US-Ukraine Business Council

Over 900 persons attend unprecedented display of Ukrainian Spiritual and National Treasures

U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Over 900 persons attended the grand opening of the unprecedented "The Glory of Ukraine" exhibition of spiritual and national treasures Friday evening, February 11, 2011 at the world famous Joslyn Art Museum in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. "The Glory of Ukraine" exhibition will be on view in Omaha until May 8, 2011 at Nebraska's largest and most outstanding museum.

The spectacular Joslyn Art Museum was full of excitement and wonder as almost one-thousand people viewed for the first time the icons and religious relics from famous churches, cathedrals, bell towers and underground caverns of the nearly 1,000-year-old Monastery of the Caves and artifacts of ancient civilizations that populated modern day Ukraine thousands of years ago from the private PlaTar collection in a visually rich and historically intriguing presentation.

The "Sacred Images from the 11th to the 19th Centuries" and the PlaTar Collection - "Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations" Exhibition highlights include over 200 pieces of fascinating and beautiful examples gold jewelry and other gold objects, earthenware, flint and copper tools, ancient weapons, ritual objects, icons and silver icon covers, chalices, ceremonial and alter crosses, and textiles displaying masterful needlework and embroidery. Some of the objects go back 5,000 years BC. Joslyn is the only U.S. museum to feature both components of "The Glory of Ukraine" exhibition.

The exhibition was opened by Jack Becker, Executive Director & CEO, Joslyn Art Museum. Toby Jurovics, the new Chief Curator & Holland Curator of American Western Art, Joslyn Art Museum, was in charge of setting up the exhibition.

Special guests at "The Glory to Ukraine" exhibition included: Ben Nelson, United States Senator from Nebraska, his wife Diane and James R. Young, Chairman of the Board of Governors, Joslyn Art Museum, who is President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for Union Pacific Railroad, and his wife Shirley.

In cooperation with the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC),, Washington, D.C. and with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States and the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, "The Glory of Ukraine" is presented by the Foundation for International Arts and Education (FIAE),, Bethesda, Maryland.

Exhibition organizers are FIAE, the Kyiv-Pechersk National Historical and Cultural Preserve (the museum in the Monastery of the Caves), and the Museum of National Cultural Heritage PlaTar. A small selection of works also comes from the Lviv National Museum Named for Andrei Sheptitsky.

In Omaha, major sponsors of the exhibition are Douglas County, Mutual of Omaha, Robert H. Storz Foundation, Valmont, and Gail and Michael Yanney.
Additional support is provided by the Nebraska Arts Council.

Members of the organizations supporting "The Glory of Ukraine" exhibition who attended the festivities in Omaha included: Mykola Planonov, Proprietor, Museum of National Cultural Heritage PlaTar, Kyiv, Ukraine; Sergey Korzhov, Adviser to Sergey Taruta, Head of the Board of Directors, Industrial Union of Donbass, Donetsk, Ukraine.

In addition those attending included Gail and Michael Yanney, Omaha, Nebraska; Gregory Guroff, President, Katherine Guroff, Director of Programs, and Ambassador Joseph Presel, member, board of directors, who represented the Foundation for International Arts and Education (FIAE), Bethesda, Maryland; and Denys Mykhailiuk, First Secretary, Commercial Department who represented the Embassy of Ukraine to the USA, Washington, D.C.

Also attending were Dr. Irina Paliashvili, President and Senior Counsel, RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A., who provided legal services to the Exhibition, Washington, D.C./Kyiv, Ukraine; Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Management Group, who serves as President of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC); Iryna Teluk, Director of Member Programs, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C. and Kevin Dickson, International Sales Manager, Valmont Irrigation, Valley, Nebraska.

The national treasures from the PlaTar Collection will travel from Omaha to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas, opening in early June, 2011, followed by The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota, opening in early October, 2011.

The Icons from the Monastery of the Caves

Most commonly a flat panel painting, an icon is a religious image used for devotion and often believed to possess miracle-working abilities. Deriving from Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism, icons depict holy beings or objects such as Jesus, Mary, saints, angels, or the cross.

The exhibition presents more than 80 objects, which, in addition to some of the finest icons from the Monastery of the Caves' extensive holdings, include some truly exceptional liturgical objects: chalices, ceremonial and altar crosses, silver gospel covers, and textiles displaying masterful needlework and embroidery.

During much of its early history, Ukraine's borders were open to the East and the West. Byzantine Orthodox and Catholic traditions mixed with the Renaissance and Baroque styles. Over the centuries, Ukrainian iconography was influenced by Russian, Greek, and Roman cultures. Many icons had folklore and legends as their basis and were enhanced with floral designs and the use of brilliant, rich blues, reds, and golds, making Ukrainian icons truly unique.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Mother of God Hodigitria, 1370 — One of the oldest existing Ukrainian icons.
  • Congregation of All Saints of Pechersk Lavra, late 18th/early 19th centuries — Portraying 118 saints of the Monastery of the Caves, where their remains are still kept, upon their official canonization
  • Cross of the Holy Monk Mark of the Caves, 11th century - A rare pectoral reliquary cross (a hinged cross, suspended from the neck by a cord or chain, that opens to reveal a religious relic) that belonged to one of the early monks of the Monastery, Mark, who was responsible for burials in the caves.
  • Royal Doors, 16th century — Royal Doors, also known as Holy Doors, are the central gates of the iconostasis in an Orthodox church leading to the altar. On this pair, among the earliest known sets, only the Evangelists are seen, which is unique in Ukrainian iconography.
The Monastery of the Caves, the oldest Orthodox Monastery in all of Eastern Europe, fuses nature with man-made structures created over nine centuries. The 57-acre site includes buildings, churches, and residential structures, as well as two unique cave complexes with underground labyrinths over 656 yards long.

Created in 1051, the monastery, in Ukrainian, is called Kyiv-Pechersk — Kyiv for the location (Kiev) and Pechersk for the Ukrainian word for caves: pechery. The Monastery of the Caves is often referred to with the term "Lavra." Lavra is the highest honor given to monasteries, and the Monastery of the Caves received that designation in 1159.

Artifacts and the PlaTar Collection

The artifacts in this section of the exhibition are from the PlaTar Collection (the private collection of Nikolai Platonov and Sergei Taruta) of thousands of objects from ancient civilizations that populated modern-day Ukraine. Among them are weapons, flint and copper tools, ritual objects, earthenware, and gold and silver jewelry. Of particular significance are a number of objects that date to the Trypillian culture.

Considered the greatest city of "Old Europe", Trypillia was the center of Neolithic pre-civilization, boasting some 15,000 inhabitants as early as 5,000 BC, and pre-dated the rise of the Romans, Chinese, Greeks, and Egyptians.

The Trypillians' large, urbanized communities flourished with technological, ideological, religious, and political structures. They developed techniques of metalworking and pottery making, as well as applied and decorative arts that precede all known markers of the development of civilization.

Other cultures represented in the exhibition include the ancient horse-riding, nomadic groups—the Cimmerians of Indo-European and the Scythians of Iranian origin (known for their gold objects), Sarmatians (an Iranian people flourishing from the 5th century be to the 4th century ad), Greeks, Celts, Goths, Huns, and the Khazar (a semi-nomadic Turkic people).

The splendid array of objects includes stone, flint, and copper tools and weapons; pottery and other ceramic materials; bronze sculpture; extraordinary transparent glass, bronze, gold and silver vessels; an exquisite silver headdress and gold jewelry, including pendants, rings, bracelets, and necklaces with precious stones; and objects of Christian worship: relics, a gold chalice, and crosses.

For images, contact Amy Rummel, communications and marketing manager, at (402) 661-3822 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ..

Admission: adults $8; senior citizens (62+) and college students (with ID) $6; youth (ages 5-17) $5; free ages four and younger and Joslyn members.
Free admission for the general public on Saturdays from 10 am to noon. Hours: Tues., Wed., Fri, Sat, 10 am-4 pm; Thurs., 10 am-8 pm; Sun., noon-4 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays.

Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68102; Phone: 402-342-3300; Fax: 402-342-2376; Contact: Amy Rummel, Communications & Marketing Manager; 402-661-3822 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .




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