WASHINGTON – Meridian International Center announced today that it will present, for the first time in the United States, The Glory of Ukraine: Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations, from the Museum of National Cultural Heritage PlaTar. Organized by the Foundation for International Arts & Education (FIAE), in cooperation with the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), and with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States, it will join its sister exhibition Sacred Images from the 11th to the 19th Centuries at Meridian’s Cafritz Galleries from October 20, 2010 – January 16, 2011.
These 34 artifacts from Ukraine’s prehistory were rescued from the open market by the founders of the PlaTar Foundation in an effort to preserve the country’s cultural patrimony. More than 130 additional objects will join Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations when it is presented in its entirety at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska between February and May 2011; the Houston Museum of Natural Science between May and September 2011; and the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, MN, where it will remain through February 2012. The objects in the Meridian installation were carefully selected to represent the entire exhibition that will travel throughout the U.S.
The major trade routes that crossed the territory of modern Ukraine deposited items from the world’s civilizations. The exhibition includes pottery, temple models, and clay sculptures from the Trypillian Culture which thrived as early as 5,000 B.C. Scythian migrations across the territory occupied by modern day Ukraine brought strong Greek influences. These can be seen in artifacts dating from the 7th to 2nd centuries B.C. and discovered in the region of the Black Sea. Objects representative of the Hellenistic period include black slip pottery, amphorae, bronze sculpture, exquisite gold jewelry, and some extraordinary rhytons. The Roman period dating from the 1st century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. is visible in artifacts that reflect a blending of the Greek and Roman cultures. Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations also includes treasures from the Byzantine Empire, Kyivan Rus’, and various steppe nomads.
As Ori Z. Soltes, the author of the exhibit catalogue describes, “These objects speak eloquently of a history, nearly 7,000 years long, of habitation and artistic creativity. The objects open diverse windows into the territory that is now Ukraine. They invite us to ask what the essence of ‘Ukraine’ might be, how that essence has evolved over time and how those whom we identify as possessing that essence have interacted with the larger world around them.”
The exhibition has been made possible through the generosity of Sergei Taruta and Nikolai Platonov. It has been supported in part by the Industrial Union of Donbas, the U.S. – Ukraine Business Council, Museum of National Cultural Heritage PlaTar, and Richmond European Wine Wholesale, Inc Company (R.E.W.W.).