Zaltsman, Pavel Yakovlevich
Pavel Yakovlevich Zaltsman was born January 2, 1912 in what is now Chisinau, Moldova, to a family that was ethnically German. He was the third and youngest child, and his father Yakov was an army officer and a gifted painter. In his youth, he moved with his family to Odessa, Ukraine and later to Leningrad, where he studied in the decorative department of the first state arts studio, the Filonov School of Artists. In 1932, Zaltsman graduated from the State Institute of Art History.
Zaltsman first came to Kazakhstan while working as a production designer for the Lenfilm studio, accompanying film shoots to the Arctic, Siberia and Central Asia. During the war, he was in Leningrad for its famous siege, designing camouflage for the defense of the city. His parents were killed by the famine of the winter of 1941-42. The following summer, on July 27, Zaltsman and the whole Lenfilm studio were evacuated to Almaty, arriving on August 20.
In Almaty, he would become legendary as the head art director of the young Kazakhfilm studio, while also publishing novels, short stories and poems. From 1948-1953, he received little work because of a campaign against “cosmopolitanism.”
In 1970, and later in 1981-1982 and 1985, Zaltsman completed his only works in the field of monumental art, creating mosaic reliefs on the buildings of the Kazakhfilm studio where he worked.