Skip navigation
Media File
Eugène Berman
Date: 1899 - 1972
Remarks: Born in Russia, Eugène and his brother Leonid fled to the United States from the Russian revolution in 1918. Known for his imaginary landscapes and architectural conceits, he is also recognized for his Baroque-like stage set designs, most notably those for the Metropolitan Opera and its celebrated manager Rudolf Bing. A leader among the Surrealist and Neo-Romantic artists, Berman focused on the expression of emotion, loneliness, and human isolation that emerged between the World Wars. Trained in Paris and influenced directly by the works of Pierre Bonnard, Berman was drawn to the U.S. by the legendary New York dealer Julien Levy, at whose gallery he exhibited alongside Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, and Howard Warshaw. Becoming an American citizen in 1944, he was inspired by the imaginary worlds created by Hollywood and left New York for almost ten years, during which time he enjoyed the patronage of the collector Wright Ludington. Berman's work is held by many significant museums and has been featured in solo exhibitions including 2005's High Drama: Eugene Berman and the Legacy of the Melancholic Sublime. In 1957, Berman retired to Rome after the death of his wife, actress Ona Munson.