Vrona, Ivan

Image - M. Kozyk, O. Bohomazov, L. Kramarenko, I. Vrona, and M. Boichuk at the Kyiv State Art Institute (late 1920s).

Vrona, Ivan [Врона, Іван], b 29 September 1887 in Otroch, Kholm county, Lublin gubernia, d 5 January 1970 in Kyiv. Art scholar and critic, and political figure. After serving two years of exile in Siberia for revolutionary activities he studied law at Moscow University (1910–14) and art at K. Yuon's studio in Moscow (1912–14) and the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts in Kyiv (1918–20). In 1918 he joined the Borotbists faction of the Ukrainian Party of Socialists Revolutionaries, and in 1920 the CP(B)U. In 1921 he was elected to the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee. In the 1920s Vrona helped organize the Kyiv State Art Institute and served as its first rector; he taught there later (1930–3, 1945–8). He was also a founder and leader of the Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine (ARMU), whose program he defined in his Mystetstvo revoliutsiï i ARMU (The Art of the Revolution and ARMU, 1926), and served as director of the Kyiv Museum of Western and Eastern Art and chief inspector of art education of the People's Commissariat of Education. His art criticism was published in Zhyttia i revoliutsiia and Krytyka.

In 1933 Vrona was arrested and sent to a western Siberian labor camp. He was released in 1936 and rehabilitated in 1943. After being allowed to return to Ukraine in 1944, he became a research associate of the Institute of Fine Arts, Folklore, and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR and wrote monographs on the artists Karpo Trokhymenko (1957), Mykhailo Derehus (1958), and Anatol Petrytsky (1968) and two chapters for volume 5 of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR history of Ukrainian art (1967).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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