Nicholas Bervinchak was born in Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County, Pa. in 1903. His Ukrainian Lemko parents emigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They eventually settled with their young family in the Forestville-Primrose area of Cass Township outside of Minersville.
Like his father Iwan, Nicholas went to work in the Lytle Colliery of Primrose. He had a native talent for drawing and wanted to go beyond the dark, dangerous life in the mines. Under the tutelage of the Hungarian-born church muralist Paul Daubner, Nick began his artistic career assisting with the decoration of the newly built Eastern European churches in the county. He eventually extended his artistic work to etchings, oil and water color paintings that depicted daily life in the Coal Country of Northeast Pennsylvania. His reputation became world renown and his work still hangs in many prominent museums.
For more background on the artist, click here.
For a partial inventory of his work, click here.
1961 Folklife Magazine article on the artist, click here.
2015 article about the Bervinchak etching, “Bootlegger’s Wife and Son” (1939) in the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum newsletter, “The Miner’s Lamp”.