Tolmacheva E. Nikita Ushakov’s Photographic Legacy: Materials for the Analysis of Fieldwork Practices and Museum Document Processing

Ekaterina Tolmacheva – Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0002-8715-359X


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ABSTRACT. The article deals with the MAE I 2069 photo collection created by Nikita Ushakov, an employee of the Institute of Ethnography and Anthropology, in 1980–1981 during his research among the Russian and Vepsian populations of Volkhovsky, Lodeinopolsky and Podporozhsky Districts of the Leningrad Region. The MAE I 2069 collection is typical of the time and reflects the general trends inherent in the academic photo documentation of the last third of the twentieth century. The photo content of materials of this period has been underestimated in spite of the fact that it represents a certain level of development of photographic technology and ethnographic documentation techniques. The documentary photographs under discussion are a vivid example reflecting the features of photographic practices of a particular period. Ushakov’s collection allows considering his approaches to ethnographic shooting and reveals the characteristic features and ways of understanding the materials created. The museum collection MAE I 2069 is indicative in the context of the author’s work as a researcher and his idea of photographing opportunities within the framework of one monographic theme, i.e. the traditional dwelling. The available images allow analyzing not only the content of photo documents, but also the technical features of photo work and photocarriers, as well as the ways of archiving visual documents both in the field and in storage. The article also discusses the museum history of the photo collection and its impact on the preservation of the photo documents, their attribution, and the possibilities of their examination and publication in databases.


KEYWORDS: photography, visual anthropology, source criticism, photo archive, fieldwork photo documentation, ethnographic research, photography techniques


DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2021-2(12)-74-84
УДК 069.51:77



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