Morozova, Liudmila

Bouquet of Flowers , 1991
Oil on canvas board
9 x 11.25 in
Nasturium, 1993
Oil on board
9 x 12 in
Liudmyia Morozova (1907, Kyiv, Ukraine–1997, Hunter, NY, USA), began her study of art by taking private lessons from the noted Ukrainian artist Anna Krueger-Prakhova. Her education  continued at the Kyiv School of Art and Industry in 1925–27 and at the Kyiv Art Institute in 1928–31. Among Morozova’s teachers were renowned artists and educators Mykhailo Kozyk, Yukhym Mykhailiv, Kostiantyn Yeleva, and the brothers Vasyl and Fedir Krychevsky. It was Fedir Krychevsky in particular, that exercised the greatest influence in the shaping of Morozova’s personal creative style.  Krychevsky treated his students with the utmost respect towards of their original talent and strong personality.  He possessed the essential qualities of a great master and teacher who recognized the importance of nurturing the students’ individual artistic approach. It is rumored that Fedir Krychevsky was in love with his strongest student, Liudmila Morozova, a beautiful young woman, with bright blue eyes and luxurious blonde braids. A portrait of Morozova painted by Krychevsky was purchased by the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Liudmila Morozova’s early works reflect her refined degree of the impressionist style.  Her extraordinary talent and innovative approach to painting were quickly recognized. Morozova captured the admiration of the public with her first solo exhibition held in Kyiv in 1935. In 1936 Morozova, together with Prof. Ipolyt Morgilevsky, a renowned architecture historian, participated in the salvation of the mosaics, frescoes, and icons from the Cathedral of St. Michael of the Golden Domes, a priceless cultural treasure dating from the twelfth century that was destroyed by the Bolsheviks. In 1937–38 she took part in an archeological expedition led by Prof. Morgilevsky, in Svanetia, a mountainous region in Georgia. Morozova was a daughter of a Baltic German from Riga.  Her family was close to Hetman Petro Skoropadsky, a conservative head of independent Ukrainian state in 1918,  and as a result, Morozova suffered persecution by Soviet authorities in the 1930s and was forced to leave Ukraine. In 1944, she undertook a perilous journey to the West, through Berlin, Dresden, where a large portion of her private collection perished during the bombing. After, Dresden Morozova went to Karlovy Vary, and Pilsen, and found herself in camps for displaced persons run by the Western allies in Aschaffenburg and Berchtesgaden. As a postwar refugee, Morozova arrived in the United States in 1951, settling in New York, and became a member of the American Artists Professional League. For twenty-five years, she taught painting at the Queensboro Art Society in Queens, NY. In the late 1970s, she moved permanently to Hunter, NY, where she purchased a house in 1961 and organized her studio. Morozova was very fond of the culture and landscape of Greece, where she spent extensive creative sojourns in 1965–66, 1976–77, 1984–85, and 1987–88. In addition to her artistic efforts she was noted for her close friendships with prominent representatives of Ukrainian and Russian émigré circles, such as the historian Natalia Polonska-Vasylenko and R. Repin, the grandson of the famous Russian artist.

Liudmila Morozova worked primarily in oils and was a traditional impressionist, painting the air in her landscapes, the sun on her models, and the scent of her flowers. In the final decades of her life she focused her painting efforts on landscapes depicting Greece and the Woodstock area in upstate New York; she was a prominent member of the Woodstock area artist community. In accordance with her final wishes, she was buried in Kyiv, the city of her birth.

The works of Liudmila Morozova are held in the collections of the National Museum of Arts of Ukraine, the Museum of the City of Kyiv, and in museums and private collections in the United States, Britain, Canada, Greece, Germany, Austria, France, and Australia.

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