Wasilijef Masjutin

Biography

Woodcuts, book illustrations, medals. Born 10 February 1884 in Černihiv, Riga, Ukraine, but spent much of his professional life in Berlin. After 1907: studied in Moscow at the Technical College for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture; his first exhibition in Petersburg the following year. 1914: military service on Russian/Austrian front which he recorded in his sketchbooks and with his camera. 1918-20: taught at the Higher Art-Workshops, Moscow. 1920: moved to Riga. 1921: moved to Berlin, where he illustrated many books and designed sets and posters for films; in 1930 he designed sets for Habimah, the Russian-Jewish theatre. By 1937: designed woodcuts for Lufthansa publicity.

‘On 16 June 1945 Masjutin was arrested because of his earlier connection with the Ukranian nationalists, and was interned in a [Soviet] camp in Berlin-Niederschönhausen and later in the former concentration camp at Sachsenhausen. After 15 months Masjutin was released [on 17 September 1946]. He was even commissioned with the design of monumental sculptures in the late Stalinist style by the Soviet military administration.’ (Werner, 1989, p. 11, tr. SM)

Particularly known for his publicity work for Deutsche Lufthansa (c1936-9) and pharmaceutical firms. Died 25 November 1955 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, where he is interred.

Writings by

  • ‘Prof. Karl Rössing’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Dec. 1935, pp. 30-37
  • ‘Reklamekunst aus alter Zeit’, Die Reklame, Feb. 1925, pp. 166-7, 169-70
  • ‘Nicolai Puzirewsky, Riga’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Oct. 1934, pp. 62-5
  • ‘Parisian wrappings of A. Tolmer’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Feb. 1932, pp. 14-19
  • ‘Walter Albert Lindgens’ (illustrator), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Nov. 1936, pp. 14-17.
  • ‘Folk art and notes’ (banknotes), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Dec. 1933, pp. 14-17

Writings about

  • Traugott Schalcher, ‘Wasilijef Masjutin’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Nov. 1936, pp. 42-9
  • H.K. Frenzel, ‘Prof. W. Masjutin. Woodcuts for the Deutsche Lufthansa’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., June 1937, p. 48 plus inserts
  • Oforty V.N. Masiutina (exh. cat.), Rumíànsovstii Museum, Moscow, 1920
  • R.A. Winkler, ‘Wasyl Masjutyn’, Exlibris, 1939, pp. 37-40
  • Heinrich Jost, ‘Die neue Buchkunst in Deutschland’ (typographic design changes), Imprimatur, 1939/40, pp. 105-28
  • Alfred Hoentzsch, ‘Wassili Nikolajewitsch Masjutin’, Illustration 63, Nov. 1972, pp. 100-102 (includes 1920-23 bibliography)
  • Wassily Masjutin, 1884-1954 (exh. cat.), Berlin: Galerie Taube, 1979
  • Xenia Werner, Wassili Masjutin/in Riga, Moskau und Berlin/Sein Leben in Bildern und Dokumenten, Berlin: Spitz, 1989 (bibliography)
  • Hartmut Walravens, ‘Der Illustrator Wassili Masjutin’, Aus dem Antiquariat, 1989, 9, pp. A360-61.
  • T. Schalcher, ‘Wassili Masjutin’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Feb. 1939, pp. 25-32 and supplement
  • Traugott Schalcher, ‘The wood-engraver Wassili Masjutin’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Feb. 1939, pp. 25-32 and insert: Aesop’s Fables.
  • Margit von Plato, ‘Wassilij Masjutin’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., v. 10, 1928, pp. 41-53
  • Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Aug. 1933, p. 47 (wood engraving of Ukranian ruler)
  • Walter Hofmann, ‘The wood-cut as an accessory in advertising’, Archiv für Buchgewerbe und Gebrauchsgraphik, Leipzig: Deutsche Buchgewerbeverein., 1937, pp. 355-62 (woodcuts for Lufthansa)
  • Walter Hofmann, ‘Die Entwicklung der Deutschen Werbegraphik’, Archiv für Buchgewerbe und Gebrauchsgraphik, Leipzig: Deutsche Buchgewerbeverein., 1939, p. 646 (Lufthansa)

Exhibitions

  • Rumíànsovstii Museum, Moscow, 1920
  • Leningrad Academy of Arts, 1928
  • Galerie Taube, Berlin, 1979.