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David (?) Elkind
A. Birkan, 26 y.o. [European Jew, Vistula Krai]
Russian Museum of Ethnography
Number: ??? 8764-21574
Curatorial description (Accessed: 6 August 2021)
Arkady Danilovich Elkind (1869–1920), anthropologist and Doctor of Medicine, was born into a Jewish family, and graduated from the department of medicine, Imperial University of Moscow. In his years of study, he got interested in physical anthropology. In 1894–1896 he was twice sent on a mission trip to Vistula Land by the Imperial Society of Amateurs of Natural Science, Anthropology, and Ethnography to collect anthropological observations among the Jewish population. In 1897, Arkady Elkind asked his brother David (?) Elkind to make photographs of Jews in the city of Chelm, Lublin Province, which was done. The materials collected later formed the basis of the fundamental work The Jews released in 1903. The book contained sketches from photographs made by D. D. Elkind.
The work on the book completed, in 1902, Arkady Elkind donated the whole collection of photographs to the Rumyantsov Museum in Moscow. They are portraits of Jews (men, women, girls, and youths), 54 sheets in all, with two photos, en face and in profile, glued on each; indicated on the reverse of 40 cards are the name initials and the surname of persons portrayed (the shooting place is not indicated, but it became identifiable due to the captions in the book released).
“Today’s Polish Jew, in his clothing and appearance, facial expressions, and gestures makes a special and not-soon-forgotten impression on an observer; a long coat almost down to heels and a peculiar peaked cap are a necessary feature of the costume of both the young and the old…”(from the book The Jews by A.D. Elkind, 1903).