Biography

Sergey Shimansky was born in the Western Ukrainian town of Suwalki to a family of assistant church keepers in 1898. From 1914-1920, he lived in Vladimir, where he finished his studies before being drafted by the Red Army to fight in the Civil War (1918-1920). In 1922, Shimansky moved to Kharkov to work for the State Institute of Agriculture. From 1924 he worked as a photojournalist for UKROFOTOTREST. He was sent on an expedition to the Central Asian mountain range, Tian Shan. This expedition inspired Shimansky’s first photography exhibition in 1929. Another relocation in 1935 brought the photographer to Kiev, where he worked  on a photography book of the city for Art publishing house. After completing this project, Shimansky became a free lance reporter, contributing his work to USSR in Construction and various sports publications. In 1940, Shimanksy moved to Moscow to report on the achievements in agriculture for the Soviet news agency TASS. During this year, he was invited by the exhibition committee to work on preparations for the art photography show in New York. Shimansky photographed during the Finnish War (1939-1940) and World War II for Krasnoflotets, the newspaper of the Northern Fleet, the central newspaper Red Fleet and TASS. In March of 1943, working as a special photo reporter for the Ministry of the USSR Navy Fleet, he traveled to photograph Leningrad under the siege, Tallinn, Riga, and Budapest. He was in Berlin at the end of the war in 1945. Shimansky continued to photograph and exhibit his work of northern Russia, Central Asia, and the Baltics while working in the main office of the Protection of Cultural Monuments. His works were published in the series Architectural Monuments in Art Photography.