André Avinov

Авинов, Андрей Николаевич

Painter, graphic artist, art historian

Born Tulkhin (Podolskii), 14 February 1884

Died New York, 16 July 1949


Avinov grew up as a member of the Russian aristocracy. He grew up at the family's estate near Poltava (Ukraine). He studied law in Moscow and became assistant secretary-general of the Senate in St. Petersburg. At the age of 27 he was made gentleman-in-waiting to the tsar Nicholas II. In 1904-1905 Avinov participated in exhibitions in Saint Petersburg en Moscow. He was a passionate collector of butterflies and had three sub-species named after him. In the 1917 he was sent to the USA to liquidate war contracts. After the revolution he stayed and became in 1928 an American citizen. He joined the Art society of Pittsburgh and the Art Federation of New York, and in 1926 he was appointed director of the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh were he earlier on was invited to catalogue its butterfly collection. Next to his profession as entomologist, he was active as a landscape painter. He was professor at the Pittsburgh Art institute. After his retirement from the museum directorship in 1945 he had been living with his sister the artist Mme Elisabeth Shoumatoff.