Ernst, Fedir

Ernst, Fedir [Ернст, Федір] (Theodor), b 11 November 1891 in Hlukhiv, Chernihiv gubernia, d 17 August 1949 in Ufa, Bashkiria. Art historian. A graduate of Kyiv University and a student of Hryhorii Pavlutsky, Ernst was a member of the All-Ukrainian Archeological Committee of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and chairman of the art department of the All-Ukrainian Historical Museum in Kyiv (1922–33) (see National Museum of the History of Ukraine). Ernst was exiled in 1934. For a short period after his release he worked in the museums of Alma-Ata and Ufa. He wrote books on the history of Ukrainian architecture and painting, including Kyïvs’ki arkhitekty XVIII viku (Kyiv Architects of the 18th Century, 1918), Ukraïns’ke mystetstvo XVII–XVIII vikiv (Ukrainian Art of the 17th–18th Century, 1919), Kontrakty i kontraktovyi budynok v Kyievi (1924), and a monograph on Heorhii Narbut: Heorhii Narbut. Posmertna vystavka tvoriv (Heorhii Narbut: A Posthumous Exhibit of His Works, 1926), and edited Kyïv: Providnyk (1930). With Danylo Shcherbakivsky, Ernst organized the first large exhibits of Ukrainian art, and, in particular, portraiture, the contents of which were published in Ukraïns’kyi portret XVII–XX st. Vystavka ukraïns’koho portreta (Ukrainian Portraits of the 17th–20th Century: An Exhibit of Ukrainian Portraits, 1925) and Ukraïns’ke maliarstvo XVII–XX st. (Ukrainian Painting of the 17th–20th Century, 1929). Ernst raised the issue of returning to Ukraine the art treasures that had been exported to the central Russian museums.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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