Karl Bulla Museum-Photo Studio in St. Petersburg (Ushakovs' house and a monument to the photographer)

Karl Bulla Photo Salon is one of the oldest private photo salons in Russia.

Full official name: "Karl Bulla Foundation for Historical Photography".

The main task of the foundation is to study and popularize Russian photography of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.

Today it is a museum-photo salon, which is located in a historic building in the center of St. Petersburg, located on the corner Malaya Sadovaya Street and Nevsky Prospekt are one of the most visited streets in the city.

The building in which the museum-photo salon is located is called the Ushakov house. The building is also known as the Shuvalov house or the Demidov house-after the names of the former owners.

For the first time, the building on this site appeared in the 1740s, as the estate of the architect of the Main Police Office-Pietro Antonio Trezzini.

Subsequently, the building was expanded, completed and reconstructed. The owners of the house also changed, among whom were: Count I. I. Shuvalov; millionaire industrialist N. N. Demidov, under whom the facade of the house acquired features of late classicism; and A. N. Demidov, under whom in 1841 the architect A. H. Pel built an outbuilding on Malaya Sadovaya Street and the building housed the "Demidovskaya Hotel".

In 1878-1917, the house was owned by a large entrepreneur A. M. Ushakov (and his heirs), for whom in 1882-1883, according to the project of P. Yu. Suzor, the building was rebuilt in the form in which it exists today.

The building has an eclectic facade (a mix of different styles). The main facade of the building, facing Nevsky Prospekt, is decorated with architectural elements, stucco and has three bay windows: two central and one rounded side. The bay windows and part of the central facade of the house are decorated with semi-columns and pilasters with capitals.

The rounded corner of the building is decorated with a sculptural composition consisting of two female figures, between which is an engraving "UA".

Karl Bulla Photography Museum

In the middle of the 19th century, the building was a photo studio, which was first opened by Karl Ludvigovich Kulish.

Subsequently, the owners of the photo studio changed, and the photography continued.

Karl Karlovich Bulla, a merchant of the second guild, bought and converted the two upper floors of the house in 1907-1908, the house had a sign "Photograph of K. K. Bulla". He was assisted by his sons Viktor and Alexander.

Many citizens of St. Petersburg dreamed of taking their photos in the studio of Bulla. Famous poets, critics, artists, singers, generals, senators, deputies, etc. came to the photo studio.

After the revolution of 1917, the photo salon became a state institution. Karl Karlovich Bulla went to the island of Ezel (now Saaremaa, Estonia). Alexander Bulla was sent into exile in 1928, and Viktor Bulla was shot in 1938 on the false denunciation of a colleague. But the photo studio itself continued to operate under different names. It was not closed even during the siege of Leningrad.

In 2002, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, the new owner of the studio-Valentin Yevgenyevich Elbek - carried out a major reconstruction of the photo studio, recreating its glass dome. And since 2003, a recreated photo studio named after Karl Bulla with a memorial museum has started working.

In 2005, the Karl Bulla Foundation for Historical Photography was established in St. Petersburg, which aims to study, preserve and popularize Russian photography.

Today, the premises of the photo studio are:

- exhibition gallery;

- a balcony with views of Nevsky Prospekt, Ostrovsky Square and the surrounding area;

- archive of historical photographs of the famous St. Petersburg photographer Karl Bulla and sons;

- bookstore.

The museum-photo salon also hosts exhibitions, lectures, meetings with authors and master classes.

Monument to the St. Petersburg photographer

Until the middle of the 20th century, the house where Bulla's photo salon was located (today, 54 Nevsky Prospekt) had a second address-3 Malaya Sadovaya Street.

Near the house at number 3 in 2001, the sculpture "Photographer" was installed (sculptor B. A. Petrov, architects O. A. Kharchenko and L. V. Kanunnikova).

The sculpture quickly gained popularity, and today it is included in the list of the most popular St. Petersburg monuments. Also, several signs related to the sculpture have already appeared. Learn more about the monument and its signs...

Practical information

Address of the Ushakov House (Karl Bulla Museum-photo salon): Nevsky Prospekt, 54 (4th floor).

The entrance to the Karl Bulla Museum-photo salon is from Nevsky Prospekt.

The entrance to the Karl Bulla Museum-photo salon is paid.

Website of the Karl Bull Historical Photography Foundation: bullafond.

The nearest metrostations are Gostiny Dvor and Nevsky Prospekt.

Opposite the house with the museum-photo salon, across Malaya Sadovaya Street, at the address: Nevsky Prospekt 56, there is a shop of merchants Eliseevs, the building of which is an outstanding monument of early modern architecture and within its walls today there are a store and a theater. Read more about the merchant Eliseev store…

All accommodation facilities in St. Petersburg, including in the city center and on Nevsky Prospekt, can be viewed and booked here

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