1903 - 1990
Vera Georgievna Morozova is considered one of the founding members of the Bashkir sculptural school. It is from her works that the Bashkir sculpture collection of the Bashkir State Art Museum (Mikhail Nesterov Museum) stems. The artist spent most of her life—the years from 1937 to 1990—in Bashkortostan. However, this period was preceded by her frequent moving across the country. Born in 1903 into a petit bourgeois family in the Zabaikalsk region, she studied at a grade school in Chelyabinsk for four years. She spent several years in Zlatoust, where she cared for her tubercular husband Aleksandr Morrison, until moving with him and their daughter Nelli to Taganrog in 1931. There, Aleksandr worked as the editor-in-chief of the Taganrog Pravda newspaper. Five years later, he was accused of counterrevolutionary activity and given a prison sentence “without the right of correspondence,” which in fact meant that he was executed. In August of 1937, Vera Georgievna, being a spouse of “an enemy of the people,” was exiled into the Bakaly village of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
As the artist’s daughter, Nelli Morozova, reminisces in her memoir My Passion for Dickens, Vera Georgievna started petitioning different state authorities to transfer her to Ufa from the very first days in Bakaly. She insisted that she needed to work as a sculptor, which, according to her, was not something anyone in Bakaly needed. She was able to achieve that quite soon and was indeed transferred to Ufa, where her mother had already moved by then. First, the artist along with her mother and daughter lived on Dzerzhinsky Street which ran to the railway station along the slope. Later, they moved into a house with a mezzanine at 32 Krupskoy Street, not far away from the Lenin House Museum.
However, Vera Georgievna wasn’t able to sculpt for a while. First, she worked as an embroiderer at workers’ cooperatives Kultizdeliya (1938) and Shveygalantereya (1940-1943). It was an exhausting and poorly paid labor. “Every day she would kill her past, her memory: she had never loved, never been a sculptor, she had no friends. She was a simple embroiderer, who supported her daughter and her mother with her painstaking labor. That’s who she had always been. There had never been anything else in her life,” Nelli Morozova describes her mother’s emotional state. Going through a profound crisis, Vera Morozova turned to a psychiatrist for help. He recommended taking up arts again. Thus, sculpture re-entered her life.
In 1944, Vera Morozova became a member of the Artists’ Union and started taking part in regional and all-Union exhibitions. She was actively engaged in the art life of the republic, as well as in the lives of many people that surrounded her, helping and supporting them. Later, she moved to the aforementioned house with a mezzanine on Krupskoy Street, where she lived until the late 1970s.
Vera Morozova worked predominantly in the portrait genre. Among her works that are not discussed at the exhibition, the following are worth mentioning: Anton Chekhov (1934, yard of the Chekhov’s House in Taganrog), Maxim Gorky (1935, Taganrog), Leningrad Woman (1945, Bashkir State Museum collection), Gimaletdin Mingazhev’s Portrait (1947, Bashkir State Museum collection), Coal Miners (1958, towns of Sibay, Karaganda, and Kumertau). In the late 60s, Morozova was working on a monument to Vladimir Lenin commissioned by the state, but the sculpture was never finished. From the 70s, her artistic work started fizzling out as she was often ill in her last years. Morozova passed away in 1990 in Ufa.