Serbian puppet designer, costumer, set designer, and painter. After graduating from the High School of the Arts, Department of Interior Design in Novi Sad in 1963, Milena Jeftić Ničeva Kostić earned her Master of Science in Costume at the Academy of Applied Arts in 1968. Since 1971, her artistic work has been connected with the Little Theatre “Duško Radović” in Belgrade, where she has spent more than thirty years designing puppets. There, as well as on many other Serbian stages, she has been recognized for the most distinguished achievements in puppet design in Serbia in the second half of the 20th century. She has received many awards for designing puppets and sets using motifs from Serbia’s rich national traditions, especially for the acclaimed production of Mitovi Balkana (The Myths of the Balkans, 1991) written and directed by Srboljub Lule Stanković.
As designer and costumer, Milena Jeftić Ničeva Kostić was a guest artist for many theatres in Belgrade. The third aspect of her work, which has also been her main artistic preoccupation, is visual arts, particularly embracing new movements, such as optical art. Her paintings are a part of the collection of the National Museum of Serbia and Contemporary Arts Museum in Belgrade, as well as many other collections worldwide.
In 2005, Milena Jeftić Ničeva Kostić was the recipient of the prestigious Little Prince Lifetime Achievement Award of the Subotica International Children’s Theatre Festival. Dušana Nikolić and Nikola Šuica co-authored a monograph on her work, Milena u Pozorištu – lutke, kostimi, scenografija Milene Jeftić Ničeve Kostić (Milena in Theatre – the Puppets, Costumes and Scenography of Milena Jeftić Ničeva Kostić, 1995).
- “Bequest of Milena Jeftić Ničeva Kostić”. http://www.kucalegata.org/milenajnkeng.htm
- http://denis-lutkar.com/dnk-lutkarstva/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=126:svetska-enciklopedija-umetnosti-lutkarstva&catid=34:o-lutkarstvu&Itemid=30&showall=1. Accessed 15 June 2013.
- “Milena JNK”. http://milenajnk.com/eng_index.htm. Accessed 15 June 2013.
- Nikolić, Dušana, and Nikola Šuica. Milena u Pozorištu – lutke, kostimi, scenografija Milene Jeftić Ničeve Kostić [Milena in Theatre – The Puppets, Costumes and Scenography by Milena Jeftić Ničeva Kostić]. Belgrade: Clio, 1995.