4 years ago5,000+ Views
San Francisco-based photographer Andy Freeberg has captured a series of stunning portraits of the older women who watch over artwork at Russian Art Museums. The series, "Guardians of Russian Art Museums", seemingly adds another layer to what would have been just an ordinary viewing of any given work. Sometimes these women seem to add another facet of emotion to the works just by being there. In a statement on his official blog, Freeberg explains his unique subject choice: "In the art museums of Russia, women sit in the galleries and guard the collections. When you look at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artwork itself. I found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over. In conversation they told me how much they like being among Russia's great art. A woman in Moscow's State Tretyakov Gallery Museum said she often returns there on her day off to sit in front of a painting that reminds her of her childhood home. Another guard travels three hours each day to work, since at home she would just sit on her porch and complain about her illnesses 'as old women do'. She would rather be at the museum enjoying the people watching, surrounded by the history of her country."
u hav a point @JulieHaffrd
This is a great project. The pictures are sad, amusing, whimsical and provoking all at once. My favorite is the one with all the ladies sitting on the porch, it looks like they are all staring at their guard and that the guard is almost an outcast as she is alive and the others are painted. I'm sure someone could really go deep with ladies and the connections to their wards.
These ladies are all so great! Makes me want to take up this job when I retire.
What a cool project. I bet these ladies have a really special attachment to the pieces they protect :)
I've always been interested in the lives of these docents and guards. When I lived in New York I loved to strike up conversations with the guards at MoMA. They were filled with crazy stories and behind the scenes secrets.
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