Eduard Krimmer

Born: 1900, Nikolayev
Died: 1974, Leningrad
Painter, graphic art, applied artist, theatrical and cinema designer, illustrator. Born in Nikolayev in the family of a Jewish photographer called Menachem Mendel Krimmer (1900). Worked as a theatrical designer and painted revolutionary frescoes in Nikolayev (1917–18). Studied theatrical design under Vladimir Müller at the Odessa Institute of Art (1918–22), where he designed the sets for performances of Molière’s comedy Les Fourberies de Scapin and Nikolai Yevreinov’s harlequinade A Merry Death (1920–21) and the cover of Georgy Kryzhitsky’s book Theatre of the Spirit and Flesh (1921). Moved to Petrograd (1923), where he illustrated over thirty books for Raduga (Rainbow) Publishers, including E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Der goldne Topf (1924), Vladimir Mazurkevich’s At a Snail’s Pace (1925), Rudyard Kipling’s How the Whale Got his Throat (1926), Sergei Polotsky’s The Port (1926) and The Little Bottle (1926), Samuel Marshak’s Two Cats (1928) and Daniil Kharms’s How an Old Woman Went Shopping for Ink (1929). Invited by Vladimir Lebedev to illustrate the Siskin and Hedgehog children’s magazines (1928). Attended Kazimir Malevich’s Circle for the Study of New Western Painting (1928–31), although later destroyed most of his paintings following the arrests of Lev Yudin and Vera Yermolaeva (late 1930s). Member of the Leningrad branch of the Union of Artists (from 1932). Designed the sets and costumes for performances of Vladimir Mayakovsky’s play The Bathhouse at the Bolshoi Theatre of Drama (1929–30), Vladimir Kashnitsky’s opera John Reed, Nikolai Gogol’s play The Government Inspector and Sergei Semyonov’s play Natalia Tarpova at Igor Terentiev’s House of Printing Theatre in the former Shuvalov Palace (1928–31) and The Big Life (1933) and The New Homeland (1935) at the Red Theatre at 48 River Fontanka Embankment in Leningrad. Artistic director of the films The Strict Young Man (1936, Ukrainefilm) and Large Wings (1937, Lenfilm). Painted studies in the village of Mirobuditsy near Valdai in Novgorod Region (1938). Headed a modern furniture design studio (1938–39). Helped Konstantin Rozhdestvensky to design the USSR Constitution installation for the New York World’s Fair (1939–40). Worked at the experimental studio of the Leningrad Mirror Factory (1940). Served alongside Pavel Kondratiev as chief officer of the camouflage service at the eighth air base of the Baltic Fleet during the Second World War (1941–45), published an account of his experiences in The Camouflage of Airplanes (1946). Illustrated the Fairytales of Alexander Pushkin (1947), Mikhail Lermontov’s The Song of the Merchant Kalashnikov (1947) and Irina Karnaukhova’s Russian Bogatyrs (1949). Collaborated with Vera Mukhina and Nikolai Kachalov at the Leningrad Factory of Artistic Glass (1947–50) and with Nikolai Suetin and Anna Leporskaya at the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory (1950–74). Died in Leningrad (1974). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1923), including Artists of the RSFSR Over Fifteen Years in Leningrad and Moscow (1932–33), Expo ’58 in Brussels (1958, major gold medal), Mezinárodní výstava sou?asné keramiky in Prague (1962, silver medal) and a posthumous one-man show at the Manège Central Exhibition Hall in St Petersburg (1996). Honoured Artist of the RSFSR (1967), winner of the Ilya Repin Prize (1970).

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