Moscow: n.p., 1933. Item #1102
16 pp.: ill. 20x29 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Tears of edges, otherwise very good.
Very rare. A brochure supplemented to an early issue of the magazine ‘The USSR on Construction’ (#9 for 1933). It is illustrated throughout with the first photographs of the newly explored Severnaya Zemlya archipelago.
The expedition was headed by well-known explorer Georgy Ushakov (1901-1963) and occurred in 1930-1932. Discovered in 1913, the archipelago Severnaya Zemlya was the only piece of still unexplored land at that time. Ushakov himself wrote, “I have seen God-forsaken Chukotka Peninsula, blizzard-ridden Wrangel Island, twice visited fog-enshrouded Novaya Zemlya, and I have seen Franz Josef Land with its enamel sky and proud cliffs garbed in blue, hardened glacial streams, but nowhere I did witness such grimness or such depressing, lifeless relief…”
The album showcases photographs by participants: G. Ushakov himself, zoologist L. Portenko, geologist S. Obruchev, camera operator M. Troianovskii, G. Donets, L. Restovskii. Among contributors was the only professional photographer, Mark Troianovskii (1907-1967) who created pictures and documentary movies for about 40 years. He recorded tapes about great events in the Soviet history: the construction of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, the Aswan Dam, the expeditions of Sibiryakov, Chelyuskin, the landing Papanin’s group to the North Pole, the launch of Soviet liners to Antarctica; as well as tragic events of the Great War, in which he participated as a front-line operator.
The photographs depict the working team and its sled dogs, icebreaker ‘Krasin’, Arctic views and some dwellers. Contrary to Ushakov’s words, the pictures feature life and work in this place.
No copies are located in the USA. The only copy is traced in McGill University (Canada).