T h e U k r a i n i a n M u s e u m
222 East 6th Street (bet. 2nd and 3rd Aves.) New York, NY 10003
Wed. thru Sun. 11:30 am - 5:00 pm (212) 228-0110 * e-mail: info@UkrainianMuseum.org
THE UKRAINIAN MUSEUM HOSTS MINISTER TARASIUK
The meeting of world leaders at the United Nations during the last weeks of September once again brought happy chaos to New York City. The predictable traffic snarls and the seemingly never ending cacophony of police sirens escorting dignitaries from one place to another, were somehow balanced out by the high drama emanating from the General Assembly sessions, and a rise in tourism that such an occurrence always brings about. The business of world politics is good both for the spirit of the City and for its economic welfare.
Although The Ukrainian Museum on East 6th Street is located downtown and somewhat removed from the epicenter of this bustling activity, we too partake in the excitement of the annual convention of heads of state in a very big way. Last year at this time the Museum was honored by a memorable visit of Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko and First Lady Kateryna Yushchenko.
This year, on September 23rd the Museum was pleased to host Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Borys Tarasyuk, who arrived with his staff and distinguished members of Ukraine's diplomatic corps. Accompanying the Minister were Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States Oleh Shamshur, Consul General of Ukraine in New York City Mykola Kyrychenko, former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Valeriy Kuchinsky, Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrii Deschytsia, and Consul Andrii Olefirov.
President of the Museum's Board of Trustees, Olha Hnateyko, Director Maria Shust, members of the Board and Museum staff assembled in front of the Museum and greeted the Minister and his party as they arrived in a cavalcade of gleaming black limousines.
Reading a short welcome statement O. Hnateyko said that the Museum was honored by the Minister's visit and expressed her pleasure at the presence of Ambassador Shamshur and Consul General Kyrychenko, who had visited the Museum on previous occasions. Former Ambassador to the UN, Valeriy Kuchinsky was also warmly greeted by the Board President. During his long tenure as ambassador, Mr. Kuchinsky and his wife Alla Kuchinsky were ardent proponents and supporters of the Museum.
Mrs. Hnateyko briefly spoke about the work of the Museum, especially citing the upcoming exhibition Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine 1910-1930 scheduled to open at the Museum on November 4, 2006 following its run in Chicago. This is the first major exhibition of early 20th century Ukrainian art in New York City. Organized in Ukraine, with works from the National Art Museum of Ukraine and other museums in the country, the show came to the United States under the auspices of the Foundation for International Arts and Education in cooperation with the National Art Museum of Ukraine.
There is great importance attached to this exhibition explained Mrs. Hnateyko, since its objective is to highlight this immensely creative and prolific period in Ukrainian art history and introduce Ukrainian avant-garde artists and their work to American audiences. The Ukrainian Museum in New York City is looking forward to presenting this exciting exhibition. Mrs. Hnateyko pointed out that both Ambassador Kuchinsky and Mrs. Kuchinsky were very helpful in the process of bringing this show to The Ukrainian Museum.
In view of the distinguished group of visitors, Mrs. Hnateyko also indicated that shortly the Museum is looking forward to presenting another exhibition from Ukraine. The exhibit organized from the private collection of President Yushchenko and other collectors will feature Ukrainian religious sculpture and icons.
During the capital fundraising campaign in the Museum's promotional literature, it has always been underscored that one of the goals of the institution in its new building will be to host exhibitions from Ukraine. Since the new facility opened in 2005 this aim is being realized.
A tour of the Museum's second inaugural exhibition The Tree of Life, the Sun, the Goddess: Symbolic Motifs in Ukrainian Folk Art was on Minister Tarasiuk's agenda. In her inimitable way, Lubow Wolynetz, the curator of the Museum's folk art collection and curator of the exhibition explained the significance of the objects on display, injecting interesting details from her repertoire of folk lore and traditions. At the display of Easter breads in answer to a question by Ms. Wolynetz, the Minister was heard to say that he leaves the matter of baking in the capable hands of his wife. Minister Tarasiuk also toured the exhibition Jacques Hnisdovsky - in Color and in Black & White, which features paintings, woodcuts, and ceramics by the noted Ukrainian artist. Director Maria Shust provided commentary and information.
Time for leisurely activities is measured in very small doses in the life of a high-ranking state official and all too soon Minister Tarasiuk's staff members reminded him of pending obligations. At parting, the Museum presented the Minister with several exhibition catalogues. In turn, as a memento of his visit, Mr. Tarasiuk gave the Museum a Taras Shevchenko coin, minted and issued in 2004 by the National Bank of Ukraine. In the Visitors' Book, in elegant script, the Minister wrote that his wish is for the Museum to have interesting exhibitions, grateful supporters, and beautiful Ukrainian works of art.
Diplomats, especially those in high positions are experts in expressing themselves. Minister Tarasiuk minced no words and his meaning was perfectly clear, when upon departing, he cast a last look at the interior of the building and said to no one in particular "It is a beautiful museum."
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