Self Portrait, Oil on Cardboard 

Self Portrait, Oil on Cardboard 

 

(1929-1998)  

Berta Kuznetsova was born in a small town in Belarus, twelve years prior to World War II. She and her mother were able to escape the Nazis while her father was killed in one of the bitterly fought early battles, and her beloved grandfather and most of her other relatives perished in the German Death camps.

It was out of such a trauma that Berta, who had already displayed exceptional talent as a young girl, became an artist of incredible depth and compassion.

At the age of 20, Berta was accepted to a prestigious Lithuania Art Institute of Vilnius where she was rigorously trained for five years before she ventured to find her place in the world of the Soviet artists.

Berta was one of the fortunate artists whose talent was recognized early.  Her portraits were so skillful, full of life, humor and love of the ordinary people that award after award came to her.  Beginning with a showing of her paining in an exhibition of “Young Artists” in 1956 in Petrozavodsk, she was included in numerous exhibitions. Over the next fifteen years Berta’s works appeared in the exhibitions throughout the Soviet Union and Europe.

Berta Kuznetsova was admitted into the prestigious Union of Soviet Artists in 1963.

Critiques of her work appeared regularly in the press; in 1973 she was included in “The Reference Book of the Artists of the USSR”.

A new life started for her again when In August of 1980 Berta and her family arrived in New York.

In New York, Kuznetsova discovered a new kind of painting for herself: miniature compositions on semiprecious stones. She found a unique way of painting on semi-precious stones incorporating the grain of the stone in her designs. Many of the images were inspired by the memories of her pious grandfather. The artist expresses her spiritual freedom by using religious themes in her art.

Berta has been working in different mediums all her life, including paintings on canvas, sculpture, ceramics, stained glass, murals and miniature paintings on semiprecious stones. Her work is in private collections and on exhibit in the permanent collections of Museums in Russia, Europe and the United States, including Reagan Presidential Library. 

Berta’s life tragically ended in the summer of 1998 in a car accident. She has left behind an enormous collection of works.