The most lasting impact of the Claas Epps migration was not religious at all but rather in the development of Russian photography. One of the young men who accompanied Epps to Khiva was an amateur photographer nam-ed Wilhelm Penner who taught a local youth, Khudaibergen Divanov, how to take and develop photographic images. This was the beginning of the famous Uzbek photography. Divanov produced a marvelous collection of photographs be-fore being executed by the Soviets in one of their many purges. Later, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky would follow in Divanov’s footsteps, chronicling the region in hauntingly beautiful “color” photographs.

We had been aware for some time of Prokudin-Gorsky’s remarkable “color” photographs, produced by a process in which he took multiple pictures in succession using different colored lenses and then projected them simultaneously. While these compelling images are of only tangential interest to the Epps emigration, they were so stunning that we felt compelled to share a sampling of them with our readers. To see more of these beautiful images click HERE.