New York, NY—During Street Photo Milano 2019, a historic photographic exhibition took place in Milan, Italy. A collection of photographic images not seen in more than 70 years came back to life on Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige paper. Moreover, the public exhibition allowed thousands of visitors to admire the art of the brothers Evgeny and Yakov Henkin. The Henkins were pioneers of street photography.
The Henkin Brothers
Evgeny and Yakov Henkin were born in the Russian Empire in 1900 and 1903, respectively. In the aftermath of the disruptions of 1917, Evgeny moved to Berlin, where he worked as a musician. Yakov, along with his young family, settled in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and became an economist.
Despite the distance that separated them, a passion for photography continued to animate both of their lives. Consequently, the two brothers documented life in the 1930s in Berlin and Leningrad. They captured the gestures, the smiles and the eyes of ordinary people encountered in the streets—in a style anticipating the genre of street photography as we know it today.
As a result, Evgeny and Yakov left behind them passionate portraits of two very different cities between two World Wars. Unfortunately, neither brother survived the tragic events of their time. In addition, none of their photos were ever printed.
Their art could have been easily lost, but through a series of fortunate coincidences it reached the 21st century. However, early in the 2000s, members of Yakov Henkin’s family discovered several boxes with old negatives. Today, the nonprofit Swiss-based Henkin Brothers Archive Association (HBAA) holds the copyright to all the images.
Since the discovery, the work of the Henkin brothers has only exhibited publicly twice: at the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg in 2017 and at Street Photo Milano 2019.
Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige
For the exhibition in Milan, the association used Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige paper to print the photos. The fine art paper emulates the aesthetic look and feel of traditional darkroom prints. Engineered to guarantee substantiality and durability for photographs, it is particularly suitable for the reproduction of black-and-white images.
Canson is among the last pioneering photographic paper manufacturers still in business. In 1865, the company acquired an international patent for the improvement of albumen papers. Albumen was one of the first processes for the production of photographic paper. The patent regards the improvement of the final rendering of the image, while avoiding the costly gold-toning process generally practiced when performing the original process.
Today, Canson favors the use of natural minerals and pure materials, without optical brighteners, to provide printing materials that are resistant to ageing. The papers and canvases within the Canson Infinity range for photography and digital art publishing provide optimal chromatic rendering with a large color gamut and a strong D-Max.