Photo exhibition “Carl Bulla (1855-1929): a photographic journey from St. Petersburg to Reval”

The Carl Bulla Historical Photography Foundation (St. Petersburg) and the Tallinn City Museum are presenting an exhibition of the work of renowned photojournalist Carl Bulla.

The exhibitions features 80 photographs from his creative legacy, representing the visual image of the Russian Empire at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the life of the royal court and foreign visitors in St. Petersburg, portraits of illustrious figures of culture, art, and science. Some of the photographs are captured during Carl Bulla’s numerous trips to Reval and Saaremaa in Estonia.

Carl Bulla (Carl Oswald Bulla) was born on 26 February 1855 in Prussia to a Catholic German merchant family. In 1866-1918 he lived and worked in St. Petersburg, earning a name of “the father of Russian photojournalism”. Throughout his life Bulla authored more than 100 thousand photographs, many of which were published in Russian and foreign illustrated magazines and newspapers. Carl Bulla had close connections to Estonia. From 1902 onwards, he regularly carried out photo-reportages of the visits of Emperor Nicholas II to Reval (Tallinn), filmed the revolutionary events of 1906-1907 in the Baltic region.

In 1906 Carl Bulla married Christina Juliana Keselberg from Saaremaa (Ösel) island in Estonia and purchased property on the island. From July in 1918 to his death on 28 November, 1929 he remained a permanent resident of Saaremaa island.
The photo exhibition at the Kiek in de Kök artillery tower (Komandandi tee 2, Tallinn) has been set up in two parts. The ground floor of the tower exhibits 45 photos featuring St. Petersburg, photo-reportages of significant events, and Estonian themes. The top floor of the tower will showcase 35 portraits of celebrities, including Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Nabokov, Ilya Repin and Amandus Adamson, Feodor Chaliapin and Matilda Kshesinskaya. There are also some portraits that have been created by the sons of Karl Bulla – Victor and Alexander.

The exhibition will remain open until December 2017; admission with a museum ticket.