Boris Artzybasheff

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Full Name:

Boris Artzybasheff

Occupation / Title:

Date of birth:


Date of death:



Kharkiv, Russia


His artistic career started in the 1920’s doing art deco illustrations for books. These flat and graphic illustrations were often black and white in stark contrast to his later work. In his lifetime, Boris illustrated some 50 books, of which his most well known, As I See, he wrote himself. Around 1940, he dedicated himself to commercial work, cranking out more than two hundred covers for Time, countless illustrations for Life Magazine, as well as advertisements for many companies.

Family and early life

Boris Artzybasheff was born in Kharkiv, Russia. His father, Mikhail, was an author. He fought during the Russian Revolution in the White Army.


Artzybasheff was strongly influenced by the then contemporary, representational surrealist movement. This shows in his anthropomorphized characters, his juxtaposition of unrelated objects, and his realistic rendering of subjects.

Honors and awards

Artzybasheff was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1928 for illustrating Dhan Mukerji’s Gay Neck.


  • Heller, Stephen. The Graphic Design Reader. New York : Allworth Press, 2002.
  • Vadeboncoeur, Jim. Boris Artzybasheff Biography.

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