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Masiutin, Vasilii Nikolaevich

Масютин, Василий Николаевич

Born 1884, Riga, Lativa, Russian Empire; died 1955, Berlin, Germany

Vasilii Nikolaevich Masiutin was born in Lativa at a time when it was part of the Russian Empire. From 1908 to 1914, Masiutin studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where he specialized in the technique of engraving. While in school, he was under the tutelage of Sergei V. Ivanov, the noted Russian graphic artist. During this early period of his life, Masiutin joined the art group Mir Iskusstva [The World of Art]. He exhibited with the art group Venok [The Garland] in Saint Petersburg (1908) and with the Moscow Association of Artists (1908-1918), the Union of Russian Artists (SRKh) (1910-1917), and at the International Exhibition of Graphic Design and Printing in Leipzig (1914).

In the aftermath of the October Revolution in Russia, Masiutin was teaching art at the Free Art Studios (SVOMAS) in Moscow. In March 1917, he joined the Committee for the Protection of Art Memorials and Antiquities of the Past. In this same period, Masiutin worked at the Administrative Council of the Rumiantsev Museum, and he became a member of the Union of Etchers. In 1918, he began serving a as professor of etching at VKhUTEMAS [Higher Art and Technical Studios] where subsequently he led the department. While working as a professor, he created posters for Potrebkooperatsiya, the Consumer Cooperation Union of the USSR. In 1919, Masiutin turned his artistic focus to lithography and woodcut design.

Having been born in Lativa, he gained Latvian citizenship in 1920 and then subsequently emigrated from the Soviet Union. In 1921, he moved to Berlin, Germany where he worked with the publishers Helicon, Neva, and Russkoe iskusstvo, to name a few. He produced illustrations for books by Pushkin, Lermontov, Griboyedov, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and others. During the 1930s and 1940s, he worked in applied graphics designing books, trademarks, labels, and commercial posters. Masiutin also wrote a number of theoretical works on the process of engraving and lithography.

Sources & Citations

Milner, J. (1993). A dictionary of Russian and Soviet artists 1420-1970. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club. (p. 283)
Compton S. (1992). Russian Avant-garde Books, 1917-1934. London: The British Library. (Masiutin's work cited throughout)
Masiutin, V. (1922). Gravura i litografia, kratoke rukovodstvo s 81 illiustratsiiami: sostavia khudozhnik graver V. Masiutin. Moskva-Berlin: Knigoizdatel'stvo Gelikon. [Helikon] (book on the career of Masiutin as an engraver and lithographer)