Photo archive of Nikolai Molodovsky

Short biography and photo archive

Nikolai Molodovsky (1899 – 1986), self-portrait | © BSB/Image Archive/Nikolai Molodovsky
Nikolai Molodovsky (1899 – 1986), self-portrait | © BSB/Image Archive/Nikolai Molodovsky

Born in Russia, Nikolai Molodovsky (1899 – 1986) emigrated to France in 1920, at the end of the Russian civil war. In 1933, he moved to Prien am Chiemsee and started working as a freelance photographer there. Due to his marriage to Doris Keetman, he was in close contact with the artist family Keetman.


In the course of over 40 years, he created a broadly varied oeuvre, including, among other things, photos documenting Bavarian customs and the working environment from the 1950s to the 1970s.


Molodovsky documented everyday life in the Bavarian countryside during the time after the war, thereby creating snapshots which frequently tell stories.


Furthermore, he was interested in the villages and churches of Upper Bavaria and Lower Bavaria and also local artists.


The archive comprises 48,000 black-and-white negatives, 6,000 coloured slides and 15,000 high-quality prints. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek acquired it from the photographer's heirs in 2022.


Its digitization and cataloguing are still in their early stages.


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Wohlfart, Katharina: Eisgeher, Glasbläserinnen und zahlreiche VW-Käfer: das Fotoarchiv Nikolai Molodovsky in der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 17 (2023), 2 p. 34-38.

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