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

Retrospective View

Kolomyya MuseumRetrospective View

National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya Folk Art named after Yosaphat Kobrynsky was established in 1926 in Kolomyya. It is located in the downtown. It had previously been People’s House erected at the Ukrainian community expense.

Its collections contain more than 50 000 items representing all kinds of Hutsul and Pokuttya traditional folk art since 17th c. till nowadays. However, there are particular exhibits dating from 4 millennium BC and representing the agricultural culture that is well-known as “Trypillya” (Three-Field system) in history and archeology. The authors of those artistic merits were inhabitants of Carpathian highlands of Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattya and Chernivtsi districts, as well as Pokuttia located between Prut, Dnister and Cheremosh rivers.

The creation and organization of museum collective exhibitions lasted despite overwhelming odds of historical confrontation in time all Galicia lands were under the reign of Austrian Habsburg royal family. Its opening faced constant aggression and discontent on the side of Rich Pospolyta (1935)…Both efforts of Ukrainian people to express themselves and renew their status in order to achieve European equality were crowned with success in spite of the political obstacles. Owing to Yosaphat and Volodymyr Kobrynsky the museum business was launched in Galicia and it met the international standards in a while.

Therefore, the Association of Rich Pospolyta Museums was established. From now and on, the associated museums of Ukraine were able to engage educational activity among the population, to organize and hold conferences, academic meetings, in such a way identifying the main trends and aims of their activity. Such activity of the museum and its workers irritated Polish and then Soviet government. The Polish had closed that Ukrainian organization for several times, Soviet ideologists were checking continuously, trying to find out the argument in favour of doing away with those historical things. They frightened and stalked those museum workers considered to beUkrainian bourgeois nationalists.

Thus, in accordance with the Law 268 of People’s Commissars Council from February, 27, 1945 the museum joined the Art Committee of the People’s Commissars Council of the Ukrainian Soviet Social Republic and was entitled the State Museum of Hutsulshchyna Folk Art. Having asserted its rights Soviet government officially seized sphragistic collection (approximately 500 valuable seals and stamps since competitions in 1918-1919; the unique collection containing 10 000 of ancient publications; as well as weapons collection and other documents of historical importance). Owing to the efforts of the museum staff and its Director Volodymyr Kobrynsky lots of things were saved in spite of numerous obstacles. Nowadays all of them are represented in 18 showing halls of the museum in an area of 1 000 of square meters. They are organized into sections representing all kinds of Folk Art and classified on the basis of historical, chronological and monographic principles. There are such kinds of Folk Art as wood art processing (carving, incrustation, woodburning), metal treatment, leather working, pottery, decorative weaving, tapestry, embroidery and dress-making. These principles of classification give us opportunity to follow the main stages of Folk Art development, its stylistic and artistic peculiarities, as well as to find out new principles.

Showrooms of the museum cover an area of 200 square meters. The museum holds from 8 to 12 exhibitions per year. According to the tradition two of them show collections of the museum funds. Because of the limited exhibition space these collections are not available to the regular visitors. Such method of exhibition activity gives the opportunity to represent the unique collections of the museum to the wider community and to introduce modern folk and professional art of Ukraine and foreign countries.

Since 2000 the museum has been staging permanent exhibition of sacred art representing masterpieces of icon and folk characters painting, that are perfectly complemented by sacred goods made of wood.

In 2002 the museum exhibition included memorial room of Andriy Chaykovsky well-known as politically exposed person and writer. His political and writing heritage was forbidden in Soviet days.

Late in 2006 the section representing furniture common to inhabitants of the Carpathian mountains was opened. Since 2008 its visitors have been given the opportunity to get acquainted with artistic heritage of Ukrainian painters.

The museum structure consists of three equal branches.

Kosiv Museum of Hutsulshchyna Folk Art and Life was founded on the grounds of private collection made by Yevhen Sahaydachny known as gifted painter, sculptor and ethnographer. In 1970 it became a part of one great museum.

Pysanka’s viable energy, its uniqueness, rich variety of decorative patterns as well as all the customs and traditions associated with it became the cornerstone of the exclusive Museum of Pysanka. Firstly it was opened in the Annunciation Church (the architectural monument of XVI century) in autumn 1987. After another 13 years the museum gained its own place. The architectural construction is built in the shape of an Easter egg (13 meters high), as an original and peculiar advertisement of the museum. Nowadays the museum funds possess an extensive collection of over 12 000 Easter eggs. Not only does the permanent collection of museum include Easter eggs from all regions of Ukraine but it also has examples from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Belarus, France, Canada, USA, Pakistan, India, Shri Lanka, China, Egypt and Algeria.

On January 3, 2007 Yaremcha Museum of Ethnography and Ecology of the Carpathians joined the basic museum located in Kolomiya.

An important function of this museum is the organization of festivals, seminars, conferences and round tables, where the issues on the development of folk traditions are raised.

The key issues of National museum activity are related to modern professional art, its main tasks and popularization. Therefore, all collections are updated on a regular basis with the best samples of art.

The museum has its own restoration workshops. It allows to repair and restosre the museum pieces at the museum expenses.

Among other important and assisting departments of the museum are the library (more than 10 000 of books), archive, video- and audio- archives. Not only scientists from other museums but also students and teachers may use the library as it is a kind of powerful scientific and artistic database for them.

People around the world come over for a visit. Every year approximately 250 000 of visitors arrive.

Apart from scientific and educational activities the museum prerogatives are publishing and popularizing activity with the assistance of mass media as well as film making on the issues of folk art, folk artists, customs, history etc.

Nowadays the museum continues to support its “traditional” functions. It becomes open and versatile cultural, scientific and educational centre. Its organizational and functional structure is modified. It shifts from the shrine of the ethnic and human being values and museum pieces to the so called all-inclusive model of spiritual and materialistic life of the family and nation.

The most important task of the museum is to emphasize the vital importance of traditional folk culture development, as it is an integral part of mankind heritage. Worldwide cultural heritage makes all nations and cultures come together and Hutsulshchyna traditional folk art is a huge part of it.

Yaroslava TKACHUK,
Museum Director

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Pysanka Museum

Pysanka Museum in Kolomyya

The only museum of Easter eggs in the world. The unique building constracted in 2000. Architectural monuments of Ukraine.

Hutsul Folk Art and Life Museum

Kosiv Museum of Hutsulshchyna Folk Art and Life
Based on a carefully assembled collection of Carpathian Art and household items of Hutsul locality.

Ethnography and Ecology Museum

Yaremcha Museum of Carpathian Region Ethnography and Ecology
Museum deals with the issues of ethnography, ecology, history and development of handicrafts in Prykarpattya.