Born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1898, the Jewish émigré painter, sculptor, set designer, theorist and art critic Boris Aronson was a pioneer at the forefront of the international modernist movement. He studied in Kyiv including under Alexandra Exter and became a fervent advocate for the creation of a new Jewish Yiddish culture.

In 1922 Aronson joined relatives in Berlin and studied in the workshop of the engraver Hermann Struck. Afterwards, in Paris, he designed sketches and costumes, before settling in New York in 1923 and becoming the leading designer for the city’s Jewish theatres. From 1930 onwards Aronson was one of the Broadway theatre’s best-known and most prominent designers, creating multiple award-winning sets and costumes for nearly 100 plays, operas, ballets and musical comedies. Aronson died in New York, USA in 1980.