National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya Folk Art named after Yosaphat Kobrynskyy



The museum's ceramics collection represents more than 5000 works from Hutsul and Pokuttya centers of pottery from the late XVIII c. to present days. Craftsmen from Kolomyya, Kosiv, Pistyn and Kuty have preserved centuries-old traditions of this craft. They have created folk schools of ceramics with pronounced local features of painting, a variety of forms as well as their application in everyday life.

Pre-Christian paganism in Rus' - Ukraine was based on the astral cult similar to the cult of ancient civilizations. It was worship to heaven's fire and water reflected in styled graphic figures in various arts, including ceramics.

Archaeological ceramic samples reaching late-trypillya period (2100-1700 BC) are significant exhibits in the museum collection. They are two terracotta figurines: sculptural image of a woman and a sheep. Scientists suggest that the use of clay figurines of people and animals for ritual needs preceded pottery making.

The most common in Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya was the production of crockery: bowls, plates, jugs, kolaches, candlesticks, pots and tiles for lining furnaces. First, all household utensils were fired, non-glazed and slightly decorated with simple circular or wavy lines and dots (symbolic water lines). Since the end of the XVIII c. craftsmen began to use lead glazing. They coated household utensils with white clay (whitewash) that made preconditions for expansion of the decorative means and local artistic features crystallization. It contributed to the flourishing of flyandrovanyh(decorated before baking in the kiln) paintings with a specific outline in Kolomyya and Kosiv.In Pistyn and later in Kosiv the technique and style of brush silhouette graphics had been developing.

The ornament of Hutsul and Pokuttya ceramics emphasizes the artistic quality and form of products. It consists of different images and elements that rhythmically repeat. The combination of separate motifs gives the ability to examine household and religious themes, including kosmohonic (circle - sky, heavenly bodies) and pagan-Christian ("cross", the world tree of life, "flowerpot") symbols. Armory, war scenes, plant and animal (or mixed) compositions, architectural elements etc. are widespread. Potters used tricolor gamma of green, yellow, brown and rarely blue to create color effects . The background was white or brown. Pottery had some traditional storage.It must had been in the cupboard or shelf. Apart from utensils cheese figures of various animals and birds, clay whistlers occured, also carrying a protectional function. There is a large collection of various ceramic sculptures-whistlers complemented by cheese products: wedding kalachyky , horses, birds and deer. Stove was one of the most important elements of interior in the house. Besides its primary purpose (heat up, cook) it carried the aesthetic and spiritual function. There were icons of Virgine Marry, St.Nicholas, St. Barbara and St. Catherine on each stove that protected the family from evil. The scenes of everyday life, full of wisdom, optimism, allegory and sarcasm: musicians, weddings, fights, jealousy, dancing, etc. were depicted on tiles.The families of Baranyuk, Oleksa Bahmatyuk, Dmytro Zondyuka, graduate from Kolomyya School of Pottery (1876 -1914), Petro Koshak as well as their followers Roshchybyuky, Tsvilyky, Ilyuk, Kahnikevych, Dzhuranyuk pertain to the classics of ceramic painting. New generations of contemporary artists continue to follow the rich heritage of folk pottery, increasing and developing glorious traditions of their predecessors.

Romana Baran, Head of the Department of Ceramics

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