Sunday, March 8, 2009
Let Me Hear Your Balalaika Ringing Out
This photograph takes us back to the Russian countryside in 1875. staged to capture the lighter side of peasant life. The family gathers around an outdoor table and while young Sergei pours refreshments, Uncle Vlad tunes his balalaika.
Elsewhere, the world was less than bucolic. That same year, students at Tufts and Harvard played the first game of college football, Wimbledon replaced their croquet field with a grass tennis court, and the Tong wars began in San Francisco. Ethiopia repelled an invasion by Egypt - twice, and the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination on juries and in accommodations. Brigham Young University was founded in Provo, Utah and notorious Democrat politician Boss Tweed escaped from prison and fled to Cuba.
And a family in Russia donned their finest clothes and chapeaux, brought their treasured samovar outside and posed in front of their home for photographer B. Avanzo. This charming photograph is part of the collection of the Library of Congress.