ARKADY Shaikhet Two kinds of Kiev. 1943-1944
ARKADY Two kinds of Kiev. 1943-1944

Arkady Shaikhet (1898-1959) emerged as a photographer in 1930. He participated in the creation of photo series about the Soviet Union "24 hours in the life of the Moscow working-class family Filippov. At the Bonhams auction in 2008, military photos Shaikhet "Two kinds of Kiev" were sold with the estimate 1 500-3 000 pounds.


George Petrusov (1903-1971), as well as Shaikhet, and Shagin, belongs to a generation of photographers 1920-30 - s when photography was dominated by constructivist style (rakursnaya shooting). Petrusov worked in the magazine "USSR in Construction", during the war was a photographer for the newspaper Izvestia. According to the database of auction sales, photographs Petrusova estimated at 1-2 thousand pounds. Snapshot "Military Parade, Red Square (1936) was sold for 1,200 pounds at Bonhams auction in 2008.

Alexander Ustinov (1909-1995) almost a lifetime spent in the newspaper Pravda. During the war went on all fronts, filmed a meeting with allies on the Elbe River in 1945. At the auction of his photographs were exhibited with the estimate 1-2 thousand pounds, but the new owners have not yet found.

1-2 thousand pounds - that is until the auction and the average cost of military photos of other talented photographers many of them were masters of the 1930 photo essay - for example, George Selma , Semyon Fridlyand , Max Alpert , Samarium Gurarii , Sergei Loskutov , Dmitry Debabov . Photographer Robert Diament (1907-1987) filmed in the Northern Fleet during the war, served as Chief of Political Administration fotobyuro. His archive - rare war footage from submarines, ships, naval aviation. At the auction pictures are not exhibited Diament.

Olga Lander canteens near Tiraspol. 1944. Source:

among military photographers were women: Olga Lander, Galina Sanko, Olga Ignatowicz (sister Boris Ignatovich ). Olga Lander (1909-1996) worked in the newspaper "Soviet soldier, was shot on the South-Western and Ukrainian fronts. Olga Lander described how she had every time itself darkroom tinkering for proyavok films in a tent or in an abandoned house. Photographs of women photographers of the war has not yet sold on the auction.

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