Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Markov-Grinberg photograph of a crane lowering a Soviet Star onto the Spasskaya Tower

Object | Accession Number: 2005.552.1

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward


    Brief Narrative
    Photographic print of a star being hoisted onto a tower in Red Square, Moscow, created in 1935 by Mark Markov-Grinberg, a Soviet Jewish photographer and World War II correspondent. Markov-Grinberg was a major Social Realist photographer during the Stalinist era of the 1930s-1940s. He worked for major newspapers and journals, including TASS. He was a war correspondent during the Soviet-Finnish War from 1939-1940 and, in 1941, was drafted to fight in World War II. While a soldier, he continued his work as a photographer and army correspondent. After the war, he returned to his job at TASS.
    Artwork Title
    Now and Forever
    depiction:  1935
    creation: Spasskaya Tower, Kremlin; Moscow (Russia)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joanne and Will Potter
    back, top, Russian script, pencil : M. Markov-Grinberg
    Artist: Mark Markov-Grinberg
    Subject: Mark Markov-Grinberg
    Mark Borisovich Markov-Grinberg was born on November 27, 1907, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. He learned photography at secondary school. In 1925, he took his first job as a photographer for the Sovetsky Yug (Soviet South) newspaper and worked as a freelance correspondent for Ogonyok magazine. In 1926, Markov-Grinberg moved to Moscow and worked for various trade union newspapers and the magazine, Krasnoarmeyskaya Smena (Transformation). In 1930, he accepted an offer to work for the Fotokhronika TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union). He traveled around the country photographing the official Soviet Union: major construction projects, collective farms, and happy workers engaged in building Soviet Society, as well as prominent Russian and foreign personalities. His photographs appeared in major Soviet publications, including USSR in Construction, a magazine that documented Stalin’s Five-Year Plans to industrialize the Soviet Union. In 1934, TASS commissioned Markov-Grinberg to create a photo essay detailing a day in the life of Ukrainian miner, Nikita Izotov. He created an iconic portrait of Izotov as a Socialist worker hero. The Izotov photo essay launched Markov-Grinberg's career as a Stalin-era photographer and he became one of the most important photographers of his generation. His work was part of the socialist realist movement in photography which pictured life as it should be in idealized images made to look like objective recordings of things as they were.
    During the Soviet-Finnish War (1939-1940), Markov-Grinberg worked for TASS as a war correspondent and documented the fighting on the Karelian Isthmus. In September 1941, he was drafted into the Red Army, and continued to take photographs. He became the army correspondent for the military publication, Slovo Boitsa (Soldier’s World), in July 1943. He created well-known images of the Battle of Kursk and the crematorium at Stutthof concentration camp, when it was liberated on May 9, 1945, by the Soviet Army.
    Markov-Grinberg lost his job with TASS in 1948 as a result of the anti-Semitic climate of late Stalinism. After his demobilization in 1953, he worked as a photographer for the Red Army Illustrated Gazette and, later, for the photography publishing office of the Soviet Union Agricultural Exhibition, a theme park about the People’s Economy. From 1957–1973, Markov-Grinberg worked for the Club and Art Hobby magazine. He took part in photography exhibitions in the USSR and abroad. An honorary member of the Russian Union of Art Photographers, Markov-Grinberg died in 2006 at the age of 99.

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    Black and white gelatin silver photographic print depicting the installation of a large star on a tower framed by the close-up of an arm guiding the crane. Dominating the frame, this oversized man’s arm extends from left to right, slightly blurred. It is shown from the upper arm to the fingertips, palm down, shirt sleeve rolled above the elbow. He directs the installation from a high point opposite and level with the tower. Recessed in the background expanse of empty sky is the crane, with a latticed mast and ladders, rising vertically left of center. A walkway extends at a 90 degree angle towards the center and ends in a square shaped platform surrounding the tip of the tower. A pole extends vertically from the top and a 5 pointed star hangs from a crane arm projecting out at a 45 degree angle. Five men stand on the walkway and platform. The photographer took the photograph from a high vantage point, opposite the tower and below the arm, likely from an adjacent rooftop at tower height. The arm, men, and objects are black silhouettes starkly contrasting with the gray sky. Inscribed on the reverse are the artist’s signature, the year and the title, letters, and numbers.
    overall: Height: 15.620 inches (39.675 cm) | Width: 11.880 inches (30.175 cm)
    overall : paper, emulsion, gelatin silver print, graphite
    back, top, Russian script, pencil : 1935 [Symbol] / [Russian script]
    back, bottom, left, pencil : MGB0010
    back, bottom, right, pencil : DS 3500 / 18

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The photographic print was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Joanne and Will Potter.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:29:57
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us