Photographer's Intriguing Portraits of Female Art Guards in Russian Museums
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."