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Vladimir Bobritsky

  • Given name:
    Vladimir
  • Last name:
    Bobritsky
  • Alternative names:

    Владимир Васильевич Бобрицкий, Vladimir Bobri

  • Date of Birth:
    13-05-1898
  • Place of Birth:
    Kharkiv (UA)
  • Date of Death:
    03-11-1986
  • Place of Death:
    Rosendale Village (US)
  • Profession:
    Graphic ArtistMusicianPainterScene Designer
  • Introduction:

    Bobritsky worked at the Theatre des Petits Champs, where he successfully dealt with stage designs and costumes, at the same time he participated in the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople.

    Word Count: 31

  • Signature Image:
    Promotional photograph of Vladimir Bobri (1898–1986), illustrator, author and editor of Guitar Review magazine, 1950. Self-scan from Guitar Review magazine, Winter 1987, no. 8 (The entire contents of the GUITAR REVIEW unless otherwise noted are copyrighted © 1985 by ALBERT AUGUSTINE LTD).
  • Content:

    Before fleeing to Istanbul, Vladimir Bobritsky not only graduated from Kharkiv Art School, but also worked as a decorator at a theatre, as an illustrator for several magazines, as a muralist at the Kharkiv circus and the House of Actors, and also demonstrated his organisational skills among avant-garde artists from Kharkiv.

    In the autumn of 1919, Bobritsky settled in Istanbul, later started to work at the Theatre des Petits Champs, where he successfully dealt with stage designs and costumes, at the same time he participated in the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople's exhibitions (including First Russian émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition and Exhibition of Russian émigré artists at Taksim Military Barracks). In addition, “in Asiatic İstanbul he painted signs. In Pera he played the piano in a nickelodeon, lectured on art – freelance, unknown to the museum’s administration but to the complete satisfaction of button-holed tourists” (Yalkert S., “Bobri”).
    Bobritsky (most likely together with Leonid Tomiloff) worked successfully at the Theatre des Petits Champs on Meşrutiyet Street over a long period of time. Interestingly, his decorations for the ballet Pan were both historical and futuristic, which led some critics to accuse the painter of “imbalance in the direction of excessive modernism”. In their opinion, this combination violated the unity of the overall impression. However, the artist apparently took this feedback into account, as his setting for The Magic Flute (one of the costume-sketches for this performance can be seen at the the Ukrainian Museum in New York) was, again according to the critics, “less pretentious”, and the stage design for the new version of Scheherazade was recognised as very “spectacular”. After his departure to New York in January 1923, Nikolai Kalmykoff and later Nikolai Peroff took his place.

    In New York, Bobritsky continued his “Istanbul” friendship with Constantin Alajalov and Nikolai Vasilieff, and also became close friends with David Burliuk and Nicolai Cikovsky. Initially, he worked in America, as in Kharkiv, in different areas, such as the illustration of books and almanacs, the painting of local cabarets, and scenography, but over time he decided to focus on book illustration. He produced illustrations for children’s books for New York publishing houses, as well as for the magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar (where émigré Alexey Brodovitch worked as an art director) and The New Yorker (where the Hungarian photographer Ylla's article was published). His advertising drawings and graphics (along with the photographs by Walter Sanders) were published in Gebrauchsgraphik (1932–1933), The Studio (1939), American Artist (1942–1946), Art News (1944–1945), and Graphis (1952). Furthermore, Bobritsky designed advertisements for the luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue, for which some of the works by the German photographer Ruth Bernhard were commissioned, and the rooftop of which was used as an urban scenery for the fashion shootings by the German photographer Hermann Landshoff.

    Notable and representative of the diversity of his creativity is the fact that in America he revealed his talent as a musician and composer. In 1936 he founded and was head of the New York City Classical Guitar Society, and in 1945 became president of the Classical Guitar Society of America (see Illustrirovanniy Biograficheskiy entsiklopedicheskiy slovar’ “Gitaristy i Kompozitory”). At the same time, he was engaged in the design of album covers, and from 1946 to 1985 he worked as an artist and editor of the magazine Guitar Review. It is known that Vladimir Bobritsky died in his house during a fire accident. He tried to rescue his archive and collection but did not manage to save his one life (Leykind, 2019).

    Word Count: 584

  • Media:
    Promotional photograph of Vladimir Bobri (1898–1986), illustrator, author and editor of Guitar Review magazine, 1950. Self-scan from Guitar Review magazine, Winter 1987, no. 8 (The entire contents of the GUITAR REVIEW unless otherwise noted are copyrighted © 1985 by ALBERT AUGUSTINE LTD).
    Vladimir Bobritsky decorates the shawl of Vera Strelsky, a former member of the Russian Imperial Ballet (Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 13 January 1924, p. 86).
    Illustrations by Vladimir Bobritsky, Mentor, June 1930 (Chris Mullen, fulltable.com).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Anonymous. “Odnodnevnaya Vystavka Kartin.” Presse du Soir, 10 October 1921, p. 4.

    Anonymous. “Vystavka Soyuza Russkih Hudojnikov.” Presse du Soir, 19 June 1922, n.p.

    Anonymous. “Pan Balet.” Presse du Soir, 3 August 1922, p. 3.

    Anonymous. “Volshebnaya fleyta Balet.” Presse du Soir, 10 August 1922, p.3.

    Anonymous. “Sheherazade Balet.” Presse du Soir, 1 September 1922, p. 3.

    Illustrirovanniy Biograficheskiy entsiklopedicheskiy slovar’ “Gitaristy i Kompozitory”. “Vladimir Vasilyevich Bobri.” abc-guitar.narod.ru, http://www.abc-guitar.narod.ru/pages/bobri.htm. Accessed 2 August 2020.

    Leykind, Oleg, et al. Hudojniki Russkogo Zarubej’ya (1). Izd.dom “Mir”, 2019, pp. 276–277.

    Yalkert S. “Bobri.” fulltable.com, http://www.fulltable.com/vts/aoi/b/bobri/a.html. Accessed 25 September 2020.

    Word Count: 97

  • Archives and Sources:

    Slavonic Library (Slovanská knihovna) in Prague.

    Word Count: 6

  • Acknowledgements:

    I would like to thank Chris Mullen for his valuable help.

    Word Count: 11

  • Author:
    Ekaterina Aygün
  • Exile:

    Istanbul, Ottoman Empire/Turkey (1919–1923); Rosendale (New York), United States (1923–1986).

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Küçük Yazıcı 4 (now presumably Tarlabaşı Blv. 79), Hüseyinağa, Beyoğlu, Istanbul (studio); Theatre des Petits Champs, Mezarlık Street 500 (now Meşrutiyet Caddesi 50), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (place of work).

  • Metropolis:
    Istanbul
  • Ekaterina Aygün. "Vladimir Bobritsky." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2949/object/5138-10440367, last modified: 10-01-2022.
  • Nikolai Kalmykoff
    PainterScene DesignerMuralist

    Kalmykoff played an active part in the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople and at the same time worked as a stage designer. Later he acquired the Turkish citizenship.

    Word Count: 29

    Nikolai Kalmykoff (http://www.antikalar.com/naci-kalmukoglu).
    Nikolai Kalmykoff (http://www.antikalar.com/naci-kalmukoglu).Naci Kalmukoğlu, Liman (© Ankara Devlet Resim ve Heykel Müzesi).Naci Kalmukoğlu, Köyde tütün işleyenler (© Ankara Devlet Resim ve Heykel Müzesi).Works by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 12 February 1941, p. 2).Works by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 13 February 1941, p. 1).Nikolai Kalmykoff by Turkish caricaturist Ratip Tahir Burak (Ulus, 27 March 1943, p. 2).Exhibition in Ankara (Ulus, 28 March 1943, p. 2).Fortuneteller, by Nikolai Kalmykoff (Ulus, 15 November 1947, p. 3).
    Istanbul
    Wladimir Ivanoff
    PainterSculptor

    Not only did Ivanoff become one of the founders and chairman of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, but he also became famous for “Drawing Thursdays”, which took place at his apartment.

    Word Count: 33

    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Presumably one of the men in this picture is Wladimir Ivanoff. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Presumably one of the men in this picture is Wladimir Ivanoff. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Photograph of the artwork by Wladimir Ivanoff (most likely). Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 16 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Leonid Tomiloff
    Scene DesignerDecorator

    As a professional scene-designer, Leonid Tomiloff was in high demand in Istanbul. For many years, he worked at the Theatre des Petits Champs and was the chief decorator of the Constantinople Commercial Club.

    Word Count: 33

    Short note about Leonid Tomiloff (Radio, 30 January 1927, n.p.).
    Entertainment program of the Constantinople Commercial Club as listed in the Zarubezhnyi Klich almanac, April 1925.
    Istanbul
    First Russian émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition
    Exhibition

    The first Russian-speaking émigré artists in Istanbul exhibition was a one-day event but its success led to the formation of the Union and paved the way for other exhibitions.

    Word Count: 29

    Portrait of the poet Maximilian Voloshin (one of the representatives of the Symbolist movement in Russian culture and literature) by Boleslav Cybis that was presented at the exhibition. Boleslav Cybis was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople who was fond of representing truths symbolically, combining figurative thinking with ideas of the avant-garde (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Portrait of the poet Maximilian Voloshin (one of the representatives of the Symbolist movement in Russian culture and literature) by Boleslav Cybis that was presented at the exhibition. Boleslav Cybis was an émigré artist from the Russian Empire and a member of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople who was fond of representing truths symbolically, combining figurative thinking with ideas of the avant-garde (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Exhibition of Russian émigré artists at Taksim Military Barracks
    Exhibition

    The exhibition of Russian-speaking émigré artists at Taksim Military Barracks was the first major exhibition organised by the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople.

    Word Count: 24

    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition foyer, Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 11 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition foyer, Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 11 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 10 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Sculptures at the Union of Russian Painters exhibition in Constantinople, Taksim military barracks, summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 5 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Works of the Artel of Russian Craftsmen in Constantinople, Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 6 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 7 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople exhibition at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople
    Association

    The Union existed for less than two years but in that short space of time a tremendous amount of work was done by its members, refugees from the Russian Empire.

    Word Count: 30

    Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople logo from 1922 membership card of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople (Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti).
    Members of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 8 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).1922 membership card of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople (Private Archive of Dimitri Ismailovitch that belongs to Eduardo Mendes Cavalcanti).Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople logo painted by T. Sabaneeff, 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 1 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).One of the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 10 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).Exhibition of the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople at Taksim military barracks, Summer 1922. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 6 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).
    Istanbul
    Hermann Landshoff
    Photographer

    Besides outdoor fashion shots, Hermann Landshoff was a portrait and street photographer. During his time in New York, he captured the cultural, artistic and intellectual émigré scene as well as his photographer colleagues.

    Word Count: 33

    Hermann Landshoff, Selfportrait, New York 1942 (© bpk / Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie / Archiv Landshoff).
    Hermann Landshoff, Die Fotografin Lisette Model, New York 1948 (© bpk / Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie / Archiv Landshoff).Hermann Landshoff, Der Grafikdesigner, Fotograf und Art Director Alexey Brodovitch in seiner Wohnung, 1942–45, New York (© bpk / Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie / Archiv Landshoff).
    New York
    Walter Sanders
    Photographer

    Walter Sanders was a German émigré photographer. In 1938 he arrived in New York, where he worked from 1939 until the end of his life for the Black Star agency and, from 1944, for Life magazine.

    Word Count: 33

    Portrait of Walter Sanders, Cuba, Havana, 1938 (Estate Walter Sanders).
    Walt Sanders and Alfred Kornfeld, son of Black Star cofounder Kurt Kornfeld. Sheldrake Lake, New Rochelle, NY, November 1939 (© Heirs of Kurt Kornfeld).First cover by Walter Sanders for Life, 26 June 1939 (Estate Walter Sanders).Letterhead with name Walter Suessmann, a reference to Echo and an address (Estate Walter Sanders).Photo of the Aquacade swim show by Walter Sanders for Black Star, reproduced in Life, 3 July 1939, p. 60 (Estate Walter Sanders, Photo: Helene Roth).“Life goes to The Futurama.” Image of the General Motors Show by Walter Sanders in Life, 5 June 1939, p. 79 (Estate Walter Sanders, Photo: Helene Roth).“Life visits Statue of Liberty.” Images by Walter Sanders published in Life, 2 June 1941, pp. 94–95 (Estate Walter Sanders, Photo: Helene Roth).“Por las entrañas de una estatua.”. Images by Walter Sanders, MUNDO Argentino, June 1941 (Estate Walter Sanders, Photo: Helene Roth).“The Road Back to Berlin.” Images and text by Walter Sanders in Life, 10 November 1946, p. 29 (Estate Walter Sanders, Photo: Helene Roth).Americans in Heidelberg, Life cover, Image by Walter Sanders, Life, 21 July 1947 (Estate Walter Sanders, Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York
    Ruth Bernhard
    Photographer

    Ruth Bernhard was a German émigré photographer who lived in New York from the 1920s to the 1940s. Beside her series on female nudes, her place in the photography network, as well as in the New York queer scene, is unknown and understudied.

    Word Count: 43

    Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Bernhard, 1945, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).
    Scrapbook and published work by Ruth Bernhard (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).Lifesavers by Ruth Bernhard, published in Advertisment Arts, January 1931 (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).Still Life of dolls for Macy’s by Ruth Bernhard, published in Graphic Arts, 1931 (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).Ruth Bernhard, Eighth Street Movie Theater, Frederick Kiesler-Architect, New York, 1946 (Diversity Corner is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0).Exhibition flyer for Ruth Bernhard Photographs, PM Gallery, 1938 (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).Description of Ruth Bernhard Photographs exhibition, by Kurt Safranski, PM Gallery, 1938 (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).
    New York
    Alexey Brodovitch
    PhotographerArt DirectorGraphic Designer

    Alexey Brodovitch was a Belarus-born émigré graphic artist, art director and photographer who, from 1933, worked in New York for Harper’s Bazaar magazine and at the New School for Social Research.

    Word Count: 31

    Hermann Landshoff, Der Grafikdesigner, Fotograf und Art Director Alexey Brodovitch in seiner Wohnung, 1942–45, New York (© bpk / Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie / Archiv Landshoff).
    Announcement of Alexey Brodovitch “Advertising Design” course at the Pennsylvanian Museum School for Industrial Art (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 24 September 1933, p. 30).Announcement of the Design Laboratory by Alexey Brodovitch at the New School of Social Research (© Clara Meyer Papers. Brodovitch, Alexey, 1949-1959, Box: 1, Folder: 35. The New School Archives).Announcement of "Art Applied to Graphic Journalism, Advertising, Design, Fashion" course by Alexey Brodovitch, published in New School Bulletin. Art Classes, 1942/43, p. 11 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Cover of Ballet by Alexey Brodovitch (J.J. Augustin, 1945).Design of a lamp by Alexey Brodovitch (St. Louis Post Dispatch, 25 March 1951, p. 103).
    New York
    Nikolai Peroff
    PainterArt restorerIconographerChoir DirectorCharitable Society’s ChairmanScene Designer

    Nikolai Peroff lived in Istanbul until the end of his life. He was engaged in restorations, carried out scene decorations, and did a lot for the Russian churches in Karaköy.

    Word Count: 31

    Nikolai Peroff, 1941 (Hagop Ayvaz Collection, Hrant Dink Foundaiton Archive, Istanbul).
    Nikolai Peroff, 1941 (Hagop Ayvaz Collection, Hrant Dink Foundaiton Archive, Istanbul).Nikolai Peroff (Tarih ve Toplum, no. 150, June 1996).Photograph of Nikolai Peroff's work, Istanbul, 1921. Source: Scrapbook “To Mr. and Mrs. Stearns from Russian Painters”, p. 7 (Stearns Family Papers. Archives & Special Collections. The College of the Holy Cross).One of the works by Nikolai Peroff as a scene designer (Tarih ve Toplum, no. 150, June 1996)."Dekor: N.Peroff", Şehir Theatre, Istanbul (Akşam, 16 December 1954, p.4)."Dekor: Peroff", Şehir Theatre, Istanbul (Akşam, 17 February 1955, p. 7).Father Viktor in front of the wall that was painted by Nikolai Peroff, Aya Andrea Russian Orthodox Church (Photo: Ekaterina Aygün, 2019).Church (Aya Andrea) parishioners at the beginning of the 1960s, Nikolai Peroff is the fourth from the right (© Aya Andrea Russian Orthodox Church’s archive).
    Istanbul
    Nikolai Vasilieff
    PainterScene DesignerMuralist

    Vasilieff was not only one of the Union of Russian Painters in Istanbul’s leaders, but he is also remembered for his stage settings and costumes for the ballet Scheherazade at the Theatre des Petits Champs.

    Word Count: 36

    Consuelo Kanaga (American, 1894-1978). [Untitled] (Nicholas Vasilief, Painter). Gelatin silver photograph, 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (24.4 x 19.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga, 82.65.414
    Consuelo Kanaga (American, 1894-1978). [Untitled] (Nicholas Vasilief, Painter). Gelatin silver photograph, 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (24.4 x 19.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga, 82.65.414Nicholas Vasilieff, Still Life With Mushrooms, 1960. Oil on linen, 30 × 40 1/8 in. (76.2 × 101.9 cm). (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mrs. Ansley W. Sawyer 61.59).
    Istanbul
    Ylla
    Photographer

    Ylla was an Austrian-born photographer who emigrated to New York in 1941. Specialising in animal photography, she produced not only studio photographs, but also shot outside on urban locations in the metropolis.

    Word Count: 31

    "Speaking of Pictures … this is the work of the Bachrach of Dog Photography.”, images by Ylla and published in Life, 17 November 1947, pp. 18–19. (Photo: Helene Roth).“Babytime at the Zoo”, images by Ylla, Life,14 May 1944, p. 43. (Photo: Helene Roth).“Ylla’s cameras tells. A tale of two kittens ... .” Popular Photography, Dezember 1951, pp. 50–51 (Photo: Helene Roth).Profile photo of terrier by Ylla (Camilla Koffler), ca. 1938, published on the cover of U.S. Camera, October 1940 ( © Waverley123 (Pryor Dodge) at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons).Advertisement in The New Yorker (November 14, 1953, p. 184) for Ylla’s book Animal’s in Africa (Photo: Helene Roth).Published photograph by Ylla Back to Methusala, Regent's Park London for U.S. Camera. Annual 1943, edited by Tom Malloney, Radom House, 1943, p. 90.Fritz Neugass. “The saga of the S.S. Winnipeg.” Modern Photography, July 1951, pp. 72–73 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York