People's Artist of the USSR

People's Artist of the Soviet Union medal

People's Artist of the USSR (Russian: Наро́дный арти́ст СССР, Narodný artist SSSR), also sometimes translated as National Artist of the USSR, was an honorary title granted to citizens of the Soviet Union.

Nomenclature and significance

The term is confusingly used to translate two Russian language titles: Народный артист СССР (fem. Народная артистка СССР), awarded in performing arts and Народный художник СССР, granted in some visual arts.

Each Soviet Republic, as well as the Autonomous Republics (ASSRs), had a similar award held previously by virtually every receiver of the higher title of People's Artist of the USSR.

Republic performing arts visual arts
Russian SFSRнародный артист РСФСРнародный художник РСФСР
Ukrainian SSRнародний артист Української РСРнародний художник Української РСР
Byelorussian SSRнародны артыст Беларускай ССРнародны мастак Беларускай ССР
Uzbek SSRЎзбекистон ССР халқ артистиЎзбекистон ССР халқ рассоми
Kazakh SSRҚазақ КСР-ң халық әртісіҚазақ КСР-ң халық суретшісі
Georgian SSRსაქართველოს სსრ სახალხო არტისტი
Azerbaijan SSRАзәрбајҹан ССР халг артистиАзәрбајҹан ССР халг рәссамы
Lithuanian SSRLietuvos TSR liaudies artistasLietuvos TSR liaudies dailininkas
Moldavian SSRартист ал попорулуй дин РСС Молдовеняскэартист пластик ал попорулуй дин РСС Молдовеняскэ
Latvian SSRLatvijas PSR tautas skatuves mākslinieksLatvijas PSR tautas mākslinieks
Kyrgyz SSRКыргыз ССР эл артисти
Tajik SSRАртисти халқии РСС Тоҷикистон
Armenian SSRՀայաստանի ՍՍՀ ժողովրդական արտիստ
Turkmen SSRТүркмен ССР-иң халк артистиТүркмен ССР-иң халк художниги
Estonian SSREesti NSV rahvakunstnik

As this title was granted by the government, honorees were afforded certain privileges and would often receive commissions from the Minister of Culture of the Soviet Union. Accordingly, artists and authors who expressed criticism of the Communist Party were seldom granted such recognition, if not outright censored.

Performing arts

Maria Yermolova, first People's Artist of the Republic 1920.

The title was bestowed for exceptional achievements in the performing arts in the Soviet Union. Its recipients included many of the most-acclaimed composers, dancers, singers, film and theatre directors and actors of every Soviet republic. In all, there were 1010 recipients of the award.

The title was introduced in 1936, replacing the earlier title of "People's Artist of the Republic". The first recipients of the title (6 September 1936) were Konstantin Stanislavski, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Ivan Moskvin, Antonina Nezhdanova, Boris Shchukin, Kulyash Baiseitova and some other actors. The last persons to be honoured with the title were Sofia Pilyavskaya and Oleg Yankovsky (21 December 1991).

Originally, the title was bestowed on theatre actors, ballet dancers, and opera singers only. Gradually, it came to be bestowed upon film actors (e.g., Lyubov Orlova), composers (e.g., Arno Babajanian, Dmitri Shostakovich), violinist (e.g. David Oistrakh), pop singers (e.g., Leonid Utyosov), comedians (e.g., Arkady Raikin), and even circus performers such as Natalya Durova and Oleg Popov.

Normally, a person was named the People's Artist of the USSR after 40 years of age. Exceptions were made for dancers, e.g., Nadezhda Pavlova, a ballet artist, received the title at the age of 28, and Malika Kalantarova, a famous Bukharian Jewish folk dancer from Tajikistan, received the title at the age of 34.[1]

The youngest female persons to receive this title were Kazakh opera singers Kulyash Baiseitova (1936) and Halima Nasyrova (1937) (at the age of 24). The youngest men were Uzbek singer Batir Zakirov (1965) (at the age of 29),[2] followed by the Azerbaijani baritone operatic and pop singer Muslim Magomayev (1973) (at the age of 31). Among the actors, the youngest recipient was Sergey Bondarchuk (age 32). The youngest actress to receive the title was Yuri Andropov's daughter-in-law,[3] Lyudmila Chursina, at age 40.[4]

Sofia Rotaru, for example, was named Merited Artist of the Ukrainian SSR in 1973, People's Artist of the Ukrainian SSR in 1976, People's Artist of the Moldavian SSR in 1983, an attained cumulation of People's Artist titles,[5] and finally People's Artist of the Soviet Union in 1988, the first female pop-singer to be honored with this award and the only one with three People's Artists.[6]

As of 2009, the earliest living[7] recipient is Turkmen opera singer Maya Kuliyeva (1955).

Visual arts

The title of People's Painter of the Soviet Union (Народный художник СССР) was awarded for exceptional achievements in certain visual arts: painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography. The lesser title of Meritorious Painter of the Soviet Union (Заслуженный художник СССР) was also awarded for achievement in these fields.

Other honored professions

See also


  1. [National Information Agency of Uzbekistan UzA Рустам Шагаев «Пой, лира Батыра!»]: «... в 29 лет удостоиться звания Народного артиста!» (in Russian). Accessed 201-02-04
  2. ЧУРСИНА Людмила Алексеевна. Актеры советского и российского кино (in Russian).
  3. "Чурсина Людмила". Киноафиша.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/19/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.