1903 - 1990
Born in 1903 in Mysovsk, Irkutsk Governorate—now the town of Babushkin in Buryatia Republic. Her ancestors were Old Believers, and her mother was born in a village in the Urals. Vera Morozova grew up in Irkutsk, where she studied at a gymnasium (educational institution similar to a preparatory or grammar school) for six years. She had no formal training as an artist.

In the 1920s, she lived in Chelyabinsk, where in 1922 she met her future husband, journalist and community activist Aleksandr Morrison. In 1924, their daughter Nelli was born.
In 1931, the family moved to Taganrog, where Aleksandr Morrison was sent to take the position of the editor-in-chief of the Taganrog Pravda newspaper. Here, the couple worked on saving and establishing the House Museum of Anton Chekhov, and supported the local drama theater. For two years before Chekhov’s anniversary, Vera Morozova sculpted the writer’s bust that became his first monument in the Soviet Union. Chekhov’s widow and sister noted that it was extraordinarily life-like.

In the early 30s, the house of Morozova and Morrison was a magnet for the local intelligentsia. The couple had a reputation of eccentrics: the newspaper’s chief editor would venture out in swimming canvas trunks (before shorts became an ordinary item of clothing), and Vera Aleksandrovna was occasionally seen walking barefoot as she had no shoes.

Their daughter Nelli Aleksandrovna remembers 1935 with a special tenderness. That year, the bread tickets system was lifted, and stores now had bread, butter, and cheese. The family received a four-bedroom apartment and was actively engaged in the preparations for Chekhov’s anniversary. But soon, Aleksandr Morrison was arrested. At the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party in March of 1937, it was announced that a plan of assassination of Joseph Stalin had been uncovered in the region of Azov and Black Seas. Aleksandr Morrison was accused of playing the role of liaison with foreign intelligence services.

On July 14, 1937, Aleksandr Morrison was sentenced by the Military Collegium to ten years without the right of correspondence, which meant execution. Vera Morozova was offered to renounce her husband, which could have protected her, but she refused. As a wife of “an enemy of the people,” she was exiled to Bakaly along with her daughter.

By that time, Vera Aleksandrovna’s parents had already moved to Ufa from Chelyabinsk. In Bakaly, the artist would make toy figurines of Father Frost and send them to Ufa, where her mother sold them and sent the money back to her daughter.

In exile, Morozova worked as an embroiderer at a workers’ cooperative Kultizdeliya and later, at Bashkir workshops at the State Art Foundation (1944-1960). Along with Tamara Nechaeva, she participated in establishing the Bashkir sculpture school.

Died in 1990 in Ufa.

1.Morozova, Nelli. My Passion for Dickens: Family Chronicles of the 20th Century. Illyuminator, 2022
2.Kuramshina, Gulshat. “An Unbroken Will,” in Belskie Prostory, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 119-127.