Boris Artzybasheff

Boris Artzybasheff:   Illustrations from the “Machinalia” Series

Boris Artzybasheff was born in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1899 to the writer Mikhail Petrovich Artsybashev and Anna Vasilyevna Kobushko. In his early childhood, he left his homeland and traveled to America, arriving at Ellis Island, New York on June 17, 1919. In his early days in the United States, Artzybasheff worked as an illustrator and designed stage sets for Michel Fokine’s Russian Ballet and the Ziegfeld Theatre. Artzubasjeff was naturalized in 1925 as a United States citizen.

Artzybasheff continued working as an illustrator of books and advertisements in New York City. Fortune Magazine commissioned Artzybasheff to work on the cover of the April 1941 issue. This cover illustration propelled Artzybasheff’s career as a magazine illustrator. Throughout the rest of his career, he produced more than 200 covers for Time Magazine, as well as numerous maps and ads for magazines.

Artzybasheff’s illustrations range from portraits of prominent figures to anthropomorphisations of machinery. During his lifetime, Artzybasheff won the John Newberry Award for book illustrations and was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Boris Artzybasheff passed away in July 1965 in Connecticut.

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