Glory of Ukraine at Joslyn

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February 17th, 2011

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Omaha, NE – Artwork from some of the most ancient civilizations in the world is currently on display at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.

The Glory of the Ukraine exhibits two rarely-seen collections, which are on display in just five cities around the U.S. The first includes thousands of objects saved from ancient civilizations that settled and thrived where the Ukraine now lies in Eastern Europe. Some, like the Trypilians, date back to 5,000 BC, before the rise of the most famed ancient empires.

This icon piece "Congregation of All Saints of Pechersk Lavra" is among the works featured in Joslyn's Glory of the Ukraine exhibit. (Photo Courtesy Joslyn Art Museum)

Toby Jurovics, the new Chief Curator at the Joslyn, said “When we think of the beginning of civilization, we tend to think of Greece or Rome, Egypt, the Fertile Crescent. This gives us one more culture and civilization to study, that gives us a sense of where we emerge from and how our culture developed.”

The second display is a collection of religious images from the 11th through the 19th centuries. There are over 80 objects in the collection including chalices and altar crosses from the Monastery of the Caves: the oldest Orthodox Monastery in all of Eastern Europe, it was created in 1051.

“The tradition of icon painting developed in Byzantium,” said Jurovics. “But that tradition really ends in the 15th century. What’s interesting in the Ukrainian tradition is that it continues on for hundreds of years after that, and it begins to show different influences, influences of Western European art … the Renaissance of the Baroque period.”

Jurovics said the icon collection shows the role of these religious artworks, meant to be direct intercessors with the divine, as various artistic movements evolved. The Glory of the Ukraine is on display at the Joslyn Art Museum through May 8th.

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