Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Borukh (Boris) Aronson

Aronson was born on 31 October 1898 in Niezhin, Chernigov Gubernia, Ukraine, where his father, who is the current rabbi of Tel-Aviv, was the rabbi, R' Shlomo Aronson. When A. was ten years old the family moved to Kiev, where the father became the local rabbi.

In Kiev, A. received a Yiddish and general education at home. 

Since childhood, he had an urge for painting and in 1916 enrolled at the Kiev art school, and then at the art studio of the artist Ekster.

In 1919-20 A. became the manager of the Yiddish art studio of the Kiev “Culture League”, then studied scenic design in Moscow with the artist Moshkov and drew costumes for Waiter’s “Daybreak” for the Yiddish Chamber Theatre and subsequently left Russia. In December 1923 A. participated in the Great Berlin Art Exhibition and then left for America, where he dedicated himself to the Yiddish theatre.

In the years 1924-9,  A. created the decorations and drew the costumes for Anski’s “Tog un nakht (Day and Night)”, Pinski’s “Letster sokh-hkhl" (The Account)", Moishe Nadir’s “Tragedye fun gornit (The Tragedy of Nothing)”, Dymow’s “Bronks ekspres (Bronx Express)”, “Yoshke muzikant (Yoshke the Musician)”, and “Mentshn shtoyb (Human Dust)”, Goldfaden’s “La tkhmd (Thou Shalt Not Covet”, Sholem Aleichem’s "Stempenyu”, Leon Feuchtwanger’s “Jew Suss”, Chone Gottesfeld’s “Melahim oyf der erd (Angels on Earth)”, and for the children's play “Frilings-bafreyung (Spring Freedom)”.


A. also published a column in Yiddish and Russian periodicals about painters and painting in general. At the Petropolis publishing house in Berlin (1923) there appeared his great work  “Contemporary Jewish Graphics” with reproductions and a monograph about Chagall (printed in Russian, German, French, Yiddish and Hebrew).

In December 1928 A. had an exhibition of his scenic designs in Paris, and another one in the summer  of 1929 in New York.

In 1928 a book containing reproductions of A’s scenic designs was published in Paris, in French, with an introduction by Waldemar George [16 p.- journal format and thirty-two paintings.]

  • Zalmen Reyzen -- “Lexicon of  Yiddish Literature”, Volume I, pp. 163-5.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni-- A Jewish theatre painter”, “Tsukunft” (“The Future”), New York, February 1929.

  • N. Buchenwald -- Borukh Aronson’s theatre exhibitions, “Frayhayt” (“Freedom”), N.Y., 16 December 1927.

  • Abraham Teitelbaum -- “Theatralia”, Warsaw, 1929, pp. 78-87.

  • Saul Raskin -- B. Aronson’s decorations  for “The Tenth Commandment” , “Theatre and Art”, New York, 2,  p.31.

  • Boris Aronson -- Et l’Art du Théâtre, par Waldemar George. Editions des Chroniques du Jour, Paris, 1928.

  • David Borliuk -- Aronson’s theatre exhibitions, “Der hamer” (“The Hammer”), January, 1928.

  • A. Alperin -- Borukh Aronson the theatre painter, "Literarishe bleter" , 33, 1928.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 90.

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