The Collection of Ex Libris Created by Ukrainian Artists

Name The Collection of Ex Libris Created by Ukrainian Artists Sviatoslav Hordnyskyi; ex libris of Mykola Markovskyi
Sviatoslav Hordnyskyi; ex libris of Mykola Markovskyi
Catalog Number T-U-Ex
Volume 34 inventory units
State of Cataloging The collection has been fully cataloged and is freely accessible.
Languages of Documents

The history of Ukrainian art of the interwar period is connected with the existence of several important artistic groups outside the borders of Soviet Ukraine. Although their representatives were closely connected to the traditions of the classical school of art and Ukrainian folk art, they were also becoming part of the Western art scene of the time.

An important group was formed by artists from among Ukrainian émigrés living in interwar Czechoslovakia. Many of them studied at Czechoslovakian art schools. Already in 1923, however, they founded their own Ukrainian Studio of Fine Arts, which soon became one of the most respected art institutions in Czechoslovakia. It offered systematic education in fine arts as well as applied arts and architecture. One of its founders was the famous Ukrainian historian Dmytro Antonovych, its first director. The professors included outstanding artists. The studio was open to anyone: the students comprised i.a. Czechs, Slovaks as well as members of other nationalities. It was closed in 1952.

Another important group active in Galicia, Western Ukraine, was the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists (in Ukrainian Asotsiatsiia nezalezhnykh ukraïnskykh myttsiv, ANUM), founded in Lviv in 1931 by artists including Sviatoslav Hordynskyi, Pavlo Kovzhun and Yaroslava Muzyka. This organisation, whose members were also Ukrainian artists living in Czechoslovakia (Mykola Butovych, Volodymyr Sichynskyi and others), existed until 1939. Thanks to this close cooperation, Ukrainians from Czechoslovakia participated in a number of international exhibitions organised by the ANUM in Lviv and artists from western Ukraine (part of Poland at that time) had the opportunity to present their work at exhibitions held in Czechoslovakia, including the exhibition of Slavic ex libris in Prague in 1932.

These mutual contacts gave birth to the collection of applied graphics, mainly ex libris from the collection of works of art by Ukrainian émigrés discovered in the depository of the Slavonic Library in 1998. It originally belonged to the Museum of the Liberation Struggle of Ukraine in Prague. It was acquired by the Slavonic Library after the Second World War and the subsequent closure of the museum. The collection of ex libris contains art prints by students of the Ukrainian Studio of Fine Arts (e.g. Mykola Butovych, Sviatoslav Hordynskyi, Volodymyr Sichynskyi, Ivan Kulets, Vasyl Krychevskyi) and by other Ukrainian artists (e.g. Pavlo Kovzhun, Yaroslava Muzyka). The most numerous are the works of Pavlo Kovzhun, Mykola Butovych and Yaroslava Muzyka. The authors of some prints are unknown.

The variety and diversity of the collection illustrate the plurality of artistic styles represented among members of the Ukrainian artistic community in the interwar period.

Digitized items from the collection are available on web portal.


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