V. L. Metenkov was a Siberian photographer who documented life in the Urals and the surrounding environs during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. His home in Ekaterinburg continues his legacy by serving as a photography museum. From the city website, its.ekburg.ru:
…..Veniamin Metenkov (1859-1933) – a member of the Russian Geographic Society and Ural Society of Natural History, participant of international and local exhibitions, author or photography albums depicting views of Ekaterinburg and the Urals. Metenkov (who was one the local late 19th – early 20th century photo-chroniclers) preserved for us the appearance of the old Ekaterinburg with its many buildings that are now gone. The photographer’s apartment, studio and shop were located here. “Metenkov’s House” photography museum was opened on August 10, 1998. The only photography museum in the Urals tells a story of 150 years of this visual art in the city. The earliest photograph in the collection (excluding a daguerreotype) dates back to 1863, and the most recent – to 1999. The main theme of the exposition is the country’s and city’s history seen through photography, in a variety of styles and genres. Museum staff conducts research in the city archives. Most of the pictures presented in historical photo projects have been printed from the original negatives for the first time. Besides the permanent exposition, each month the museum hosts contemporary photography shows including the works of professional journalists and photographers, as well as amateur artists. Once in every two years an open photo festival is held here. Online versions of exhibitions are available on the museum’s website.
Below: a short biography: Above: view of the museum from the street. The outside has not changed much since Metenkov’s era, and while the inside has been renovated in the 90’s it neatly preserves an antique atmosphere. When we visited in in 2013, the upper level was showing an exhibit of photographs of life in the Arctic from various photographers, impressive in both the photographic skill of the artists, and in the museum’s presentation of them. The lower level in which he sold Kodak supplies (and was one of the few places in Siberia one could get them) now sells a variety of cameras, cases, and accessories, both new and old. The staff were very courteous, and when the curater learned I was a photographer myself she kindly gave us a coffee table book of photos and collection of postcards of old Yekaterinburg, gratis. Above: A camera from Metenkov’s era. Above: A selection of his photographs. Below: A view of the 2013 Arctic Gallery The museum is conveniently located on one of Yekaterinburg’s main streets, Karla Libknekhta, a short walk down from the Church of the Spilled Blood and the train station. There is an entrance fee, but it is small and well worth it.