The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Soviet artists and noted personalities in the puppet theater.

Ivan Semenovich Efimov. Born Feb. 11 (23), 1878, in Moscow; died Jan. 7, 1959, in Moscow. Sculptor and graphic artist. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1958). Honorary member of the International Union of Puppeteers (1958).

From 1906 to 1908, Efimov studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. From 1908 to 1911 he worked in Paris, collaborating with V. A. Serov. From 1918 to 1930 he taught at Vkhutemas and Vkhutein. He participated in Lenin’s program for the erection of propaganda monuments, for example, the commemorative plaque He Who Does Not Work, Neither Shall He Eat on the former building of the Revolutionary Military Council on Gogol Boulevard in Moscow (cement, 1918). Efimov was a master of highly distinctive animal sculptures with a fluid rhythmic quality. Some examples of his monumental-decorative animal sculpture include the fountain Dolphins (beaten copper and glass, 1935–37) in the Khimki river terminal in Moscow and the openwork reliefs in the sanatorium in Tskhaltubo (bronze, 1950). Efimov’s free-standing sculpture is exemplified in his Rooster (beaten copper and wood, 1932) in the Tret’iakov Gallery in Moscow.

Nina lakovlevna Simonovich-Efimova. Born Jan. 9 (21), 1877, in St. Petersburg; died Feb. 24, 1948, in Moscow. Graphic artist. Wife of Ivan Semenovich Efimov.

Simonovich-Efimova and her husband worked to create a Russian puppet theater founded on the popular traditions of the Petrushka (Punch and Judy) theater. In 1918 they organized the first Soviet puppet theater, in which they were the directors, actors, and artists. The Efimovs sought to depart from primitive subjects in their puppet theater plays, staging instead the works of classical writers. Regarding puppet performances as a theater of moving sculptures, they developed the forms of the puppets and their gestures. The plastic art of the Efimovs’ works is distinguished by its simplicity of artistic means and by its clear, precise form. Their works include the puppets for plays based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, I. A. Krylov’s fables, and M. E. Salty-kov-Shchedrin’s and A. N. Tolstoy’s tales; they also created a series of silhouettes for the shadow theater, for productions of A. S. Pushkin’s Mozart and Salieri and Eugene One gin.


Simonovich-Efimova, N. Zapiski petrushechnika. Moscow and Leningrad, 1925.
Simonovich-Efimova, N. Kukly na trostiakh. Moscow, 1940.


Vystavka proizvedenii I. S. Efimova za 80 let so dnia rozhdeniia i khudozhnika N. la. Simonovich-Efimovoi (catalog). Moscow 1959.
Matveeva, A. B. I. S. Efimov. Moscow [1965].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
While in Switzerland, the Efimovs can be contacted at the home of Wendy Stern Astor 031 302 0214 (wendysa@compuserve.com)
Russians Irina and Igor Efimov, both classical musicians in their mid-thirties with years of conservatory training, visit Bern once or twice a year with their 11-year-old son and play everything from Vivaldi to Villa-Lobos on the Swiss streets.