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Wadym Dobrolige art collection
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5 framed photographs
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Name of creator
Wadym Dobrolige was born on December 7, 1913 in Nizhyn, Chernihiv region of the present day Ukraine. He was an artist and decorator. He graduated from the Kyiv Art Institute in 1935, and also studied at the Leningrad Institute of Sculpture and Architecture (1936). After coming back to Kyiv, he worked as a book illustrator. He was arrested, sent to Kolyma in Khabarovsk region of Russia, and was released in 1938. He worked as a film decorator under the supervision of Oleksandr Dovzhenko. During WWII he was captured by the Germans. In 1942 he fled the concentration camp and returned to Kyiv where he worked as a mechanic. However, Wadym Dobrolige was taken by the Germans to Germany and ended up at a DP camp Heidenau near Hamburg where he organized an art studio. There he created over 20 portraits, three icons for the camp church, peisages, still lifes, and decorated most of the camp plays for the Ukrainian theatre.
In 1948, Dobrolige moved to Canada. He painted many icons and Iconostasis. He created the iconostasis for the St. John's Cathedral in Edmonton in baroque style. A lot of Orthodox churches mainly in Alberta, but also in Saskatchewan and Quebec have Dobrolige’s Iconostasis, icons and church paintings. He decorated multiple theatre performances, created numerous portraits and still lifes, posters, external and internal decorations. Wadym Dobrolige was responsible for creating the portrait of Princess Elizabeth and different decorations for the procession to honour her visit to Edmonton in 1951. He died on October 4, 1973 in Edmonton, Alberta.
The paintings were acquired by the donor’s father Major John Gillies Rennie while he was posted in the Heidenau Displaced Person’s Camp in Germany between 1944-46. Major Rennie was an officer of the Black Watch Canadian Highland Regiment. While in charge in Heidenau, he was in was gifted one of the Dobrolige paintings as a Christmas gift from the community, in December 1945, and he personally commissioned the other 4, along with several others, including a portrait. In 1946, Major Rennie returned home to Huntington, Quebec, and the paintings were shipped back to him with his other belongings. After his death, they continued to be displayed in the home by his wife, and were later distributed among family members – and finally came into the possession of his daughter, Margaret Blank, who had settled in Mirror, Alberta.
Scope and content
This collection consists of five oil paintings by Wadym Dobrolige.
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Further accruals are expected.