Simeon Braguin was born in the Ukraine in 1907 amidst the forebodings of war and revolution. When the Russian Revolution began, Simeon was merely ten years old. As supporters of the Czar, he and his family fled the country, immigrating to New York and launching the beginning of Simeon’s lifelong love affair with art.
In New York, Braguin was surrounded by ample opportunity to explore and experiment artistically. As a young man, he took art classes at Columbia University, as well as at the Art Students League. There, he was introduced to many influential artists of the time, including Boardman Robinson and William Glackens, with whom he developed special friendships.
In the early 1930’s, Braguin left the world of academia to join Vogue magazine. His first successes at the magazine would be as an illustrator, a position which brought him high visibility in the world of fashion, where his illustrations were reproduced across many other magazines including Mademoiselle and the Saturday Evening Post. His talent and drive lead him to swiftly rise among the ranks of Vogue, and he quickly became the Creative Director of the renowned publication. He would become extremely influential as a part of the magazine, notably for being one of the first people to repeatedly commission works from the then unknown artist, Andy Warhol. His mentorship of Warhol, as well as other artists that ran in that circle, allowed him to become a collector of some of the artists’ great works, and over time he slowly built his own collection of art. During this time he also continued to work on his own art as well, having his first solo exhibition of his paintings in 1931, which was shortly followed by many more.