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Museum Collection

Sholokhov Photo Chronicle by Georgy Petrusov

A unique collection of 40 photographs by a press photographer Georgy Petrusov was donated to the National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve by the photographer’s wife, Vera Semyonovna, in 1986.

 These pictures were made in 1938, when the authorities of the journal “SSSR na Stroike” with a view to make a special issue devoted to the Cossacks and the writer M.A.Sholokhov sent a young press photographer Georgy Petrusov on business to Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya. He was strictly instructed to take pictures of the writer not bothering or distracting him from his work. However it turned out that the photographer spent three weeks instead of three days with the good host. Later Petrusov recalled about his stay in Vyoshenskaya: “There I’ve learnt in full what hunting and fishing is…”

Petrusov fulfilled and even exceeded his assignment: he made a lot of splendid pictures, a part of which were published in the first journal  issue of 1939.

We perceive his pictures as photo art and as documentary evidence of the time. Thanks to Petrusov, we can travel back to the August of 1938 and see young Sholokhov, get to know the writer, comprehend his inner world and nature. The pictures show Mikhail Alexandrovich in his study (he worked over his second book of the novel “Virgin Soil Upturned”), with his countryman, on hunting, on fishing. Now it is a history, which we hold dear.

Georgy Grigoriyevich Petrusov (1903, Rostov-on-Don, –1971, Moscow), from 1924, he worked for the journals “Metallist” and “Rabochy-Khimik”, then for the newspaper “Pravda”. In 1928–1930 he headed the information department in the “Pravda”, made a commentary from the construction site of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works. In 1930 – 1941, Petrusov was a press photographer for the journal “SSSR na Stroike”; in the years of the Great Patriotic war he worked for the Sovinformbureau and newspaper “Izvestiya”. He took pictures of fighting on different fronts. In the postwar years he worked in the publishing house of Izogiz and Press Agency “News”. He was Honoured Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation.

 

Larisa Bukina