November 9, 2020: a new exhibit was unveiled to the public at Taganrog Museum of Architecture and Urbanism. This is a joint project between the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg and Taganrog Group of Museums with the bulk of the material provided by Saint Petersburg.
Yakov Rubanchik (1899-1948) was a Leningrad architect and artist, who was born in Taganrog and studied at the historic building of Taganrog Boys' Gymnasium (now "Chekhov Gymnasium" museum). During the Great Patriotic War he chose to stay with his family in the besieged city of Leningrad, where he spent all 872 days of the Blockade. Rubanchik was an eyewitness, who chronicled the events in the besieged city by his drawings.
"He was deeply in love with this city, and felt its tragedy as his own. He could not refrain from drawing and it was in art that he found salvation...day by day putting on paper the pain and sorrow of Leningrad", recalls the artist's niece Lenochka (Yelena) Sverdlova (Polonskaya).
In 1964 she transmitted Yakov Rubanchik's artworks from the family archive in favor of the Museum of Leningrad History (now - the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg).
The colourful drawings of this talented artist present the everyday life of the besieged city in 1941-1944. There are many details, which are not reported in common newsreels and photo reviews on the blockade. Drawn from life, Rubanchik's artworks from the series "Leningrad in the Days of the Great Patriotic War: an Architect's Diary" are of great artistic and documentary value.
Several drawings were published as postcards during the Soviet period, but the whole collection was unveiled to public only in 2015, followed by an exhibition at the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad in 2019. Taganrog Museum of Architecture and Urbanism became the third venue. It is noteworthy that the main exhibit "A Time-Lapse Portrait of the City"
, which was unveiled in 2019 contains rare photos of Taganrog's classic architecture made by Yakov Rubanchik on his visit to home city in 1929.
Visitors and residents of the city are welcome to see the new exhibit "Blockade Diary of Yakov Rubanchik" Tuesday to Sunday, from 10AM to 6PM in the Taganrog Town-Planning Museum at the following address: Ulitsa Frunze 80.