Boris Aronson

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Boris Aronson (October 15, 1898 – November 16, 1980) was an American scenic designer for Broadway and Yiddish theatre. He won the Tony Award for Scenic Design six times in his career.


The son of a Rabbi, Aronson was born in Kiev, in the Russian Empire now Ukraine, and enrolled in art school during his youth. Boris became an apprentice to the designer Aleksandra Ekster, who introduced him to the directors Vsevolod Meyerhold and Alexander Tairov, who influenced him. These three theatre and art veterans were advocates of the Constructivist school in Russia, as opposed to Stanislavski's form of Realism, and they convinced Aronson to embrace the Constructivist style.

Aronson worked for some years in Moscow and Germany. In Berlin he exhibited at the seminal Van Diemen Gallery "First Exhibition of Russian Art", alongside the Constructivists El Lissitzky and Naum Gabo, which introduced Constructivism to the West. He wrote two books in Berlin, on Marc Chagall and Jewish graphic art, before he obtained an immigration visa for America in 1923. He moved to the Lower East Side in New York City and began designing sets and costumes for the more experimental of the city's Yiddish theatres, including the Unser Theater, the Schildkraut Theatre, and most notably Maurice Schwartz's famous Yiddish Art Theatre. He achieved fame in New York's Jewish community when he designed Schwartz's 1926 revival of Abraham Goldfaden's play The Tenth Commandment. Although he...
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