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    In Shevchenko's Land
    Folk art and icons from the region and time of Taras Shevchenko's birth

    March 29 – October 26, 2014


    New York City, March 28, 2014 – The exhibition In Shevchenko's Land was inspired by a series of etchings planned by artist Taras Shevchenko as a means to document the most important events in Ukrainian history, Ukrainian traditions and culture, and the beauty of Ukraine's natural landscapes. Traditional Ukrainian costumes and ritual cloths from the Museum's permanent collection of folk art, along with folk icons from a private collection, are presented against a backdrop of several enlarged prints of Shevchenko's works. The exhibition will be on display through the end of October, 2014.

    Late 19th century costumes – exquisitely embroidered shirts, masterfully woven skirts, and accessories – all hand-made by women, icons painted by folk artisans known locally as "God painters," and rushnyky, antique woven and embroidered ritual cloths (essential for every important life event), illustrate the folk traditions that were familiar to Shevchenko in his time. Enlarged prints of a few of the artist's works serve as the inspiration and insight into the lifestyle of a typical Ukrainian serf – Taras Shevchenko's status from birth until his freedom was purchased at the age of twenty-four.

    Freed from the shackles of serfdom, Shevchenko's short-lived liberty soon led to arrests, exile, and unfulfilled dreams, having vexed the implacable leaders of Tsarist Russia, who held a deep distrust of any expressions of appreciation for Ukrainian culture. Despite the obstacles, Shevchenko's artistic drive, which branched into poetry and prose, flourished over time. He became known best for the beauty and resonance of his poetry, which, after his untimely death at age forty-seven, played a major role in forming a Ukrainian national identity.

    Curated by Lubow Wolynetz, the curator of the Museum's folk art collection, In Shevchenko's Land is the first of two exhibitions organized in commemoration of the bicentennial of the birth of Taras Shevchenko. The second, Taras Shevchenko: Post, Artist, Icon – scheduled to open to the public on May 11, 2014 – will include original watercolors and lithographs by Taras Shevchenko, as well as publications, historical artifacts, and a number of exact replicas of a selection of literary and art works.



    About the Museum

    The Ukrainian Museum acquires, preserves, and exhibits articles of artistic or historic significance to the rich cultural heritage of Ukrainian Americans; its collections include thousands of items of folk art, fine art, and archival material. At its founding in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Womens League of America, the Museum was hailed as one of the finest achievements of Americans of Ukrainian descent. Since then, and particularly since its move in 2005 to a new, state-of-the-art building in Manhattans vibrant East Village, it has become known as one of the most interesting and dynamic smaller museums in New York City. Each year, the Museum organizes several exhibitions, publishes bilingual (English/Ukrainian) catalogues, and presents a wide range of public and educational programs, including concerts, films, lectures, courses, workshops, and special events.

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