Yukhym Mykhailiv was born in the town of Oleshky, in the Kherson region of Ukraine in 1885. He graduated from Stroganov Art and Industrial School in 1906, and the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1910, where he studied in the workshop of Valentin Serov.

After serving in the Czarist Army, he moved to Kyiv with his wife and young son in 1917. He was active in the cultural life of the city both before and after the Revolution.

In 1934, he was arrested and falsely accused of organizing an armed uprising against the state, and was exiled to Kotlas in the Soviet Arctic. Although he continued to paint and to dream of returning home, his health failed him and he died in 1935.

Many of his works were saved by his wife, who managed to bring them with her into exile in the West. Thanks in part to a bequest by George Chaplenko, 72 of Mykhailiv's works are now in our permanent collection.

My Room in Kotlas

Yukhym Mykhailiv. My Room in Kotlas. 1935. Watercolor.