Boris Aronson (Boris Aronson)

Boris Aronson

Theatre Stage Scenic Designer.  Born in Kiev, in the Russian Empire in present day Ukraine. He was the  son of a Jewish rabbi. Boris enrolled in art school during his youth. He became an apprentice to the designer Aleksandra Ekster, who introduced him to the directors Vsevolod Meyerhold and Alexander Tairov, who influenced Boris to embrace the Constructivist style. After his apprenticeship he moved to Moscow and then to Germany, where he published two books in 1922, and on their strength was able to obtain a visa to America. In New York he found work in the Yiddish experimental theater designing sets and costumes for, among other venues, the Unser Theatre and the Yiddish Art Theatre. His first major success was The Tenth Commandment, directed by Maurice Schwartz at the Yiddish Art Theatre in 1926. His reputation was further improved by an exhibition of his set models in New York in 1927 and by the 1928 publication of a book about Boris by the art critic Waldemar George. He quit the Yiddish theater and began doing Broadway productions in 1932. Between 1935 and 1939 he did several productions for the Group Theatre, among them two Clifford Odets plays and Irwin Shaw’s The Gentle People, the latter considered a breakthrough for Boris. In the 1930s and early 1940s he experimented with projected scenery and did his first settings for a ballet and a musical.  He continued work on Broadway into the 1960s and 1970s with musicals including Do Re Mi, Fiddler on the Roof for which he returned to his earlier experience with Jewish theatre, Cabaret, Zorba, Company, Follies,  A Little Night Music, and Pacific Overtures. He won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design three times. His last set design was in 1976 for The Nutcracker, choreographed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. He won eight Tony Awards and maintained an active career as a sculptor and painter until his death in 1980. Before his death he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. His wife Lisa Jalowetz worked on many of his shows as his assistant. He was 81 years old at the time of his death. (bio by: Shock)

Born

  • October, 15, 1899
  • Ukraine

Died

  • November, 11, 1980
  • USA

Cemetery

  • Oak Hill Cemetery
  • USA

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