Pavel Ivanovich Afonin (1920-2011) |

4 May - 4 June 2017

Saint-Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Pavel Ivanovich Afonin (1920-2011)

Pavel Ivanovich Afonin (1920–2011)
Pavel Ivanovich Afonin

Pavel Ivanovich Afonin was born in 1920 in the small village of Noviy Mochim in the Pensa region. He was the youngest (thirteenth) child in the family.

Pavel began drawing with a pencil when he was five years old. His formal education in drawing and painting began in Donskoi, where he attended art classes under the supervision of the artist Vasiliev and later Nikolai Samokish, an acclaimed painter of battle scenes, who recommended that Pavel try to enter the Academy of Arts in Moscow. However, when Pavel arrived in the capital of Russia, the application process for the Academy was closed and he was advised to enter the Moscow Architectural Institute instead.

Pavel had just finished his third year at university when war broke out in June 1941. Soon after, Pavel was selected to join The Military Engineering Academy named after Kuibyshev, based in the town of Frunze in Kirgizia, where the officers of the engineering forces received their training.

Having finished the intensive course in 1943, Sergeant Pavel Afonin was sent to Kalinin front. In one month he became a commander-in-chief of an engineer-sapper unit as part of the 17th Brigade of the 5th Shock Army, which he led until the end of the war.

Pavel’s unit took part in battles liberating Leningrad, Vyborg, Poland, Estonia, as well as the Berlin operation. He received multiple medals and several orders for his services during the war: an Order of the Red Star, two Orders of the Great Patriotic War (of the 1st and 2nd degree), an Order for Services to the Motherland, and eighteen medals, including one for defending Leningrad.

Pavel Ivanovich Afonin
Pavel Ivanovich Afonin

After the end of the war, Pavel returned to Moscow to finish his architectural education and graduated from the Moscow Institute of Architecture in 1948 with honours. Two years later he was called up again for military service to rebuild Kaliningrad, which had been totally destroyed during the war. In the middle of the 1950s, he and his family moved to Leningrad. While working at the Military Engineer-Construction Institute, named after General Komarovsky in Leningrad, Pavel led the Department of Architecture over a period of 16 years. He resigned from teaching when he was over 80 years old. Until 2008 Pavel delivered lectures on architecture, served on the examination board and continued drawing.

Saint-Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering.
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