Sergei Konyonkov

Born: 1874, Verkhnie Karakovichi (Smolensk Province)
Died: 1971, Moscow

Sculptor, teacher, writer on art, memoirist. Born in the family of a peasant called Timofei Konyonkov in the village of Verkhnie (Upper) Karakovichi in the south of Smolensk Province (1874). Studied under Sergei Ivanov and Sergei Volnukhin at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1892–96). Awarded a foreign fellowship and visited France, Italy and Germany (1897). Returned to Russia and studied under Vladimir Beklemishev at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1899–1902). Awarded the title of sculptor (1902). Settled in Moscow (1902) and visited Greece (1912). Member of the New Society of Artists (1908), Union of Russian Artists (1909) and the World of Art (1917). Academician (1916). Taught at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture/State Free Art Studios/VKhUTEMAS (1916–20). Married Soviet spy Margarita Vorontsova (1922) and lived with her in New York (1923–45). Returned to the Soviet Union and awarded a studio at 17 Gorky (now Tver) Street in Moscow (1945). Winner of the Stalin Prize (1951) and the Lenin Prize (1957). Full member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1954), People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1955), People’s Artist of the USSR (1958). Died at the age of ninety-seven in Moscow and buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery with Self-Portrait (1957) as a gravestone (1971). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1892), including Portraiture in Russia: XX Century at the Russian Museum in St Petersburg (2001–02), Twosome at the Russian Museum in St Petersburg (2002–03), All Creatures Great and Small: Russian Animal Art (18th to 21st Centuries) at the Russian Museum in St Petersburg (2004), Twentieth-Century Wooden Sculpture from the Tretyakov Gallery Collection at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (2006) and one-man shows in Moscow (1917, 1965) and Rome (1929).

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