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Photography

The Gatchina Palaces original holdings included a fascinating photographic collection. The collection was begun in the 19th century, at the dawn of photography, when the palaces owners - the imperial family members - decorated their private rooms with hundreds of photographs, which documented events in the life of tsars family - official receptions, travels about Russia, visits from members of European royal houses, and nature outings.
Most of the photographic material was lost during World War II. Fortunately, the negatives of the pre-war interiors and exhibits survived, which provided the necessary documentation needed to plan and carry out the restoration Photographs of all the rooms in the ruined palace were taken following the war. As time went on, the park and its structures were the first to be restored, followed then by the restoration of the palace. Hundreds of meters of photographic film, now in the museums collection, serves as a record of these past events. Today, the collection numbers around 20,000 items, including negatives, some original positive plates, postcards and transparencies (excluding hundreds of duplicate prints). The museum staff carries out extensive research at various archives and museums to replace the lost photographs and expand the collection.
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