Seminarians and instructors attended an exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art entitled "Chronicling Faith: Maksim Dmitriev
and the Renaissance of Orthodox Monasticism in Late Imperial Russia."
Holy Trinity Seminary seeks to engage seminarians in the intellectual and cultural life of the larger community. In a recent excursion on April 10, a group of seminarians and instructors attended an exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art entitled "Chronicling Faith: Maksim Dmitriev and the Renaissance of Orthodox Monasticism in Late Imperial Russia." The exhibition, which runs from February 1-June 15, 2003, includes approximately thirty modern prints made from the Russian photographer's original negatives.
A highlight of the excursion included a public lecture by Professor William Wagner. His talk, "Exposing Realism: Maksim Dmitriev and the Photographic Depiction of Female Monastic Life in Late Imperial Russia," introduced the seminarians to the contribution of this important photographer. Maksim Dmitriev (1858-1948) attempted through his work to both record faithfully and comment critically on provincial life in late imperial Russia. His photographs offer an evocative portrayal of religious life among the Orthodox population of the Volga region centered on the city of Nizhnii Novgorod (about 250 miles east of Moscow) during the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.
Through Dmitriev's photographs, the seminarians could view such phenomena as the remarkable renaissance of women's monasticism and growth of religious pilgrimage, the face of the female monastic leadership, and the importance of icon processions. This exhibition, drawn from the rich holdings of the Dmitriev collection at the State Archive of Nizhegorod
Region, also acquainted seminarians with Russian archives generally. The seminarians posed lively questions and look forward to Prof. Wagner's visit to Jordanville.