Ivan Vrona was born on September 29, 1887 in Otrocz, Chełm county in the Lublin guberniia of the Russian Empire. After spending two years in exile in Siberia for revolutionary activities, he studied law at Moscow University (1910-14) and art at Konstantin Yuon’s studio in Moscow (1912-14) and later at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts in Kyiv (1918-20). In 1918, he joined the Borotbist faction of the Ukrainian Party of Socialists Revolutionaries and in 1920 the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine. In 1921, he was elected to the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee.
In the 1920s, Vrona helped organize the Kyiv Art Institute and served as its first rector. He also taught there in 1930-1933 and 1945-1948. He was a founder and leader of the Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine (ARMU), whose program he outlined in a publication titled The Art of the Revolution and ARMU in 1926. Vrona also served as director of the Kyiv Museum of Western and Eastern Art and chief inspector of art education for the People’s Commissariat of Education. His art criticism was published in the periodicals “Zhyttia I Revoliutsiia (“Life and Revolution”) and “Krytyka” (“Criticism”).
In 1933, Vrona was arrested and deported to a western Siberian labor camp. He was released in 1936 and rehabilitated in 1943. After being allowed to return to Ukraine in 1944, he became a research associate of the Institute of Fine Arts, Folklore, and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR and wrote monographs on the artists Karpo Trokhymenko (1957), Mykhailo Derehus (1958), and Anatol Petrytsky (1968) as well as two chapters for volume 5 of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.
- Otrocz , Poland