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 Misha Podryski  (1903 - 1989)

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Lived/Active: New York/California/Florida / France/Italy/Russian Federation      Known for: landscape and celebrity portrait painting

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Ad Code: 4
Misha Podryski
from Auction House Records.
Girl in Black
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Russian/American Impressionist artist, Misha Podryski was born in Estonia, then part of Russia, on May 31, 1903. He attended Moscow University where he studied Art and thereafter, spent several years in Paris and Northern Italy studying and painting. One source indicates that Misha came to America in 1929 to further his studies. He then returned to Europe in the early 1930's where he attended the America School of Fine Arts in the chateau at Fontainebleau, outside Paris. He spent about two years painting country scenes and vineyards in France and Italy before returning to America in 1935. 

In 1935 Misha had a studio in Carnegie Hall in New York City and became a member of the Artists Union.  He received many portrait assignments of important people in the Northeast, including David Rubinoff (1897-1986), the famous violinist. The New York Times reported on the 6th Annual Fontainebleau Alumni Exhibition on January 20, 1935 that included work by Misha Podryski, the first known exhibition in which Misha’s work was displayed.  Other exhibitions in which he participated included the Artists Union show entitled “The Social Scene” at the ACA Gallery in April 1936; and the exhibition of New York artists at the Temporary Galleries of the Municipal Art Committee in December 1936.

In 1945 he moved to Santa Monica, California where he again painted portraits that included many Hollywood Stars and well-known Politicians. 

Misha died in Fort Myers, Florida on Sept. 21, 1989 while visiting relatives there.   His last known place of residence was Pacific Palisades, CA.

There is some confusion with regard to the correct spelling of the Podryski name.  In examples of Misha’s work from 1934 and 1935 he signs his name as “Podryski.” However, in an earlier portrait dated 1932, he signs as “Podrisky.”  This may be a result of a misspelling that occurred when he came to America.  The inconsistency seems to have plagued other family members as well.  His Brother went by the name Robert “Podris” clearly a shortened form of Podrisky not Podryski.  Even Misha was identified by both spellings.  The Register-Herald newspaper of Pine Plains, NY, reported on Aug. 12, 1965 that “Mr. and Mrs. Misha Podrisky [not Podryski] and son David, of California, [were spending] a few weeks with Mr. and Mrs. Robert Podris.”  The maiden name of a sister, Tatyana, however, seems to have been consistently shown to be “Podryski.”   It seems likely that the original spelling was Podryski that was later perverted to Podrisky, its phonetic spelling.  Certain family members, including Misha, seem to have used both spellings interchangeably, at least for some period of time.  Professionally, it appears that Misha may have used Podrisky early in his career, and later reverted to the correct spelling of Podryski.

Written and submitted by V. Bianco, friend of the artist


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