Savin Mikhail

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Mikhail Savin (1915-2006) was born in 1915 in the city of Sasovo, Ryazan Region, in a family of a railwayman. In 1931, after graduation, Savin moved to Moscow, and in 1933 he got a job as a draftsman at the AMO plant, then worked as a turner. While serving in the ranks of the Red Army in 1937-1939, he enrolled a two-year reporter course of photojournalists at the TASS newsreel. Immediately after the end of military service, in 1939 he was hired for a permanent job as a TASS photojournalist and already in 1940 was sent to Minsk, Belarus as his photojournalist.

The start of World War II caught the photographer in Minsk, where he became a photojournalist of the «Krasnoarmeyskaya Pravda» newspaper of the Western Front. Mikhail Savin went through the whole war with a camera in his hands. He participated in the battles in Belarus, Lithuania, East Prussia, in the Smolensk region, in the Moscow Region, on the Kursk Bulge and in the Baltic, and filmed the surrender of Germany in East Prussia. For his services in the Great Patriotic War, Savin was awarded the Order of the Red Star, the medal «For Courage», «For Victory over Germany», the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and the Orders of China and Mongolia.

Photograph «On the ashes of the city of Zhizdra. A cat with a shot ear» (1943) Since 1941, the city of Zhizdra (Kaluga region.) was hit by the German occupation. From February to August 1943, fierce battles continued on the outskirts of the town. Before the retreat, the invaders systematically destroyed the city for two weeks, burning it quarterly. As a result, the city was utterly destroyed. The only living creature that remained in the wholly destroyed city was a cat with a shot ear. After the war, Mikhail Savin becomes the correspondent of the magazine «Ogonyok», where he works until his retirement in 1995 During his work in the magazine, he travelled all over the country, on foreign business trips he managed to capture the visits of the First Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Nikita Khrushchev to France in March 1960 and to Austria in June 1961.

During a trip to Austria, the leaders of the two countries were accompanied by spouses, who made a stark contrast to each other. Next to the 32-year-old Jacqueline Kennedy — elegant, recognized style icon who dress Givenchy and of Dior, — 60-year-old Nina with her hair carelessly stacked looked simpleton and her silk dress with a floral print reminiscent of like a nightgown. In the photo «Nikita Khrushchev and Jacqueline Kennedy. Vienna» (1961) in the foreground Nikita Khrushchev and Jacqueline Kennedy, in the background — John Kennedy and Nina Khrushcheva.

In addition to military photography and peaceful reporting, a separate place in the archive of Savin is landscape. Methods for its shooting overlap with a realistic panorama A. Skurikhina, lyric pictorialism C. Ivanova-Alliluyeva. Also, Savin was close to the formal and graphic searches in photography characteristic of photography of the sixties.

Mikhail Savin — Honored Worker of Culture of Russia, was awarded numerous medals, in 1991 he was awarded the highest professional award «Golden Eye of Russia». He is a participant in numerous exhibitions in Russia and abroad, including those dedicated to the events of the Great Patriotic War (WWII).


“Masters of Soviet Photojournalism”, PhotoVisa, Krasnodar

“Winter will be cold. Mikhail Savin”, The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow
“PROzavod”, The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow
“Soviet Photo”, The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow

“We are. The best photographs of the XX century”, The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow
“Collection of the Lumiere Brothers Gallery. Jubilee Exhibition”, The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow

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