Kobzar's American friend


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February – March, 2014
«Ira Aldridge - Kobzar’s American Friend» a library events series to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko – the great Ukrainian poet.
The Dnipropetrovsk WOA Centre's an informative slide show was presented to the groups. It reminded the students the basic facts of Shevchenko’s biography with the focus on his talent of a portrait painter. This allowed to introduced to the students the personality of Ira Aldridge who ordered a portrait by Taras Shevchenko.
Ira Aldridge gained fame in the 19th century as one of the most prominent African-American Shakespearian actors and the first American actor to perform in Russia.
Unable to obtain major roles in the United States because of his race, he was forced to emigrate to further his acting career. Arriving in England in 1824, on October 10, 1825, he debuted as the first black actor at London's Royal Coburg Theatre.
In 1858 Aldridge made a tour of Russia and was introduced to Shevchenko in St. Petersburg. The memoirs of the witnesses informed us about the friendly atmosphere set in Shevchenko’s studio during Aldridge’s posing sessions. The painting by L. Picard illustrated the moment of friendly communication between two talented people with sad background of slavery and serfdom.
The unknown fact of friendship between the American and Ukrainian geniuses impressed the audience. The students enriched their vocabulary with new art terms, examined Shevchenko’s paintings and appreciated the art talent of the iconic Ukrainian poet.

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Kobzar's American friend

  1. 1. Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk 2014
  2. 2.  How many monuments to Taras Shevchenko do you know?  One  Two  Many
  3. 3.  What are the names of these monuments?  Where are they located?
  4. 4. How can you describe his “green years”?  happy  tragic
  5. 5. Shevchenko’s green years  Born as a serf  Early became an orphan: Like little mouslings Scattered, crept Off among people…
  6. 6. Shevchenko’s green years  Worked as a shepherd
  7. 7.  My thirteenth year was wearing on- Grazing the lambs, one day I was…
  8. 8.  Worked as a servant in his master’s house and followed him to Saint Peters- burg
  9. 9.  Which of Shevchenko’s talents was discovered earlier : - talent to draw or - talent to poetry?
  10. 10.  “Household artist” of Engelhardt had a price – 2500 roubles.  How was he emancipated?
  11. 11.  A portrait of Zhukovsky by Brullov was raffled among the nobility.  Shevchenko was formally emancipated
  12. 12.  Taras enrolled in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.  He became Brullov’s favourite student.
  13. 13.  etching  oil  pencil  sepia  ink  watercolor
  14. 14.  Etching is the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in the metal
  15. 15.  Sepia - reddish brown color, named after the rich brown segment, derived from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish
  16. 16.  history painting  religious painting  genre painting  portrait  self-portrait  cityscape  landscape  marina
  17. 17.  Who might be this person?
  18. 18.  Ira Aldridge - the first American actor to perform in Russia.
  19. 19.  Born in New York City he was the son of poor citizens of class known as "Free Negroes."
  20. 20.  Unable to obtain major roles in the United States because of his race, he was forced to emigrate to further his acting career.
  21. 21.  He gained fame in the 19th century as one of the most prominent African-American Shakespearian actors
  22. 22.  In 1858 during a tour in St.Petersburg Aldridge ordered his portrait  Work by a French painter Louis Picard
  23. 23.  Вот из воспоминаний Катерины Юнге: " Г-н Чалый говорит по поводу посещений Олдриджем мастерской Шевченка, который рисовал его портрет: «Являлся Олдридж, комната запиралась на ключ, и бог их знает, о чем они там говорили». Впрочем, знаю несколько и я, так как всегда присутствовала при этом, и охотно делюсь з читателями. Приходили мы к Шевченке втроем: Олдридж, моя десятилетняя сестра, которую Олдридж, после того как она заявила, что хотя он и негр, но она сейчас пошла бы за него замуж, называл своей «little wife», и я.
  24. 24.  Трагик серьезно садился на приготовленное место и сидел несколько времени торжественно и тихо, но живая натура его не выдерживала, он начинал гримасничать, шутить с нами, принимал комически- испуганный вид, когда Шевченко смотрел на него. Мы все время хохотали. Олдридж получал позволение петь и затягивал меланхолические, оригинальные негритянские мелодии или поэтические старинные английские романсы, совсем у нас неизвестные. Тарас слушал и заслушивался, а карандаш праздно опускался на колени. Наконец, Олдридж вскакивал и пускался плясать какую-нибудь «gig», к вящему восторгу моей сестренки. Потом мы все отправлялись к нам пить чай. Несмотря на оригинальность таких сеансов, портрет был скоро окончен, подписан художником и моделью и находится теперь у меня." Е. Ф. Юнге, Воспоминания о Шевченко, Вестник Европы, 1873, № 8, С. 837-842.