Axelrod Meer
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   Meer Axelrod was born in Belorussia in 1902. When his family moved to Tambov, he took his first drawing classes from V. Perelman in 1916–1917 and attended a modern school in Minsk in 1918 and 1919. In 1921 he contributed his works for the first time to an exhibition of Belorussian artists. That same year the Belorussian People’s Commissariat for Education sent Axelrod to Moscow to study at VKhUTEMAS. From 1921 to 1928 he studied under V. Favorsky, P. Pavlinov and S. Gerasimov. While living in Moscow, Axelrod visited shtetls and villages of Belorussia to do portraits, genre compositions and landscapes. In 1926 he joined the Moscow-based ‘4 Arts’ society of artists.
   Between 1928 and 1932 Axelrod taught drawing at VKhUTEIN and the Moscow Textile Institute and did illustrations for I. Babel’s Story of My Dovecote. In 1930–1931 he visited the Vojo-Nova (New Way in Esperanto) farming community and produced his famous In the Steppes series of drawings, watercolours and gouaches. Axelrod took up stage design in the 1930s. When he was evacuated to Alma-Ata in 1941, the Oriental theme appeared in his works. He did landscapes of Alma-Ata, Yany-Kurgan and Kokand and designed sets and costumes for the production of Sholem Aleichem’s The Bewitched Tailor by the Ukrainian GOSET Jewish Theatre, evacuated to Kokand. Axelrod continued illustrating Sholem Aleichem’s works in Moscow, where he returned in 1945. In the postwar period he also visited a fishing collective farm on the Sea of Azov, produced the Ertelevo series, and did landscapes of the Crimea, the Caucasus and Central Russia. Axelrod died in 1970. His works are in the State Tretiakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the Bakhrushin Theatre Museum, the State Literary Museum (Moscow), the State Russian Museum (Petersburg), many regional museums and private collections inside and outside Russia.