NATALIA GERKEN-RUSOVA

1897–1989

Natalia Gerken-Rusova

Natalia Gerken-Rusova

Cinema and theatre designer, graphic artist, art historian and theorist, promoter of Ukrainian professional theatre, master of decorative and applied arts. Completed her secondary education at the Duczynska Gymnasium in Kyiv, then studied at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts with H. Narbut, M. Boуchuk, and V. Krychevsky (1918-1920). In 1923, emigrated to Czechoslovakia; continued her studies at the Ukrainian Studio of Plastic Arts in Prague (with S. Mako). In Prague during the 1920s, audited classes at Charles University and art history courses at the Ukrainian Free University. In 1927, graduated with honors from the Academy of Decorative Arts in Paris. Also attended the Sorbonne, the University of Florence, and the Studio of Theatre Decoration in Nice. In 1923, designed the decorations and costumes for the production of “Boris Godunov” in the Vinohrady theatre in Prague. Routinely created stage costumes and sets for the popular Dance School of Vasyl Avramenko in Podebrady, and designed posters and sets for theatrical spectacles in Berlin, Bratislava, Brno, Chernivtsi, Florence, Paris, and for the Dresden Imperial Theatre and the Imperial Theatre in Bucharest (1929-1940). Also designed posters and sets for cultural events of the Ukrainian diaspora in Prague. Designed costumes for cinema with the Berlin Film Studio Ufa-Kinos [Universum Film AG (Ufa)] (1933). Continued to work for the theatre in Montreal, Quebec. Exhibited in Paris, Rome, Prague, Chernivtsi, and Montreal. In addition to the scholarly study-“Heroic Theatre” (1939), she wrote art historical essays that were published in the English- and French-language press.

Ukrainian Artists

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