Shmit, Fedir

Shmit, Fedir or Schmidt [Шміт, Федір; Šmit], b 3 May 1877 in Saint Petersburg, d 10 November 1942 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Art historian of German origin; full member of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences from 1921. A graduate of Saint Petersburg University (1900), he researched the architecture and painting of Byzantium (see Byzantine art), the Balkans, the Near East, and Kyivan Rus’. In 1912 he became chairman of the department of art history at Kharkiv University; later he chaired the museum section of the All-Ukrainian Committee for the Protection of Monuments of Antiquity and Art (1919–20). In 1921 he moved to Kyiv. There he chaired the Saint Sophia Cathedral Commission, served as the first head of the All-Ukrainian Archeological Committee, was a professor at Kyiv Architecture Institute and the Lysenko Music and Drama Institute, and became rector (in 1922) of the Kyiv Archeological Institute and director (in 1923) of the Museum of Religious Cults and the Saint Sophia Museum In December 1924 he was appointed a professor at Leningrad University and the director of the Russian Institute of Art History. Shmit published a book in Russian on art, its psychology, its stylistics, and its evolution (1919) and books in Ukrainian on the art of ancient Rus’-Ukraine (1919), the psychology of painting (1921), monuments of Rus’ art (1922), and art as a subject of study (1923).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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