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NOTE: In spring 2016, a large selection of pysanky by Iryna Bilianska are included in the Museum's annual exhibition. PYSANKA: The Ukrainian Easter Egg will be on display through May 15, 2016.

In Full Bloom:
The Pysanky of Folk Artist Iryna Bilianska
March 11, 2009 – November 29, 2009

The Museum's traditional springtime exhibition of Ukrainian Easter eggs – pysanky – this year features the unique, exquisite creations of little-known folk artist Iryna Bilianska (1899-1960s?).

Using as her prototype the traditional pysanky of her native Sokal region in western Ukraine, characterized by multi-colored floral motifs, Bilianska developed an original style that included certain elements of Sokal embroidery, such as geometric designs and the heavy use of black. Her pysanky have predominantly floral motifs that cover the entire surface of the egg, freestyle. In some cases, bands of geometric motifs are intertwined with the florals. She often includes citations from Scripture about Easter and the Resurrection, and adds the Ukrainian national emblem – the Trident.

Bilianska was discovered by Professor Damian Horniatkewych (1892-1980) in the 1920s. Professor Horniatkewych was a painter, art scholar, professor of art history, and collector of Ukrainian fine and folk art who amassed a sizeable collection of Bilianska's pysanky before fleeing Ukraine during World War II and eventually settling in Canada. Professor Horniatkewych's son, Andrij Hornjatkevyč, donated the pysanky, along with other items, to the Museum in May 2008.

In Full Bloom includes 82 of Iryna Bilianska's pysanky, as well as five traditional Sokal embroidered shirts from the Museum's collection. The exhibition was organized by Lubow Wolynetz, curator of the Museum's folk art collection.

In Full Bloom: The Pysanky of Folk Artist Iryna Bilianska continues through November 29.


Images: Pysanky created by Iryna Bilianska, from the collection of Professor Damian Horniatkewych, donated to the Museum by Andrij Hornjatkevyč

About the Museum
The Ukrainian Museum was founded in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Women's League of America as a showcase for Ukrainian culture. Over the past 32 years, the Museum has amassed extensive collections of folk art, fine art, and archival material. It mounts several exhibitions annually; publishes accompanying bilingual catalogues; organizes courses, workshops, and other educational programs; and hosts a variety of public events. In April 2005 the Museum moved into a new, state-of-the-art facility in New York's East Village, funded entirely by the Ukrainian American community.

 


 

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