Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Plato(n) Cornelius von Ustinov
(also Ustinof, Ustinoff, Ustimow, Ustinow)
(also Tonshik, and without "von")

October 21 1903 - 1990

Moulders' and Foundryworkers' Union
B.C. Society of Fine Arts (President 1951 - 1953)
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
Atelier Sketch Club
Salt Spring Island Art Group



"Russian Wizard Causes Near Panic"

Platon von Ustinov was born in Jerusalem in 1903, the son of a Russian archaeologist. He was a student at the Royal Academy of Art at Stuttgart, Germany, and at the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture, in Paris, France.

He came to Canada in 1927. He was an instructor of life drawing and painting at the Vancouver School of Art.

In 1933 he had a studio at 1087 Bute Street, along with a number of other artists and art teachers.

He had one-man exhibitions at the Alexander Reid & Lefevre Gallery in London, 1926, and at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1933, 1936, and 1939.

He was a member of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts, and exhibited his work with them in May 1929 and 1930, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1941, 1942, from 1950 to 1955, and in 1958.

He showed work in the B.C. Artists Christmas exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1933.

He exhibited his work as a guest in a 1936 exhibition of the PASOVAS Art Club, held at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He also exhibited in the annual B.C. Artists shows from 1932 to 1942, 1944, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1955.

A handwritten letter on file at the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, sent in preparation for the exhibition, noted that Ustinov was the "winner of the 1935 Beatrice Stone medal".

Ustinov exhibited in Royal Canadian Academy of Arts exhibitions in 1938 and 1939.

In 1939 Ustinov attended the Vancouver School of Art summer camp on Savary Island, and was noted in issues of THE SAVARY PUDDING. He exhibited two paintings from Savary Island that September in the B.C. Artists 8th Annual exhibition.


UBC Evening Classes 1944-45

During World War Two, he was employed in a foundry. He showed work in the 1944 B.C. At Work exhibition. His painting The Foundry in the 1944 exhibition won the second prize of $150.00, and was illustrated in WALLNEWS in March 1945, which also noted about the artist: "Palestinian-born son of a Russian archaeologist; studied in Paris, Munich, Stuttgart; came to Canada in 1927; precision caster and metal pattern maker in war plant; member Moulders' and Foundryworkers' Union (CCL)." The painting depicted men in a foundry pouring molten metal out of a bucket into a casting form.

He was an instructor for the Saltspring Island Group, a local artists society in the Gulf Islands, in at least 1948, according to information on file at the Vancouver Art Gallery Library.

He was a member of the Atelier Sketch Club, a group formed by art students taking Evening Classes at the Vancouver School of Art. The group put together an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1940.

Invitation to a 1971 solo exhibition in Vancouver:

You are cordially invited to attend
a preview showing of paintings by
Plato (Tonshik) C. Ustinov
on Thursday, October 28th, 1971 at 7:30 p.m.
Seip's Art
2610 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C.
Public showing from October 29th to November 13th
Refreshments will be served

Ustinov died in Laguna Hills, California in 1990.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION
1933 July 7 - 16 Drawing, Oil Painting & Watercolours VAG
1936 Nov. 10 - 22 Sketch-book Portraits VAG
1939 Feb. 7 - 19 Oil painting, Watercolours, Drawing, Prints VAG

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1929 May 18 - June 8 BCSFA   21st Annual Landscape
Portrait Sketch, Rachmaninoff
Portrait
1930 May 31 - June 14 BCSFA   Spring Exhibition Portrait of Mr. F.L.
Portrait Miss A.W.
Portrait Mr. L.D.
Portrait Mr. O.F.
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Head (sculpture)
1933 Sept. 22 - Oct. 15 VAG   B.C. Artists 2nd Annual Portrait
1933 Dec. 1 - 17 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition Near the Fraser
Second Beach, Stanley Park
Snow in the Mountains
1934 Sept. 21 - Oct. 14 VAG   B.C. Artists 3rd Annual Portrait of a Lady
Portrait of a Lady
Railway Yards
Breeze and Sunshine, English Bay
Miniature Portrait Bust (Mr. P.)
Animal Study
1934 ? - ? VAG   B.C. Artists Edmonton Exhibition Portrait of a Lady
Railway Yards
1934 Dec. 4 - 16 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition Rocky Shores
Virgin Forest
1935 Sept. 20 - Oct. 15 VAG   B.C. Artists 4th Annual Portrait of Maestro Fabri
Portrait Sketch
Homestead
1936 Feb 21. - Mar. 5 PASOVAS   Art Club exhibition Mill on the Fraser
1936 June 26 - July 12 BCSFA   26th Annual Portrait, Gordon McDonald
Nancy Nelles
Dr. Anderson
1936 Aug. 18 - 28 David Spencer B.C. Artists' Golden Jubilee (artwork)
1936 Sept. 18 - Oct. 11 VAG   B.C. Artists 5th Annual Impression
1936 Oct. 15 - 20 VAG   B.C. Artists Chilliwack Exhibition Impression
1937 April 16 - May 1 BCSFA   27th Annual Portrait, Mrs. Arthur Nation
Vancouver Waterfront
Study in Grey and White
Mills on the Fraser
1937 Sept. 17 - Oct. 10 VAG   B.C. Artists 6th Annual Scavengers of the Dump
Study - "Old Ranger Bill"
Young Man
1938 April 29 - May 15 BCSFA   28th Annual The End of False Creek
1938 Sept. 16 - Oct. 9 VAG   B.C. Artists 7th Annual Master Peter
Idle Tugs
1939 Sept. 15 - Oct. 8 VAG   B.C. Artists 8th Annual High Noon, Savary Island
Heavy Skies, Savary Island
Portrait Sketch
Portrait Sketch
1940 April 2 - 14 Atelier Sketch Club   Group exhibition The Artist's Wife
1941 May 10 - June 1 BCSFA   31st Annual Master Arthur
Portrait of Mrs. Doris H. Kask
1941 Sept. 26 - Oct. 19 VAG   B.C. Artists 10th Annual Mary and Elizabeth
Portrait of Miss M.E. Price
1942 May 15 - 31 BCSFA   32nd Annual Corporal Brooks, R.C.A.F.
1942 July 7 - Sept. 2 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Summer Portrait of Miss McGuiness
1942 Sept. 25 - Oct. 18 VAG   B.C. Artists 11th Annual Portrait of Sylvia L.
The Clarinettist
1944 Sept. 23 - Oct. 22 VAG   B.C. Artists 13th Annual British Salt
1944 Nov. 21 - Dec. 10 Labour Arts Guild   1st B.C. At Work The Foundry
1947 Sept. 20 - Oct. 12 VAG   B.C. Artists 16th Annual Evelyn (Courtesy of Mr. Gavin C. Mouat)
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual "Maestro Fabri"
Boat House on the Fraser

References

THE SAVARY PUDDING folio by Frederick A. Amess, private collection.
   Original drawings, paintings and text by Amess, C.H. Scott, Grace Melvin,
       H. Mortimer Lamb, Plato von Ustinov, and other students and visitors.
   June 1935 (various dates), June 1939 (various dates)
   52 loose 12"x18" sheets of brown sketch paper

WHO'S WHO IN NORTHWEST ART (refer to WWNA41)

WALLNEWS March 1945
   "Issued by Industrial Information Division Wartime Information Board. Production by National Film Board."
   Painting The Foundry by Ustinov illustrated.

100 YEARS OF B.C. ART (refer to VAG58)

THE FINE ARTS IN VANCOUVER, 1886 - 1930 (refer to THOM)

ROYAL CANADIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS -
EXHIBITIONS & MEMBERS 1880 - 1979
(refer to RCA81)

ARTISTS IN CANADA 1982 - UNION LIST OF ARTISTS' FILES (refer to AIC82)

A CENTURY OF SCULPTURE (refer to SSBC98)

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF ARTISTS IN CANADA (refer to BIAC03)
      2 references cited for von Ustinov: RCA and WWNA above

VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY - B.C. ARTISTS FILES (refer to VPL)

CITY & PROVINCIAL DIRECTORIES 1933 (refer to DIR)

Clippings

"Ustinov Pictures at Art Gallery" by D.S.M.
      Vancouver Sun July 11 1933

"Many other well-known artists are represented, including ... P.V. Ustinow ... "
      From "Bargains in Art"
      Vancouver Sun, December 1, 1933

"P.V. Ustinov Gains Beatrice Stone Medal" by (unknown)
      News Herald October 10 1935

"... artists invited to join the club for the exhibition include: . . . P.W. Ustinow (sic) . . ."
      From "PASOVAS EXHIBIT - Pioneer Art Students' Show" by (unknown)
      Daily Province, February 21 1936

"For the first time several non-members artists have been invited to participate and one of the outstanding contributions from this source is "Mill on the Fraser," by P.V. Ustinow, who will be recalled as winner of the Beatrice Stone Silver Medal in 1935."
      From "FINE PASOVAS ART EXHIBITION" by (unknown)
      Vancouver Sun (?), February 21 1936

"In an informal little chat with Mr. P.V. Ustinow, he tells me that he has no clear recollection of just where he viewed the stars for the first time but he thinks it was somewhere between Stamboul & Nijninovgorod. He has distinct remembrances, as a youth, of riding for miles & miles - and miles - on the back of a camel across the desert wastes. Dates were common food to him then & many a night, sitting by an oasis where he was encamped, he has spent hours listening to the lusty tales of dark-bearded men wearing scimitars & bed-sheets - His mornings were generally spent in folding the tent, milking the goat, weaving rugs or drinking coffee. (as a coffee-maker he is without peer).
      He tells me that many of his happiest moments were spent chasing the soap in the basin of the Euphrates, that ancient river running between Jerusalem & Bagdad (with extensions at both ends). Such names as these roll trippingly off his tongue: St. Petersburg, Paris, Munich, Shavotzky, Omsk, Tomsk & Constantinople, Alexandria, Haifa, Berlin, Vladivostock, Lethbridge, Calgary & Marpole. He know the night-life of all these places. His favorite food is Haschti-Paschti, a richly spiced Eastern dish that takes 7 weeks to prepare. This dish is washed down by vodka. His favorite perfume is Camel-ia.
      From "Interviews with well-known people No. 1 Mr. P.V. Ustinow"
      Savary Pudding, June 3 1939

"To the wild cheering of a hoarse-throated audience Baron Von Ustoff refused to be thrown by King Kong Freddie. Mr. Ustoff poured blood in a charming matched two piece suit of shipdeck grey."
      From "BEHEMOTHS BATTLE TO DRAW ON SHIPDECK"
      Savary Pudding, 1939

"Breath-taking feats and hair-raising acts made stout-hearted men fade away, and faint-hearted women ________ ? Fake stopping of the heart caused strong-minded Barbara to show the white feather. The knife act gave everyone the shudders, and he was only stopped from performing more horrible feats by the refusal of the audience to stand any more."
      From "The Russian Wizard Causes Near Panic"
      Savary Pudding, June 9 1939

"Artists represented in the group comprise the following ... P.v. Ustinow ... (continues)
      From "Maritime Art Association"
      Vancouver Art Gallery Bulletin, November (?), 1939

"Congratulations are due to the Atelier Sketch Club for their ambitious exhibition. This self-organized group of evening school students are meeting every Friday in the Holden building and an invitation is extended to all students to join."
      "Evening School", by Fred Amess
      From Behind The Palette, Vancouver School of Art Annual 1939-40

"Art Group, Youth Share City Gallery"
      Daily Province April 4 1940

"Atelier Sketch Club Takes A Bow"
      News Herald April 3 1940

" ... together with oil and watercolour paintings by ... P. Ustinow ... all contribute much to this extraordinary show."
      From "B.C. Society of Fine Arts Display Sets New High Mark," by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, May 16, 1942

"Hung side by side, and yet in harmony, the visitor can enjoy on the same wall such varied products as ... a portrait by P.V. Ustinow ... (continues)
      From "Summer Show at Gallery Major Event for Art Lovers," by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, July 7, 1943

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