Stories from Storage

Not even the biggest museums can put all of their collections on display at once. The UHEC's currently very limited gallery space makes this challenge even more extreme. The situation is even worse for archives, which can easily have millions of individual documents in their repository.

In "Stories from Storage", we show how individual museum items or archival documents held by the UHEC can illuminate the history, culture, art, and religious beliefs of Ukrainians in Ukraine and the diaspora. We will continue to add blog post content, as well as video podcasts and other media, in the coming months.


Displaying 1 - 10 of 37

Nearly 100 years ago, the Ukrainian artist, architect, and ethnographer Konstantyn Moshchenko went beyond simply making two-dimensional reproductions of the patterns of the Ukrainian wax-resist decorated eggs known as pysanky, but he created original miniature artworks inspired by those patters. Hear master pysanka artist and scholar Sofika Zielyk talk about these fascinating watercolors.


Posted: March 22, 2021
Embroidered portrait of Taras Shevchenko

It’s hard to overstate the impact that Taras Shevchenko has had on Ukrainians. As a writer, visual artist, and political figure, his work is a cornerstone of Ukrainian national conciousness, and his poetry formed the basis of Ukrainian literature and the modern Ukrainian literary language.

Explore how the face of Ukraine's national poet Taras Shevchenko, whether in folk art, fine art, embroidery, or other objects, has become a fixture of Ukrainian American identity.


Posted: March 8, 2021

This slideshow features items from the scene of the protest that tell a tiny part the story of those protestors who braved the cold winter weather in downtown Kyiv to demand a better future.

Posted: February 22, 2021

Perhaps one of the most interesting historical detective stories to be prompted by an item from the UHEC’s collections has been that of a mysterious letter written by a young man named “Alex” serving in the United States Army in post-World War II Germany.

Posted: November 11, 2020
Portrait of Anna Sten by Nicholas Bervinchak

While he is not a household name even among Ukrainian Americans, Nicholas Bervinchak was an important painter and print maker in the American Regionalist and Social Realist style, as well as a church muralist in the heavily Western-influenced Byzantine style popular among immigrants from Austria-Hungary in the early 20th century.

In this video, guest speaker Michael Buryk tells not only the story of Bervinchak, but also one of more unusual works: a portrait of the Kyiv-born Hollywood movie actress Anna Sten, who starred in several films in the 1930s.


Posted: October 19, 2020
Oleksii Balabas passport photograph, 1920

This passport is quite unlike any passport we're used to seeing today. It's not in the usual form of a booklet. And it wasn't even issued by the person's country of citizenship. Learn about how a Ukrainian from the Kuban' region north of the Caucasus Mountains ended up in Constantinople before moving to Prague, Czechoslovakia after World War I.

Posted: October 5, 2020
Cover of 1978 Holmdel, NJ Ukrainian Festival

From 1974 to 1997, the Ukrainian American community of New Jersey and the surrounding area organized a festival at the Garden State Arts Center (later, the PNC Bank Arts Center) as part of the "Heritage Festival" series of the New Jersey Highway Authority under the auspices of the New Jersey Council of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.

Beginning from a relatively small start in the 1970s, it reached its heyday in the 1980s before succumbing to low attendance and other issues in the 1990s.

Posted: September 21, 2020
Actors in the play "For Father" in Cleveland, Ohio

Amateur theater was a popular activity at Ukrainian American churches and community centers in the first half of the 20th century. Here we tell a small part of that story through records and photographs from the Fr. Joseph Zelechiwsky scrapbooks, the Fr.

Posted: September 7, 2020
Label of early Columbia recording of "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina"

Learn about the origins and early recordings of "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina" from long before it officially became the national anthem.

Posted: August 24, 2020
Woman holding a sheaf of wheat - detail of 1918 Ukrainian banknote

This "virtual revival" presents highlights from the UHEC's 2018 exhibition that explored the building of Ukrainian statehood through education, scholarship, culture, religion, and the arts.

It tells how the newly-independent Ukraine of the Revolutionary period defined a new visual language of statehood, and tells the stories of a few individuals from the amazing body of talent at Ukraine's Ministry of Education, Art, and National Culture.


Posted: August 17, 2020