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Dubai, Mykhail/Dubaj, Michal

Dubai, Mykhail/Dubaj, Michal (b. June 4, 1910, Hacava [Hungarian Kingdom], Slovakia; d. October 4, 1993, Presov, Slovakia) — painter, pedagogue, and cultural activist in the Presov Region. After spending his youth in Rusyn villages in northeastern Slovakia Dubai went to Subcarpathian Rus’, where he completed the Russian gymnasium at Mukachevo (1929), and then went on to Comenius University in Bratislava, where he studied history and geography as well as painting. He taught history, geography, and drawing at the Russian gymnasium in Presov (1939-1948) and edited a Russian-language collection of studies on Rusyn history and culture: Obrazovanie—sbornik pouchitel’nykh stat’ei (1942). After World War II, he served as educational administrator in the Commission/Referat for Ukrainian Schools in the *Presov Region (1948-1949) and in the East Slovak regional office for secondary schools (1949-1952). He gradually adapted to the Ukrainian national orientation, was a long-term executive member of the *Cultural Union of Ukrainian Workers, and served as editor-in-chief (1964-1975) of the Division for Ukrainian Publications of the Slovak Pedagogical Publishing House based in Presov.

Throughout his life Dubai continued to paint. Most of his works were in the Cubist style and based on themes and landscapes from the Rusyn countryside as well as sacred subjects. Among his best-known canvases in these genres are Smereky (Pine Trees, 1939) and Khrystos (Christ, 1940). Dubai also played an active role in promoting Rusyn art. His paintings dominated the first exhibit of Rusyn painters held in Presov in 1940, and after World War II he played an active role in the establishment of the Gallery of Art in Presov and the *Museum of Ukrainian-Rus’ Culture in Svidnik.

Paul Robert Magocsi

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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