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November 23, 2021

Moscow in 1931 Through Branson DeCou’s Lens

American photographer and travelogue lecturer Branson DeCou journeyed the world for thirty years before his death in 1941 at the relatively young age of 49.

DeCou was born October 20, 1892, in Philadelphia, a city with a long history of photographic invention, from the pioneer Langenheim brothers to the work of Thomas Eakins. The city also has a tradition of collecting and publishing photographs - the Library Company of Philadelphia, American’s oldest cultural institution, had exceptional holdings of photographic works well before 1900 - as well as active associations for professionals and amateurs such as the Philadelphia Photographic Exchange Club and the Philadelphia Photographic Society.

The photos below were taken by Branson DeCou that show street scenes of Moscow in 1931. They were later colored with aniline ink.

Moscow 1931

“Best service – to workers!”, Moscow 1931

A foreigner is surrounded by the Muscovites, Moscow 1931

A parking lot next to Leningrad railway station, Moscow 1931

Agitation on Soviet Square: “The 5-year plan ensures tremendous amplitude of socialistic construction”, Moscow 1931

Birzhevaya square, Moscow 1931

Central Children’s Theater, Moscow 1931

Church of the Resurrection in the Kremlin, Moscow 1931

Demonstration, Moscow 1931

Foreign photographers, Moscow 1931

Gorky Park, Moscow 1931

GUM, Moscow 1931

Horse-drawn carriage, Moscow 1931

Inside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Moscow 1931

Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Moscow 1931

Kuznetsky Bridge Street, Moscow 1931

Moiseevskaya Square. The view of future Manezh Square, Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Moscow 1931

Novodevichi Convent, Moscow 1931

Okhotny Ryad, Moscow 1931

Old districts of Moscow, Moscow 1931

Pyatnitskaya Street, Moscow 1931

Queues on Pyatnitskaya Street, Moscow 1931

Recreation center, Moscow 1931

Red Square, Moscow, 1931

Russian children, Moscow 1931

Russian children, Moscow 1931

School of communism, Moscow 1931

Selling drinks – kvass and fruit-drink, Moscow 1931

Sokolniki, Green Theater, Moscow 1931

Soviet Square, Moscow 1931

Soviet Square, Moscow 1931

Soyuzpechat Agency (National Publishing Company), Moscow 1931

Station of fire-extinguishing propaganda, Moscow 1931

Strastnaya Square, Moscow 1931

The Annunciation Cathedral, Moscow 1931

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Moscow 1931

The Faceted Chamber, Moscow, 1931

The view of Moskvoretskaya street from the Moskvoretski bridge, Moscow 1931

The Vladimir Gate on Lubyanka Square, Moscow 1931

The Voskresensky gates, Moscow 1931

Theater Square, Moscow 1931

TsUM (Central Universal Department Store), Moscow 1931

Tverskaya Zastava, Moscow 1931

Viewing the Kremlin from the Great Stone Bridge, Moscow, 1931

Viewing the Kremlin from the Moskvoretsky bridge, Moscow, 1931

(Photo © Branson DeCou)




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