Soviet Karelian artist Georgy Stronk 1910-2005
Soviet Karelian artist Georgy Stronk (October 10, 1910 – December 6, 2005) – Member of the USSR Union of Artists, Honored Artist of the Karelian-Finnish SSR (1947), People’s Artist of the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1970), laureate of the State Prize of the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1981). He got the state prize for a series of portraits of the “Old Bolsheviks of Karelia”, as well as for his illustrations and easel drawings to the epic “Kalevala”. In 1940-53 and 1982-85 he was a chairman of the Union of Artists of Karelia.
Georgy was born October 10, 1910 in Poland. After moving to Ukraine, he worked as a worker, and in particular, as a tinsmith at a shipyard in Nikolayev. In 1932 he graduated from Nikolaev art college. And in the 1932-38 he studied at the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, workshop of Brodsky (diploma painting – “Pushkin after the duel”). While on vacation, he took part in folklore and ethnographic expeditions to Karelia (1937).
Karelian Research Institute of Culture offered Georgy Stronk a job, so, after graduation in 1939, he had moved to Petrozavodsk. In the 1940-49 he worked on portraits of figures of culture and art of Karelia.
In 1941, in the first months of the war, he worked on defensive objects and participated in the evacuation of the Institute of Culture and the University of Petrozavodsk funds to Syktyvkar. In 1949, the Karelian-Finnish SSR widely celebrated the centenary of the publication of full version of the epic “Kalevala”. Stronk began working on illustrations for the epic and took part in the competition. Together with VI Kurdov and NA Rodionova he designed the book «Kalevalan runoutta» («Poetry of Kalevala”, 1949). At the All-Union competition, for the creation of illustrations to “Kalevala”, Stronk won the second prize.
In 1960-70-ies he created a series of portraits of the “Old Bolsheviks of Karelia” and graphic suites – “White Sea”, “near the White Sea” and completed a series of easel graphics “Heroes of Kalevala”. Then he traveled to Morocco, Italy, France, and came back with a series of sketches.
In 1984-85 he completed the cycle of color illustrations for the jubilee edition of the epic “Kalevala” to the 150th anniversary of the first edition. In 1987-90 continued long-term work on the creation of painting and graphic works of the cycle under the title “My Karelia”. Soviet Karelian artist Georgy Stronk is an Honorary citizen of Petrozavodsk (1996). His exhibitions included the city in Petrozavodsk, republic (1939), artists of Karelia in Moscow (1951, 1959, 1980) and Leningrad (1972, 1980), regional “Soviet North” (1964-84), “Russian North” (Kirov, 1998, Vologda, 2003), artists of Russian autonomous republics in Moscow (1971, 1989), national (1960), All-Union (since 1946), foreign – the German Democratic republic (1972, 1977), Finland (1950, 1966, 1972, 1976), Sweden (1971, 1976). Besides, his solo Exhibitions were in Petrozavodsk (1951, 1995, 2003) and in Moscow (1986).
Georgy Adamovich died December 6, 2005 (Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia). His works are in the Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia, the National Museum of the Republic of Karelia, and the State Museum-Reserve “Kizhi”.