O.S. [Sakhnovskaia, Elena (Olena) Borisovna]

О.С. [Сахновская, Елена (Олена) Борисовна]

Born March 15, 1902, Kiev, Russian Empire; died March 28, 1958, Moscow, USSR

The Ukrainian graphic artist and illustrator signed her work using the initials O.S. but, it is not certain the featured work in the Collection is her design.

Elena Borisovna Sakhnovskaia was born in Kiev and grew-up in Ukraine. She studied at the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts under the tutelage of Mykhailo L’vovich Boichuk, a Ukrainian monumental painter. Sakhnovskaia continued her studies at the art studio of Mykhailo’s wife, Sofia Nalepinska-Boichuk (noted woodcut artist) and later, Sakhnovskaia went on to serve on faculty at the Kiev Art Institute.

In 1919, she exhibited her work at the Red Army barracks in Kiev and at the pavilion of the Ukrainian SSR for the 1923 All-Russian Handicraft and Agricultural Exhibition in Moscow. Beginning in 1925, Sakhnovskaia became a member of the Association of Revolutionary Artists of Ukraine (ARMU). In 1934, she became a member of the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists.

Sakhnovskaia was living in Moscow by 1932 and was working in book illustration while developing her easel painting technique. One of her most noted illustrations was used for the 1928 re-printing of Nikolai Gogol’s classic, “The Night Before Christmas”. While Sakhnovskaia made her living working on illustrations for literature (in particular children’s books), bookplate design was her true specialty. In the mid-1930s, Sakhnovskaia's artistic focus shifted to woodcut design and lithography. At age 55, she died and was buried in the New Don Cemetery southwest of Moscow.

Sources & Citations

Sopocinskii, O. I., Veimarn, B. V. (1977). Sovetskoe izobrazitel'noe iskusstvo: 1917-1941. Moscow: Iskusstvo. (Dates of birth and death)
Women's History Research Center. (1975). Female artists, past and present. Berkeley: Women's History Research Center. (P. 61, birth and death cited)
uartlib.org (Olena Sakhnovs’ka, bio)
fantlab.ru. (Olena Sakhnovs’ka, bio)
encyclopediaofukraine.com (Sakhnovs'ka cited in bio for Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists)
libking.ru (Noch' pered Rozhdestvom; Sakhnovs’ka cited as illustrator)