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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"From the Museum's Trunk" Sorochky Exhibit at UNM, Chicago

Bead embroidered 'sorochka', UNM Collection

The embroidered "sorochky" exhibit opened Fri, Jun 9th, 2012, and will be on display for two months. There are 88 chemises from the Ukrainian National Museum Collection brilliantly exhibited on walls and a trunk, dramatically featured in a few frames and shown in full costume with bilingual ethnographic information. These were adorned with traditional beadwork: 'korali', 'gerdany', a Lemko 'kryza', a 'dukatch' pendant. And this the tip of the iceberg! There are about 158 'sorochky' from the XIX to XX centuries in their archives. See their video for an idea of what to expect.

East "sorochky' wall. Zakarpattia, Opillia & Volyn mannequins.
Row of "sorochky' on the east wall
The Dnipro Region, UNM Collection
On the way back from the Bead and Button show Monday we specially stopped in Chicago to view this folk art exhibit. Am I ever thankful we did! This was lucky for me, but I assure you this display is well worth the drive!!

Sorochky Exhibit at UNM, Chicago
Could not believe how prevalent the floral motif was in so many 'sorochky'... And how many interpretations and stylizations there were!! We left with a great respect for the culture, tradition, symbolism and awe at the genius of the creators of these works of art. 

I now have great material for future visual presentations. My next inspirational one is for this October's Creativ Festival. It's called "Nature Reinterpreted: Adornments and Decor".
From the East Wall of the Sorochky Exhibit


  1. Absolutely took my breath away. I envy you for being able to experience it. Such workmanship and colour. Words fail

  2. Oh my goodness, Maria, seeing this made me nostalgic about watching Ukrainian dance on Canadian television in my childhood (Tommy Hunter? It was a variety show in the 60's and the group were featured quite regularly). We were so enthralled by the beautiful blouses of the dancers... Strangely enough, I am certain we had only black and white television then; my imagination must have filled in the rest!

  3. How about this for a design for a wall painting, in the tried-and-true Art Nouveau style?:, by the famous English artist, Audrey Beardsley himself. You can also order a canvas print of the picture from