Barbara Karinska was born Vavara Andreevna Jmousky in Ukraine, back in 1886. She studied law at the University of Kharkov. In 1908 she married Alexander, he died the next year, just before the birth of their daughter Irina. In 1909, she married N.S. Karinsky and the family moved to Moscow.
She developed her own form of painting applying pieces of colored silk gauze to photographs and drawings. Her husband was appointed Attorney General and Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals for the District of St. Petersburg. She divorced Karinsky after he moved to America, arriving in 1923. She moved to New York in 1939, following France and England’s declaration of war on Germany. She was given a room at the fledgling School of American Ballet in New York City. She designed costumes for the ballet, always delivering them at the last moment. She also designed costumer for the motion picture industry in Hollywood. She died in 1983, she was 97.
What you may not know about Barbara is that she was the first costume designer ever to win the Capezio Dance Award for costumes “of visual beauty for the spectator and complete delight for the dancer”.
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