Sigismund Yurkovski photographer from Vitebsk

С. Юрковский. Витебск. Городской Ростовцевский театр. До 1889 г.
In 2018 it will be performed
185 years since the birth of S. A. Yurkovsky,
135 years of his invention - focal-plane shutter delovomu
Сигизмунд Антонович Юрковский
Sigismund Yurkovski A.,
famous Vitebsk photographer, belongs to
to the glorious mug of Russian photographers
of the sixties, whose activities laid a solid Foundation for the development of domestic professional photography. Having received secondary education in the Lyceum of Prince Bezborodko, sa thought at first to devote himself to medical activities and for this purpose entered in 1856 in the Medical and Surgical Academy (now the Imperial Military Medical). The troubled health forced him to soon leave the Academy. Having recovered from severe pulmonary disease by 1859, he entered
in public service. Having retired in 1866, S. A. finally got the opportunity to indulge in his favorite business — photography, which he began to be interested in since childhood and which gave all his leisure. Teacher S. A. Yurkovsky in his favorite case was the famous St. Petersburg photographer A. I. Denyer.

In 1867 S. A. opened a photographic establishment in the city of Vitebsk,
which operates to this day.

With the Foundation of the Imperial Russian Technical society magazine "Photographer", sa Yurkovsky began his journalistic activities. In 1882, at the Congress in Moscow, he presented a model of the shutter, evenly distributing light on the plate. Description of his appeared in magazine in the same year. System this shutter has then became widespread and we, and abroad; it is well-known shutter Gerry.

Continuing to work on the issue of gates, S. A. in the following year published in the same journal a work in which he expressed a completely new idea about the device of instant locks, it locks at the plate, and developed in detail the theory of their action. The first model of this shutter was built by E. I. Vishnyakov, and then adopted by the English firm Thornton-Picard, which produces them now in large quantities. Currently, S. A. he is an employee of the" Russian Photographic Magazine", in which he published his works" on stereoscopic photography "and"New stereoscope". At the St. Petersburg photographic exhibition of 1891 S. A. was awarded a bronze medal, and at the Moscow 1893 — a commendable review. Since 1882 S. A. Yurkovsky has been a member of the Imperial Russian Technical Society.

Russian photographic magazine (Petersburg). 1897. No. 11. C. 210-211

This was written in the late 19th century. Better and more precisely will not tell, only that after four years, it will not. We will try to present to your attention Sigismund Antonovich Yurkovsky as an outstanding person in the history of photography, the history of the city of Vitebsk. Help in this selected material from the book Ludmila Khmelnitsky "Sigismund Yurkovski – a photographer from Viciebsk" 2014.
Vitebsk is considered the cultural capital of Belarus for a reason – it is a place with an incredible concentration for the provincial town of creative personalities. Vitebsk is already known to the world as the city where world-class masters in various fields of culture, art and science were born, lived and worked. Is Yuri pen, Marc Chagall, Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, Ilya Repin, mark Fradkin and others. et al.
There is another outstanding person who made the city famous, this is Sigismund Yurkovsky-photographer, designer, who made an invention in the late 19th century (storm-slit shutter), which is still used by the entire world photographic community.
Vasily Prudnikov
The Director of the Local Foundation of photography "Fotokrok"
The name of Sigismund Yurkovski has entered the history of Russian and world photography. He lived at a time when the shutter speed regulating the amount of light entering the sensitive surface, decreased from hours to minutes and seconds. The role of the device, which was used to block the light flux, long performed the lens cap, and the time at which it was removed for exhibiting photographic plates, counted by the photographer for the usual hours or in the mind. And when was the photosensitive material and exposure was reduced to a fraction of a second, to control the shutter took quite a accurate automatic movement. It began to work master of photography in different countries of the world. Engaged in this and photographer from Vitebsk. His efforts were crowned with success – Sigismund Yurkovsky invented the "instant shutter" of the camera, which we today call the storm-slot. This shutter formed the basis for the creation of photographic equipment for the next hundred years – up to
the emergence of digital technologies.
Sigismund Yurkovski A. (1833 -1901) is the oldest Vitebsk photographer, inventor of the focal-plane shutter.

Catholic. Of the nobility, but he himself and his parents but also his wife and his family acquired the estate it was not.
At the end of the course Sciences at the Lyceum of Prince Bezborodko in Nezhin in 1855, with the right to 14 the class of service entered in the office of the civil Governor of Mogilev.

In 1867 he opened a photo Studio in Vitebsk on Zamkova street. He was friends with the artist ie Repin, photographed the artist and his house.
In 1882 he invented the instant photographic shutter, and in 1883 – the storm-slot shutter, which became the prototype of the gates of modern cameras. The description of the invention was published in the magazine "Photographer" (№ 4 for 1883) and demonstrated at the Moscow Congress of photographers.
The author of publications on the properties of photographic materials, the use of photography in forensic science. S. A. Yurkovsky was elected a member of the city Duma, was a member of many public organizations, was one of the organizers and participants of the first Vitebsk art and archaeological exhibition (1871).

Died on the night of 7 February 1901 in Kovno (now Kaunas, Lithuania). The body was transported to Vitebsk, and buried in the cemetery at the Church of St. Barbara.
Among the works of sa Yurkovsky-portraits of famous people, landscapes, pictures of streets, churches, bridges of Vitebsk.
Sigismund Yurkovsky was born in 1833 in a noble family
His father's name was Anton, his mother Victoria. But exactly where was born the next photographer is unknown, and what his ancestors too.

The first time a document relating to the biography of our hero, who managed to find in archives, refers to Belarus, and more precisely, to Mogilev province. It was there in 1844 "Sigismund Yurkovski Antonov", "rimske[about Catholic confession], of the nobility" came from in the second class of Mogilev men's gymnasium.
But whatever it was, the adolescence of Sigismund took place in the city on the Dnieper, and almost all his subsequent life was connected with Belarus.

In 1855, 22 years old, Sigismund Yurkovsky graduated from the Gymnasium of higher Sciences-the Lyceum of Prince Bezborodko in Nizhyn, Chernihiv province. Received "the right on XIV class" and was launched in independent life.
In 1956 he entered St. Petersburg Medical-Surgical Academy. "Upset health", or rather," severe pulmonary disease", apparently aggravated by the raw Petersburg climate, forced him to leave the Academy soon.
Until 1866 Yurkovsky had state service in his native Mogilev.
Worked as a scribe in the state of the Mogilev chamber of the criminal court, assistant clerk of the Mogilev provincial government, the collegiate Registrar in the Mogilev Roman-Catholic Farny Church, performed the duties of Cherikov County solicitor, the Junior assistant district excise superintendent.

Bureaucracy life greatly burdened Sigismund Yurkovsky, and 33 years old he decided to make drastic changes.
The results of eleven years of public service were not impressive. Judging by around the, the were reasons, and quite compelling – his beckoned another life, not bureaucratic, he got acquainted with photography and was subdued by its magic. Yurkovsky served only to the rank of collegiate councillor (class X "tables of ranks"). Neither he himself, nor the parents, nor my wife was not generic, not a proper estate. But since nothing reprehensible were not seen, "in campaigns against the enemy in the battles themselves, as well in penalties, under the court and consequence" was not from the Mogilev provincial excise Department, he received a diploma with a track record "for a free stay in the entire Russian Empire" for the appropriate signatures and the application of the breech seal.

From the "whole of the Russian Empire" retired excise official, burdened with the family, chose to live in Vitebsk. Already in September 1866, he filed a petition in the name of the Vitebsk Governor for permission to open a photographic institution. This means that by the time he was no longer a beginner in photography, had his own equipment and knowledge of the subject.
Student Denier
When Yurkovski was time to acquire the necessary professional skills?

One can only assume that it happened in the same year, from November 1856 to December 1857, when he studied at The medical and surgical Academy in St. Petersburg. Apparently, in his spare time he became visit the Atelier of one of the most famous portrait photographers Andrei Ivanovich Denier (1820-1892).

Their personal acquaintance could take place in St. Petersburg, but absentee – just in Mogilev. The Denyer studied in the same, that Yurkovski, school, and both had the same art teacher Ivan Polom, who served in this position for nearly a quarter of a century. He appreciated the rare artistic skills of both students.

The money has reached unprecedented heights in photography. In 1860, he was awarded the title of "photographer of their Imperial Majesties", which gave the right to place the state emblem on the products. He became a member of the photographic Department of the Imperial Russian technical society (V irto light recording Department) and became a member of the French photographic society. Denver was actively invited to exhibitions abroad. In 1862, he showed his work in London, in 1865, 60 pictures presented at an exhibition in Berlin.

New methods of photo printing are also connected with the name of Andrei Ivanovich. Denier experimented, trying to find a way to "soften" the image in the photo, to get rid of "Protocol sharpness" is not always appropriate in portraits.
He was shooting on two plates with layers of different thickness and then printing from both negatives, each of which was in addition, different density. The overlay softened the outlines of the print. This technique was called " method of money."

In 1865-1866, DNER released photo albums — one of the first in Russia. Each of the 12 issues of "album of photographic portraits of the Royal family and individuals, known in Russia" consisted "of 12 photographic cards of ordinary size, pasted on a separate card for each of the lithographic plates of villenevue paper with decent jewelry and the name of every person."

Who knows whether Sigismund Yurkovsky went to Andrey Denier in the summer of 1866 and whether the excise official, who gave "all his leisure photos", received a blessing, and possibly financial support for the opening of his own photographic Studio in Vitebsk?

Photographer A. I. Dener
Portrait of the artist Kramskoy.
The photo in Vitebsk
It is necessary to choose a visual aid that is appropriate for the material and audience.
As reported by "Memorable book Vitebsk province", in 1865 in the city worked three photographers – two men and one woman (their names were not called).
A petition for permission "to open photographic institution in Vitebsk " Sigismund Yurkovsky sent to the name of the Governor Verevkin the latest
- September 24, 1866.

Permission to open the photo was obtained without delay. Already on December 12, its owner in the police Department signed the following commitment:
"I, the undersigned, retired collegiate Secretary Sigismund Antonov Yurkovsky, give this subscription Vitebsk city police Department is, the decree of the Vitebsk provincial Board from 5 this Dec No. 8371
I declared, and pledge cards depicting portraits of persons known to participate in the rebellion, as well and species that resemble political turmoil
in Poland, not to remove and for reliability of workers if those will be at me to be obliged to answer.
What I subscribe to the retired collegiate Secretary Sigismund Antonov Yurkovsky".

I must say that for all the years of work Yurkovsky never broke this promise. Policy his almost not was interested in. The former excise official waited too long for time when will be able to indulge in favourite occupation – art shooting.
Opening his own photo Studio in Vitebsk, Yurkovsky remained its owner for 35 years, until his death.
Such a long time managed to stay afloat is not for everyone. As a rule, after a few years of work, masters of light painting were forced to close their institutions, unable to withstand the competition or the impact of life circumstances.
From year to year improving his skills, Yurkovsky was not afraid to experiment and always tried to keep abreast of all the latest developments in the field of photography. Observation, inquisitive mind and the undoubted inventive gift allowed him to contribute in the development of photography, and an innate artistic taste and quickly attracted attention by his pictures of both clients and colleagues on the shop.

For years of work Yurkovsky made tens of thousands of photos. To this day, they have survived only about eight dozen. Almost none of the photos not dated. The largest collection of photographs is now in the collection of the Vitebsk regional Museum of local lore. These are mainly views of Vitebsk, several Cabinet portraits and business cards.

In 1880, a master from Vitebsk sent an article about his observations on the properties of albumin paper, which in time of processing used to stretch in width, in height, thereby distorting the image, to the capital's magazine "Photographer". Then photographers actively tried to find a means of combating this lack of paper, but Yurkovsky held a special opinion. "I know from experience," he wrote,"that such a negative property of a paper is not always necessary to be eliminated, but, on the contrary, there are cases, and quite often, when this lack becomes a dignity."
And it was further reported that he used to print the long faces on the paper, which expands in width, and round – the one in the sky lengthwise. He alleviated the shortcomings of the lens and caused most often customer satisfaction. "Who doesn't know,"he wrote," that most complete subjects want not to be like this in the photo and, in turn, the majority of thin people want to seem fuller."

Пытливая мысль фотографа пошла даль­ше, и он попытался вырезать бумагу для отпечатка по диагонали листа. «При этом, понятно, бумага и
не расширяется, и не уд­линяется, а косится из угла на угол», – писал он.
Это дало возможность фотографу смяг­чать природную кривизну лиц некоторых клиентов (особо чувствительны на этот счет были дамы).
Возможно, диагональные стрел­ки на фотографии детей – это попытки тако­го рода экспериментов, которые безопаснее было производить на изображениях членов собственной семьи. К тому же неустойчивая «искривленная» композиция в посадке детей как нельзя более кстати подходила для такого случая.
Signature Mat
From the first years of his professional activity Sigismund Yurkovsky got his own personal passport.
On its back was applied information about the photographer, the address of the workshop, and later – received at exhibitions regalia. The design of the passport was changed quite often. The owner wrote his name in Cyrillic
("("S. A. Yurkovsky") and in Latin in Polish, French and German:
"Sigismond Jurkowski. Vitebsk, S. Yurkovsky and Vitebsk, Photographisches Atelier von S. Yurkovski. Vitebsk.» This was done based on the customer: in Vitebsk has long lived quite a large community of Catholics-poles and Protestants (Latvians, Germans, Swiss).
Like other masters of light painting, Yurkovsky pasted his photos on special forms of thick cardboard. A positive print made on albumin paper required a solid substrate. Cardboard forms attached pictures elegant appearance and guaranteed safety.
Passepartout, to which Yurkovsky always treated with the same attention,
as to the image of the client, were a kind of his own business cards. Medals on the front side and the back told about where
and when were the exhibitions, which were attended by the photographer, and how he excelled. On the forms of photographs of Yurkovsky by the end of the century was: "a Member of the Imperial Russian Technical society", "Photographic exhibition in St. Petersburg. 1891. Worthy of Yurkovsky", " Commendable review
in Moscow. 1892."
Yurkovskiy also had a family of pictures, which did not require any elegant Passepartout, or the execution of the capricious will of the customer. We are talking about the portraits of the prisoners, which the photographer began to do from the end
1870's-early 1880s by order of the authorities. The artistic merits of the image are here
already moved into the background. The main thing was to identify the maximum physiognomic features of nature – the Portrait had to "recognize the face."

Romance with the city
"You see, I love the portraiture of the city. Each city should have its own portrait. So, our Vitebsk is different from all the cities with its face", – says at the beginning of the XX century artist Yehuda pen (1854-1937), who will come to Vitebsk in 1897 and will remain in it, as Sigismund Yurkovsky, until the end of life.
Y. M. Pan mill on the Vitba. Vitebsk, at the end of 1910.Ю.М.
"Portrait" Vitebsk artists saw at the end of the XVIII century. The city was first captured in his watercolors by pole Jozef Peshka, head of the Department of painting and drawing at the Krakow Academy of fine arts. His attention was drawn not only to the Baroque luxury of the churches of Vitebsk, but also to the motley crowd of citizens, which in all the variety of costumes and manners the artist sought to capture on paper.
Artists of different eras, ages and nationalities will again turn to the image of Vitebsk, trying to catch the "genius of the place".
As a rule, picturesque displays of the "faces of the city" do not convey the whole presentation or the atmosphere of Vitebsk. They are too personal, they are dominated by the mood of the artist. You need a camera addiction to see a place in time. But from the personality that this lens looks depends on many things, and photographers will quickly realize this.
The first photographic images of Vitebsk, which have survived to the present day, were made by Sigismund Yurkovsky and Yakov Pashkovsky. As soon as he had to arrange their photographic institutions, both masters came out
with cameras on the street.
When you look at these pictures, you can't get rid of a strange feeling. Something is wrong with them, something familiar to the eye, is clearly lacking. And suddenly you realize-no people. No passers-by, no cabs-just the entourage, which makes the city a city. Why? Yes, because then the camera couldn't take the hustle and bustle, the movement, the fermentation medium! Without them there is no sense of life, the authenticity of the moment, and most importantly – the feeling of time. Long exposure required complete immobility for at least a few minutes, which the city life never allows itself. Therefore, it was possible to remove Vitebsk only in the early morning in quiet weather, when the streets are still deserted, the sun is just about to rise, and in the unsteady deserted space of the night change
and the day freezes picture, a little like reality.
In the 1880s-1890s Yurkovsky created a series of dozens of pictures with views of Vitebsk and visually draws them as a single series. Fortunately,
in Vitebsk Museum of local lore preserved 27 of the photos from this series.
All of them have a frame in the form of a painted frame, as if hanging on a nail and decorated with hanging twisted cords with heavy brushes at the ends. At the top, right in the center, in a rectangle inscription: "Vitebsk»,
in the lower right corner – a modest author's signature " Phote. Jurkovskaja".
Yurkovski had to fix on my shots age, which inevitably was in the past. All photos were taken not earlier than 1883
(time of construction of the District court building) and no later than 1898 (before the start of the electric tram). The time frozen on these small pieces of cardboard is not yet hasty, not hectic, commensurate with the speed of walking. Hot midday sun cabs, dozing on his seat of their crew, a few passers-by and dogs, fearlessly walking on the roadway of the bridge and curiously strange coat on man's occupation with a camera, which he sets here, choosing the higher and flatter.
Very soon the era of electricity will come, and Vitebsk photographers will lose the opportunity to use the same viewpoints. Fearing in equal measure as a speeding tram, and have shied away from him, a cab horse, they will quickly go from the bridge, choosing shooting locations obezopasit – the bell tower of the temple, a quiet waterfront, floodplain elevation.

By the end of the second decade of its existence, the photographic Studio of Sigismund Yurkovsky was widely known and respected among the residents of Vitebsk. The owner had to maintain a high reputation of the institution by hard work. The photographer, who worked in the province, had to be able to do all kinds of shooting.
Living far away from the capital, to master the photographic wisdom, even those who wanted it very much, it was possible with great difficulty. "No exchange of information, no opportunity to see good work, no news, – complained Yurkovsky.
- Trips to the capital can not be frequent, Yes, to tell the truth, not always
and benefit bring, especially for the photographer who does not have Dating
in the photographic world-have to be content with the inspection of street exhibitions". In such a situation, much had to reach his mind-as in the case of stretching the albumin paper.
Therefore, a great joy for Yurkovsky and his comrades in the shop was the establishment in 1878 in St. Petersburg at the Imperial Russian technical society (irto) of a special photographic Department. Sigismund Yurkovski was elected a member of the Fifth Department of the Imperial Russian technological society on 5 November 1882.
By the summer of 1882, when preparations for the Congress of members of the Russian technical society began in Moscow, the name of Yurkovsky was already widely known in professional circles. The organizers of the Congress found it necessary to invite him among the"best experts in photography in Russia."

Since 1880, the Fifth Department of the Imperial Russian technological society began to publish the magazine "Photographer".
The photographer from Vitebsk became one of the active correspondents of the magazine.
In those four years, when the publication came out, he wrote an article "To the question
on stretching of albumin paper" (1880), " on the question of photographic
exhibition " (1881), "Living plants as an accessory of the pavilion" (1882),
"About photographing prisoners" (1884). There were two other important publications in which Yurkovsky described his invention.
Like his teacher, Denyer Yurkovski wanted to modernize
photographic equipment and technology, seeking to put into practice what many dreamed of. And then dreamed of photographers
on the possibility of shooting fast motion, falling drops or phenomena of nature, lasting a fraction of a second. By the end of 1870-ies, the English scientist Richard Maddox so improved the sensitivity of photographic emulsions that the shutter speed in shooting can be reduced to 1/200 of a second. The problem now was to technically learn how to get such a short excerpt.

The cover of the magazine "Photographer", No. 4, 1883
with article S. yurkovskiy " Instant shutter at the plate»
Instant shutter Yurkovsky. Vitebsk, 1882
In the solitude of his Atelier in Vitebsk
Sigismund Yurkovsky began to think about the design of the "instant shutter", which would allow to obtain so long expected by all "snapshots".
This problem photographers in Europe were engaged in before - from G. M. Levy, who proposed his design to the London photographic society back in 1853, to contemporaries of jurkowski, who worked in Germany, Austria and other countries.
The photographer from Vitebsk has developed his own design, which used two screens, fortified on the opposite edges of the boards and interconnected. "The purpose of these screens," wrote the author of the invention, is to alternately open and close the lens and so that when one of them opens, the other in the same direction will close; therefore, each point of the sensitive plate will receive the same amount of light." The speed of such a shutter could be controlled by a special mechanism.
The author first demonstrated his invention in 1882 at the Congress of photographers in Moscow. Following the creation of the first shutter in the next year, yurkovskiy developed a theory and created a new shutter design, which he called "instant shutter at the plate", and then – "storm-slit shutter". It was a brilliant invention that created the freedom of manipulation of interchangeable optics and various nozzles. There was an opportunity to photograph through a microscope or, for example, a telescope.
As always, outside the Russian Empire, the idea of the Vitebsk inventor found rapid application. The idea of the shutter of the second model was not slowed down by the British firm "Thornton-Pickard".

The storm shutter, which we are so used to as a foreign patented invention, was actually invented by Russian S. yurkovskiy and described by Him in the magazine "Photographer" in 1883, and Yurkovsky did not take his invention for the privilege, but presented his description for everyone. This was used by foreigners, and now storm gates are a foreign product and invention.
Vyacheslav Izmailovich Sreznevsky (1849-1937), founder of the photographic Department of the Russian technical society and editor of the magazine " Photographer»
"Instant shutter" quickly became a practice of photography and produced
it's a real breakthrough. It became possible to record not just the streets or landscapes – the very life in motion, the urban environment: rolling carts, walking people and animals, the hustle and bustle of the market and the area. The streets in the pictures of Yurkovsky were filled with bright light of midday or setting sun,
in contrast to which lay deep shadows, organizing the volume, depth,
hitherto unseen.
But what is especially interesting, Yurkovsky his invention has prepared a qualitatively new stage in the history of the world: a person was able to capture on film the progressive movement of moments, namely to create what we usually call the word "cinema". But it will appear later,
in the meantime, the photographer was fascinated by his own discovery of new opportunities for the actual photo. Judging by the intensity of what was done, the inventor himself was breathtaking.

Awards, articles, inventions
The first award – a bronze medal for " instantly shot portraits – - was received at the photographic exhibition in St. Petersburg, which was held
in March-may 1891. There Yurkovski showed pictures obtained created a camera with a lens and shutter Dallmeyer Asahina, with an exposure less than 1/10 of a second.
1871-demonstration at the Vitebsk art and archaeological exhibition of stereoscope with rotating panorama of Vitebsk views and scenes.
1880-article"on the issue of stretching of albumin paper".
1881-article "On the issue of photographic exhibition".
1882-article "Living plants as an accessory of the pavilion".
1882-Member of the special photographic Department of the Imperial Russian Technical society.
1882-the invention of the Instantaneous shutter. Demonstration at the Congress
photographers in Moscow.
1883 - the invention of the Instant the shutter when the disc (focal-plane shutter).
1884-article"about photographing prisoners".
1891-bronze medal of the photographic exhibition in St. Petersburg for "instantly shot portraits".
1891 - "Worthy Jurkowska". Photographic exhibition in St. Petersburg.
1892-a Commendable review for the snapshots exhibited at the photographic exhibition in Moscow.
1896-article "on stereoscopic photography".
1897 - article, "a New stereo".
1898-Honorary figure and writer on photos. 5th photographic exhibition of the Imperial Russian technical society, St. Petersburg.
1898-bronze medal of the 5th photographic exhibition of the Imperial Russian technical society for stereoscopic photographs.
In the public arena.
Sigismund Antonovich Yurkovski. Vitebsk, about 1895
So much has attained professionally, Sigismund Yurkovski led a life of quiet, but inwardly tense and eventful.
He never sought to get to the pages of the press, did not make public statements, avoided noisy actions and scandalous stories. But at the same time did a great and important thing – for twenty years was a public (Deputy) Vitebsk city Council. The twentieth anniversary from 1880 to 1900 coincided
with the peak of creative and professional activity of Yurkovsky. But there was another area of activity of the master of light – public.
Titular councillor of Sigismund Yurkovski Antonovich was elected a member of the Vitebsk city Duma five times in a row – among the city residents he enjoyed and cherished,
and respect. He could have easily given up the hassle of public service, but he never did. Survived four portraits Yurkovsky of the time. On them it with a big bushy beard, at first brown, later pale white.
In the city Council Sigismund Yurkovsky was a member of several commissions: evaluation, fire and sanitary, was a member of the Council of the Vitebsk city school of crafts. In addition, in 1885 he was one
from the Directors of the Vitebsk society of mutual credit.

His social and religious affiliation Sigismund Yurkovsky always defined clearly and clearly: a nobleman, a Catholic. Information, he believed himself a pole, a Russian or a Belarusian, we do not have a subject failed to preserve his notes or statements. In professional terms, Yurkovsky was in demand in the circles of Russian, mostly Russian photographers, although he tended to friendship with the poles. For Polish publications, he gave his photos, but wrote articles in Russian magazines. Many years of work in the city government also did not contribute to the identification of national separatism
On the night of February 7, photographer Yurkovsky died in Kovno. ""Vitebsk provincial news" responded to the event modest messages placed on the front page:

Sigismund Antonovich Yurkovski A. died on the night of February 7, 1901 in Kovno, what daughter regret to inform relatives and friends. The body will arrive in Vitebsk and Sunday, February 11, at 6 PM, will be transferred to the Church of St. Barbarians, and on February 12, after a Requiem impoverishment (the beginning at 10 o'clock in the morning), will be buried on a cemetery, at the same
Vitebsk province news
The funeral came not only relatives and friends of the deceased, but
and Amateur photographers. Before the opening in Vitebsk photographic circle Yurkovsky did not live quite a bit.
After the death of the owner, the heir of the photographic Studio Sigismund Yurkovsky became V. Ostrovsky, which we know almost nothing about.
Church Of St. Barbarians survived to the present day. Damaged during the great Patriotic war, it was restored in the early 1990s.
But the cemetery that existed under him during the years of Soviet power was completely destroyed – along with the graves of Yurkovsky, Fedorovich and other Catholics buried under the shadow of the heavenly intercessor, who saves faithful Christians from sudden death. Left for the world ex-clients Vitebsk photographers, taking in suitcases of cherished family albums, losing their wandering and worldly disorder.
Sigismund Yurkovsky and photographers of his time were the first. They got
and the first roses, and the first thorns on this path. Many have already gone from the distance at the very beginning. The most persistent did not leave the fascination, turning it
in the profession. And only a few units did not turn the profession
in craft. Among the latter was a photographer from Vitebsk Sigismund Antonovich Yurkovsky.

Participants of the festival "Photochrom" at the tomb of S. Yurkovsky. Church Of St. Barbarians, 2017 year
In terms of photographic technologies of the times of Sigismund Yurkovsky and his colleagues, we can say with certainty: the best developer
in the history display-Time. All valuable, true, that was created by people, does not disappear – there are always those who in the universal dump of names and events are able to distinguish their faces.
Without this modest Vitebsk photographer, without this talented inventor and researcher, the history of photography can not be considered complete.
In the Soviet Union the name of Yurkovsky was forgotten.
Only in 1950-e years on his invention began to write in his writings, historians of photography A. A., Cheeses, and S. A. Morozov. In the late 1960s, several articles
about Yurkovsky in the Belarusian press published Vitebsk journalist and local historian Am Podlipsky. This was followed by silence for almost twenty years.
During this time, came the five-volume "encyclapedia lterature i Mastatstva Belarus", but the name Yurkovsky it was not even mentioned. By the way, we note that no one will read anything about the activities of the photographer-inventor and on the pages of the capital six-volume "Encyklapedyi gistory Belarus", which was published during 1993-2003.
However, during perestroika appeared enthusiasts who tried to melt the ice of oblivion. In 1989 in the journal "Neman" there was a long article Detlava A. dedicated to the pioneers of photography in which they talked about the invention of Yurkovski. The correspondent of the photochronicle of TASS during the great Patriotic war, with great energy and enthusiasm to take up
the popularization of the name of Sigismund Yurkovski. In the series of programs of the Belarusian television "club " Spectrum", dedicated to photography, he even reincarnated in the famous photographer, sticking himself on the set of a gray-haired beard. In 1993 Ditlow was the organizer of the International contest-festival event photos "Fact and image", devoted to the "110th anniversary of the invention of S. A. Yurkovskis (Vitebsk) "of the camera with the shutter when the disc" (the curtain-slit), which determined the appearance of
professional photo reportage".
Again about the photographer from Vitebsk began to write only in the 2000s, researchers have a new generation. In Belarus – Andrey Kishtymov
and Hope Savchenko, in Poland – Waldemar Zielinski. In 2009, a set of
cards "Vitebsk photos Sigismund Yurkovski" issued by the Vitebsk regional local history Museum.
In 2010 on one of the sites there was a whole selection of photos of Vitebsk masters of a cherished family album of Marina Pravdoliubov, which Sigismund Yurkovski had the husband of the sister of her great-grandmother.
The most complete essay based on all the previous material came out
in 2014. Biographical essay of Vitebsk art critic Lyudmila Khmelnitskaya "Sigismund Yurkovsky - photographer from Vitebsk" includes in addition to the direct facts of the life of jurkowski evidence of the time, photos and articles by S. yurkovskiy, rich illustrative material.

In 2015, a Local photography Fund "Fotokrok" was established in Vitebsk, which took the initiative not only to revive, but also to perpetuate the name of the famous photographer from Vitebsk by holding a festival of photography and opening a Museum of photography. Sigismund Yurkovski.
Just to match the 185th anniversary of the birth of S. A. Yurkovsky
and the 135th anniversary of his great invention in 2018!
Vasily Prudnikov
The Director of the Local Foundation of photography "Fotokrok"
Local photography Foundation "Photo lesson".
Made on