I was born in 1961 in Breda, the Netherlands, and grew up in a family of six. In 1988 I obtained my masters in Russian language and literature at the University of Amsterdam. In 1987 I started work with travel agency CIRC in Amsterdam, specializing in cultural trips to the (former) Soviet Union, and cultural exchange between the Netherlands and Russia. CIRC also had a studio in Amsterdam where Russian artists could work for a while. The travel agency CIRC was sold in 2001, but the CIRC Atelier Foundation, although without a studio now, still exists and owns a small collection of contemporary Russian art, plus an archive and library on Russian art in general.  
 
Since 1988 I have also worked on a freelance basis as an interpreter and translator, a teacher of Russian and (since 2003) French, as a freelance expert on Russian art, an election observer for the OSCE and the EU, a journalist and writer. I've lived in the southwest of France for several years, and now live parly in Amsterdam, partly in Toulouse.   
 
In 2008 I translated The name of this book is secret by Pseudonymous Bosch, and Lives of Great Artists by Charlie Ayres, both for my Dutch publisher Querido, and in 2012 I'll be there, written by Holly Goldberg Sloan. 
 
My own books and articles have yet to be translated into English. The press considers that my stories are written in a "no-frills style: short sentences, lots of dialogue, and a happy grin at the end." To give a little impression: I have translated the short story about Philip who wants a dress, which was published by Querido in 2001. In 2006-2008 it toured the Netherlands as a play for 3-year olds. The story is based on the ardent wish of my then 4 year old son, who was absolutely not interested in the supposed differences between boys and girls, let alone something like gender identity.  Please read I want a dress here.
 
In 2002 my first non-fiction book for children was published in the so called iQ-series of Querido. It was about my new country and simply called "Frankrijk": France. "There's lots you can say about France, and Pauline Michgelsen does it with love. Backgrounds, history, stories and lots of information. After one reading you'll understand why France is a country to fall in love with." (10 years and up). You can read a chapter by clicking here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
My latest book, Portrait of Russia, - currently only available in Dutch – shows the history of Russian art through 35 artworks; from the ancient icon, lubok and parsuna, to contemporary photography, from the realistic portraits of the 19th century to the gigantic statues of the 20th. We see laughing peasant women, kissing policemen, an educated count, a running man, shy Vera, pregnant Praskovya and several others saints, villains, heroes, drunkards and even some mice.
These images not only have their own narrative, but together they portray the history of a surprising, impressive and sometimes fearsome country: Russia.  
 
Portret van Rusland, Pauline Michgelsen, 80 pages (17 chapers with introduction & index), 35 images full colour. Format: 17 x 24 cm. Edited by CIRC Atelier & Pegasus, Amsterdam 2013. ISBN 9 789081 951227, € 19,95.  
 
Pauline Michgelsen studied Russian language and literature in Amsterdam and Moscow, organised exhibitions of Russian art and managed a guest workshop for artists from the former Soviet Union in Amsterdam in the 1990s. She writes about Russian art and culture since 1985, is an author of children's books and works as a translator. She lives in Toulouse, France.