Museum exhibit /Portrait of Stalin. Mosaic.
A mosaic portrait of I. Stalin created in 1936 by Aleksei Feodosevich Vangengeim (1881-1937), a prisoner of the Solovetskii Camp, as a present to his daughter Eleonora. The portrait turned out to be the last present received by the family from their father, who was shot on 03.11.1937. In 2004 Eleonora Alekseevna Vangengeim (born 1930) gave the portrait to the Museum of the Research and Information Centre “Memorial” (St Petersburg). (Photo 15.11.2009). 
 
 
 
 
Authenticity
 
Registration number in museum acquisition book KP-117
 
Date of acquisition18.03.2004
 
Thematic indexThe Camps
 
Thematic indexLife in Captivity/
 
Thematic indexMemory
 
Thematic indexLife in Captivity/
 
Thematic indexExecution
 
Thematic indexIn the Shadow of Terror/
 
Date and place of creation1936, Solovetskii Camp.
 
SizeMosaic – 19.6 cm x 19.6 cm; Frame – 25 cm x 20 cm.
 
Materials
 
Materials
 
MaterialsWood
 
Description of exhibitAn embossed portrait of Stalin in profile, in the form of a mosaic made of ground-up stone. Several different minerals were used. On the back of the portrait is an inscription in indelible pencil: “A.F. Vangengeim. 1936. Solovki”. The portrait has been put in a modern black wooden frame, on which has been fastened a cord for hanging the picture.
 
State of preservationUndamaged.
 
Detailed annotationThe portrait of Stalin was created in 1936 by 1936 by Aleksei Feodosevich Vangengeim (1881-1937), a prisoner of the Solovetskii Camp out of crushed stone which he collected on the Solovetskii islands. According to Eleonora Alekseevna Vangengeim, A.F. Vangengeim’s daughter, during all the years he spent on the Solovetskii islands the father sent his wife, V.I. Kurguzova, and his daughter handmade presents (mosaic panels, boxes and applique work). The portrait of Stalin was the last present sent by her father. Correspondence ended in Autumn, 1937; the final letter is dated 19.09.1937. A.F. Vangengeim was shot in Sandormokh on 03.11.1937. According to E.A. Vangengeim, from her father’s point-of-view this particular present should have shown his loyalty to the regime, and, in addition, he was hoping that the portrait of Stalin would not be confiscated by the camp censors. It cannot be ruled out that the image of Stalin was not contrary to Vangengeim’s political views (as Iu.I. Churkov, who was in the Camp at the same time as Vangengeim, the latter always spoke respectfully of Stalin). The portrait was kept in the family, but unlike other presents from the father, was never shown to anyone. When she gave the portrait to the Museum of the Research and Information Centre “Memorial” (St Petersburg) in 2004, E.A. Vangengeim remarked that it was the sole item owned by her father that she was able to do without, since she would never hang the portrait on the wall.
 
PersonsKurguzova Varvara Ivanovna
 
PersonsVangengeim Aleksei Fedos'evich, creator
 
PersonsVangengeim Eleonora Alekseevna, creator of the collection
 
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Web page?Yes
 
 
Museum exhibit /Portrait of Stalin. Mosaic.