G. M. Kazakevych, I. L. Mosenkis Photographic Education in the Late XIX — the First Third of the XX century in Kyiv: The Evolution of Approaches

DOI: 10.20535/2307-5244.50.2020.210121

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

The article touches upon the history of education in the field of photography in Ukraine during the late XIX — the first third of the XX century. The article aims at revealing the
contribution of the scientific and educational institutions based in Kyiv, as
well as individual
local photography
enthusiasts, to the development of photographic education. Using the methods of
the history of ideas and social history, the author finds out how the changing
political, social
, and
ideological conditions influenced the teaching of photography paradigm.
At the turn of the XIXXX centuries, the
official authorities treated photography as a commercial industry.
According to them, the photographer had to be skilled enough to satisfy rather modest esthetic demands
his clients, therefore, there was no need in the
special photographic schools. At the same time, numerous amateur photographers,
who belonged to the highly-educated class of the society, considered
photography as an important driver of the
technical and social progress. Due to the efforts of the Kyivan
photographic society “Daguerre” and the local branch of the Russian technical
society, Kyiv became one of the leading centers of artistic and scientific
photography in Eastern Europe. Thus the lack of photographic education
facilities thwarted the progress.
Amateurs and enthusiasts exerted their efforts to start the teaching
of photography in Kyiv basing on the best practices of Western European
education. In 1906 Mykola Petrov started his photography class in the Kyiv
Polytechnic Institute.
Next year the local publisher Vasyl Kulzhenko launched the photographic
education in his school of the publishing industry. Kyiv became the first city
in the Russian empire where one could get secondary and higher education in the
field of photography. This system ceased to exist soon after the Bolsheviks
gained control over the territory of Ukraine in the early 1920th. During the
next two decades
, the
photography was taught either in the cinematography schools or in the so
called amateur photographic laboratories. However, in
, the quality of photographic education during that period
was rather poor. As the authors assume, this situation was caused by the
fact that the Soviet authorities treated photography as a mean of political
propaganda, however, less important than the cinematography.
Insufficient financial support as well as ideological
pressure resulted in the decline of photographic education in Kyiv.

Keywords: history of photography, education, amateur photography, Mykola Petrov, Vasyl Kulzhenko, Kyiv polytechnic institute, VUFKU, Ukrainfilm.


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