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    The Ukrainian Museum's Exhibition Catalogue Receives Prestigious College Art Association's 2016 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums

    New York, NY
    February 8, 2016

    Photos l-r: (1) Myroslava Mudrak and DeWitt Godfrey; (2) Olha Ivanova; (3) Myroslava Mudrak, the award for Tetiana Rudenko is visible in the foreground

    The 2016 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions went to the team of co-curators Myroslava M. Mudrak and Tetiana Rudenko for the catalogue Staging the Ukrainian Avant-Garde of the 1910s and 1920s, which accompanied the exhibition of the same name that had been organized by The Ukrainian Museum in New York in cooperation with the Museum of Theater, Music, and Cinema Arts of Ukraine in Kyiv, and had been shown at The Ukrainian Museum from February 15-October 4, 2015.

    The Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for museum scholarship was established in 1980 in honor of the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art and scholar of early-twentieth-century painting. This award is presented to the author or authors of an especialy distinguished catalogue in the history of art, published in the English language under the auspices of a museum, library, or collection. In 2009, the College Art Association (CAA) established a second Barr award for the author(s) of catalogues produced by smaller museums, libraries, and collections with an annual operating budget of less than $10 million. The 2016 award year covers catalogues published between September 1, 2014, and August 31, 2015, and The Ukrainian Museum congratulates Myroslava M. Mudrak and Tetiana Rudenko for achieving such a distinction and becoming the newest recipients of this prestigious award.

    Myroslava M. Mudrak accepted the juried award for herself and on behalf of Tetiana Rudenko at a ceremony that took place during Convocation at the 104th Annual Conference in Washington, DC, on Wednesday evening, February 3, 2016, led by DeWitt Godfrey, president of the CAA Board of Directors. Olha Ivanova, counselor for cultural affairs at the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America, attended the ceremony, and took part in handing the award to Myroslava M. Mudrak.

    Prof. Mudrak thanked the Association and members of the Jury for the recognition and used the occasion to point out the larger implications of the award, especially drawing the public's attention to the current situation in Ukraine as it struggles to realign itself with Western values. "There are parallels to be drawn between the 1920s, as covered by our exhibition, and the threat of regression faced by the current forces of politics. Then, an entire generation was lost to Stalin's cleansing; our exhibition, drawn from the largest collection of Ukrainian theater design in the world, sought to honor their unfettered artistic spirit." She thanked the staff and the Board of The Ukrainian Museum, most especially its Director, Maria Shust, for their tireless efforts in producing quality exhibits. She also thanked Lidia Lykhach of Rodovid Press for her cooperation in the production of the catalogue.

    The Jury consisting of David Dearinger, Boston Athenaeum, Chair; Kelly Baum, Princeton University Art Museum; Alison de Lima Green, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Peter Sturman, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Thayer Tolles, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, cited the pioneering qualities of research presented in the catalogue and underscored its revelatory significance, as it brought to light an understudied and often overlooked chapter of European Modernism. The Jury also pointed out that one of the achievements of the contributors' scholarship on the Ukrainian avant-garde of the first decades of the twentieth century is that it makes clear that "these artists, filmmakers, dancers, scenographers, theater directors, and costume designers deserve to be considered alongside their better known counterparts in the Paris and the Russian avant-gardes. Staging the Ukrainian Avant-Garde of the 1910s and 1920s stands as a model of the rich insights to be gained from interdisciplinary, cross media investigations that are grounded in the study of primary documents and concrete social history."

    Myroslava M. Mudrak is Professor Emerita, Department of History of Art at The Ohio State University. She has curated many exhibitions and authored a number of books, the most recent one being the catalogue of The Ukrainian Museum's exhibition Borys Kosarev. Modernist Kharkiv 1915-1931 (Rodovid Press, 2011). She studies Modernism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in relation to philosophical and stylistic developments of the West.

    Tetiana Rudenko is Chief Collections Manager of the Museum of Theater, Music, and Cinema Arts of Ukraine in Kyiv. Among her other publications is a coauthored book on Anatol Petrytsky titled Anatol Petrytskyi. Teatralni stroi ta dekoratsii zi zbirky Muzeiu teatralnoho, muzychnoho ta kinomystetstva Ukrainy (2012).

    The Exhibition Catalogue


    Color illustrated, bi-lingual (English and Ukrainian), 276-page, softcover catalogue Staging the Ukrainian Avant-Garde of the 1910s and 1920s.

    The publication features critical essays by consultative curators Myroslava M. Mudrak and Tetiana Rudenko, and includes contributions by these acknowledged experts: Nicoletta Misler, Professor of Russian and East European Art at the Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples (University of Naples); John E. Bowlt, Professor, Department of Slavic Languages at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Director of the Institute of Modern Russian Culture, and specialist in the history of modern Russian art; Valentyna Chechyk, Professor, Department of Art History and Theory at Kharkiv State Academy of Art and Design (Ukraine); Hanna Veselovska, Professor at the Department of Theater Theory and Criticism, the Karpenko-Karyi National University of Theater, Cinema, and Television in Kyiv; Mayhill Fowler, Stetson University, Department of History, specializing in the cultural history of Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe.

    The catalogue, priced at $49, is available in the Museum shop and online.

    Essays in the catalogue:

    • From the Easel to the Stage Set: The Avant-Garde Painter and the Theater by Myroslava M. Mudrak
    • Vadym Meller: Missionary of Avant-Garde Scenic Design by Tetiana Rudenko
    • A Total Play of the Body: The Art of Movement and the Ukrainian Stage by Nicoletta Misler
    • Scenic Transformation and the Ukrainian Avant-Garde by John E. Bowlt
    • Gordon Craig, Avant-Garde Art, and Ukrainian Scenography of the Late 1910s by Valentyna Chechyk
    • On the Path to Innovation and Experiment: Ukrainian Theater Direction of the First Third of the Twentieth Century by Hanna Veselovska
    • Berezil: Theater as Institution in Soviet Ukraine by Mayhill Fowler



    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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