(1896 - 1981)
Benjamin George Vaganov was active/lived in California / Russian Federation. Benjamin Vaganov is known for genre, landscape, mod figure, Indian.
Born in Archangel, Russia on Oct. 8, 1896. Due to the Revolution, Vaganov left his native land and spent a few years in China. In 1923 he came to the U.S. and worked in Oregon in the lumber industry. Moving to California in 1928, he settled in San Diego. After establishing a studio in the old Spanish Village in Balboa Park, he worked on WPA art projects. He was active there through the 1950s and then lived for many years in San Francisco.
Vaganov died at his daughter's home in Salt Lake City on March 23, 1981. A self-taught, modernist painter, he used the pseudonym Venia.
Exh: Calif. State Fair, 1931, 1949; Kingsley Art Club (Sacramento), 1933; GGIE, 1939; San Diego FA Society, 1940-42; SFAA, 1958.
In: San Diego Museum; Carnegie Library, Escondido; House of Pacific Relations, San Diego (mural); San Diego County Visual Education (dioramas).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"Who's Who in American Art
1947-53; Interview with the artist or his/her family; Death record.Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here
A self-taught Modernist, Benjamin Vaganov sometimes worked under the
pseudonym "Venia." His early work in California's lumber and mining
industries proved to be a significant influence on the artist's life
and paintings, whose texture often suggests an application of paint
intended to convey Vaganov's reverence for their subjects by creating
the sensation of a natural substance.
Born in Tsarist Russia, Benjamin Vaganov left his homeland to escape
the dangers of the Revolution, living for several years in China before
coming to the United States in 1923.
He settled first in Oregon, where he found work in the lumber industry,
and then moved to San Diego in 1928, where he established a studio in
the Spanish Village in Balboa Park.
Vaganov completed a number of Works Progress Administration art
projects, including a mural painted in the House of Pacific Relations
in San Diego, and dioramas in the San Diego County Visual Education
Vaganov remained active in San Diego art circles until he moved to San
Francisco in the 1950s, where he spent his remaining years.
Exhibited: Calif. State Fair, 1931, 1949; Kingsley AC, Sacramento, 1933; GGE, 1939; Am. Veterans Soc. Artists, 1944, 1945; San Francisco AA, 1943, 1958; Oakland Art Gal., 1944-45; Southern California Art Exh., 1940; San Diego FAS, 1940-42 (prizes).
Member: San Francisco AA; San Diego AC; Escondido Art Soc.; AAPL.
Work: San Diego FA Soc.; Carnegie Lib., Escondido, CA; mural, House of Pacific Relations, San Diego, CA; dioramas, San Diego County Visual Educ.
Sources include: WW53; WW47. More recently, see Hughes, Artists in California, 571.