The Collections at Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre

 

Oseredok, a word meaning ‘centre’ or ‘hub’ in Ukrainian, is a multi-faceted institution which acts in diverse roles for different communities. These roles are reflected in our internationally recognized collections, including those in our museum collection, archival holdings, expansive library, and collection of fine art works.

Founded in 1944, the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre was created by members of the Ukrainian community in Canada who were searching for a place to house Ukrainian cultural artifacts, as well as to practice their language, celebrate their culture, and preserve their heritage. Founding members included Volodymyr Kossar, Pavlo Matsenko, Kateryna Antonovych, Tymysh Pavlychenko, Alexander Koshetz, and Tetiana Koshetz, however there were also many others and Oseredok was a community centred project from its very conception.

The museum collection includes artifacts that tell the story of Ukrainian ethnology and history. Objects include Ukrainian pioneer tools, richly embroidered textiles, contemporary artifacts such as sports trophies and memorabilia of famous Ukrainians, and various examples of folk art including intricately carved woodwork, musical instruments, and decorative arts used to adorn Ukrainian homes. Oseredok is home to rare ceramics including Kosiv tilework and a collection of works created in the displaced persons camps following WWII. The textile collection includes examples of richly embroidered clothing, Ukrainian regional costumes, and vividly coloured kilim rugs. Oseredok also houses one of the largest pysanka collections in North America, with nearly 6,000 artifacts in the collection.

Oseredok’s art collection consists of over 900 works of art – lithographs, oils, acrylics, sculptures – by Ukrainian, Ukrainian Canadian and Ukrainian American artists. The majority of the art holdings reflect the work of artists in the latter half of the 20th century and include woodcuts by Jacques Hnizdovsky, oils by Myron Levytsky, and Alexander Archipenko lithographs. Ukrainian Canadian artists include William Kurelek, Leo Mol, Svitlana Muchin, Jacob Maydanyk, William Lobchuk, Don Proch, Jean Bachynsky, Peter Shostak, and Kateryna Antonovych. The diversity of these creators reflects not only the breadth of Oseredok’s collection, but also the breadth of Ukrainian artistic output, encompassing folk art, figurative works, religious depictions, as well as abstract and avant-garde art.

Oseredok’s archival collection is one of the richest sources of Ukrainian archival material in North America. It contains over 500 meters of textual material related to the history of Ukrainians in Canada and in the diaspora and contains papers of prominent community leaders and organizations. Iwan Boberskyj and the St. Raphael’s Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Welfare Association of Canada are two important fonds related to the early years of settlement in Canada. The archives also have a strong music component and contain the papers of Alexander Koshetz, Pavlo Macenko, Ehven Turula, Myron Fedoriv and Walter Klymkiw.

Oseredok’s library collection contains an extensive array of books, periodicals, serial publications and newspapers specializing in the field of Ukrainian studies. The library holds approximately 53,600 volumes of books on topics related to history, art, music, literature, language, ethnography, folklore, folk art and religion. Among some of the rare books in the library holdings are a Gospel published by the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery in 1658; Irmologion (Church Songbook), 1733; A Description of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery, Kyiv, 1831; and a second edition of Ivan Kotliarevsky’s Eneida, 1808.

 

 

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