Russian Art in Seattle

Two Russian American artists are featured in an exhibition now on display at the Frye Museum of Art in Seattle. The exhibition, a tribute to the museum’s longtime director Ida Kay Greathouse, includes work by artists Nicolai Fechin and Sergei Bongart.

Fechin studied with Ilya Repin at the Imperial Academy in Petersburg in the early 1900’s. He exhibited with the Wanderers, the most important artistic group of 19th century Russia, until their last exhibition in 1922 and then with the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia – a splinter group of the Wanderers. At age 42, after a long teaching career, he emigrated to the United States and became known as a portraitist in New York City. Later, for health reasons, he moved to the western United States, eventually setting up a studio in Santa Monica California which was used, after his death, by Sergei Bongart.

Bongart studied at the Academy of Art in Kiev. He left the Soviet Union during World War II, and spent time in Vienna and Munich before settling in Los Angeles where he set up a school. His wife now maintains a website on his life and work – link.

The exhibition runs through September 19.

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Author: Barry O'Keefe

Artist/printmaker from Richmond, Va

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