George Voronovsky


George Voronovsky, a self-taught memory painter, was born in Ukraine. His childhood was charmed and full of wonder. But things changed after being interned in a German work camp during World War II. Separated from his wife and two children, George drifted for seven years. He then immigrated to Philadelphia, where he labored on the railroad. He sent half of his wages to his family living in Prague, behind the Iron Curtain, but never saw them again. He read a lot, kept a journal, traveled the country by bus, played piano and listened to classical music. George retired to Miami's South Beach, then a whitewashed strip of oceanfront hotels. There, alone amongst a sea of other elderly people, he painted images of his youth in Kiev, and there he lived and died in obscurity.

George did not create artwork to sell or to show; he did not consider himself to be an artist. He painted to surround himself with imagery from his youth to ward off thoughts of his anguished adulthood. Thirty-five years after his death, a catalogue raisonné has been completed. It reveals an artist with a fertile imagination who painted the beauty of nature that also reveals the nature of beauty.

In 2023, under the direction of curator Katherine Jentleson, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, organized the first national showing of George Voronovsky’s artwork excellently.