Family Album 1914


The decision to create a project dedicated to the 100 th anniversary of the end of the Great War was not an easy one since the country where our ancestors used to live ceased to exist long before the war was over. The history took such a turn that there was no place for the Russian Empire in the new postwar period. But the era of World War I is the time that is associated with former Europe and former Russia today.

It was also hard to decide on the most appropriate way to talk about such an event as the 100 th anniversary of the Great War. However, the author of the exhibition decided that a portrait of the epoch would be the best memory of the peace made in 1918. This portrait depicts the exact moment when the war broke out and when expectations of a quick bloodless victory prevailed in Europe. Finally, is there anything besides a family photo album that can convey the spirit of the time better? Inscriptions in such albums are almost not important since
after two or three generations it no longer matters whether who is sitting on a father’s lap – your grandma or her sister. The seriousness our ancestors demonstrated about photographs underlines the importance of every single moment forever imprinted in plates and prints.

The exhibition features the pictures captured in 2011-2018. Most of them are “indoor portraits” made in a travelling photographic studio (Retro Studio project), the rest are event photographs and stage group pictures made with large format cameras typical in the early 20th century. The most of the images have been published for the first time. Our album 1914 is a result of the joint effort of history fans, members of war-historical clubs, descendants of soldiers and officers of World War I, museum and administration staff. This project would not have been possible without their participation. I hope, Family Album 1914 will help you to
understand what kind of the world was lost forever in August 1914 during the centenary of the
end of World War I that became suicidal for Europe.

About the Author
Vitalii Saranov (born 1963, Rostov-on-Don) is a Soviet and Russian engineer. He studied in Leningrad and then obtained a post-graduate degree in Moscow. In, 1985 Saranov was assigned to the job in Kaliningrad. He has been fond of photography since childhood. In the late 1990s, Saranov was one of the first who started practicing digital photography in Kaliningrad. In 2005, he took up classic photography and hybrid processes.