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Sergei Obraztsov

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Orbraztov

Sergei Obraztsov with a puppet of his youthful alter ego.

Sergei Vladimirovich Obraztsov Сергей Владимирович Образцов, 1901-1992 was a Russian puppet master who is credited by the Encyclopædia Britannica with "establishing puppetry as an art form". Rod theaters in many countries of the world owe their establishment to Obraztsov's influence. His collection of exotic puppets was the largest in Russia and one of the largest in the world.

Obraztsov was born on June 22, 1901 in Moscow into the family of a high-profile railroad engineer. Between 1922 and 1931, he worked with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko in the Moscow Art Theatre and one of its studios as an actor. At that period he staged several vaudeville-style puppet shows before setting up the State Central Puppet Theatre in Moscow in 1931.

During his innumerable tours abroad, Obraztsov helped to popularize artistic puppetry in the United States, Britain, and other countries. One of his best known shows, An Unusual Concert 1946, satirized faulty performers. In his declining years, Obraztsov became enthusiastic about finger puppets. He was also skilled in showing puppeteering with his bare hands.

Sergei Obrastsov authored an autobiography and a monograph on Chinese puppet theatre.. He was awarded the USSR State Prize in 1946, was named People's Artist of the USSR in 1952 and Hero of Socialist Labour in 1971. Obraztsov died on May 8, 1992 and was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery.

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