Ukrainian Village is located northwest of the Loop, just south of Wicker Park, along the west
side of Chicago. Division Street is to the north, Chicago Avenue
is to the south, Damen Avenue is to the east, and Western Avenue is to the west. I had an apartment in Ukrainian Village when I lived in Chicago back in 2008 – 2009.
It was situated on Iowa Street between Damen Avenue to the east and Hoyne Avenue to the west. I used to walk up Damen, passed Division, and eventually make it to the Blue
Line. I shopped along Chicago Avenue and would eat at Old Lviv;
I always ordered the buffet. Most times, I didn’t know
what I was eating but enjoyed it just the same.
of Modern Art
UIMA was founded in 1971 and is located on West Chicago Avenue in Ukrainian Village.
It has two main galleries; one hosts temporary exhibits and the other holds its permanent collection. The Institute focuses on alternative exhibitions and expressions, and it is home
to an impressive collection of Ukrainian-American modern art and minimalist works from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Though I am not a big fan of abstract art or avant-garde, I did enjoy the various
pieces of artistic expression; for example, “Cyanotype Impressions” by Barbara Ciurij and Lind-say Lochman, and “Collages with Pigment Prints” by Aimée Beaubien. Before leaving, I watched
a short video by Oksana Chepelyk that was quite “kaleidoscope” in its imagery.
Museum of Chicago
The Ukrainian National Museum was founded in 1952 and is located on West Superior Street in
Chicago’s Ukrainian Village. Focus is on the Ukrainian
immigration to America and to Chicago more specifically. It
is a resource for research and houses rare documents, various artifacts, and archival materials.
I took particular interest in the traditional and ceremonial dresses, festive costumes and embroidery. The museum showcases a fantastic collection of “Pysanky” (Ukrainian-style
Easter eggs). Each white egg is poured with melted beeswax,
then dipped in dyes and carefully carved to create intricate and delicate engravings.
is a specific exhibit focused solely on the Holodomor. These
are my notes below:
“Holodomor” – Death by Starvation:
Holocaust in Ukraine
Holod = “Starvation,” “Famine,” “Hunger”
| Mor = “Induced Suffering”
Translation: “Artificial hunger, organized on a vast scale by a criminal regime against
the country’s population.”
In 1932 – 1933, Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, and the Communist Party began an artificial and intentional
famine in Ukraine. All agricultural produce from farms was
confiscated, including food forcibly taken from private homes. Ukraine’s
borders were sealed off to stop food from coming in and to prevent peasants from getting out.
This act of genocide was even more grotesquely ironic in that Ukraine had been regaled as “The
Bread Basket of Europe” for centuries. This atrocity
was a gruesome way to subvert and subdue the Party’s political opponents; namely, simple farmers who refused to join
the Marxist stratagem of collectivization. Between 6 –
10 million Ukrainians starved to death in just one year. Stalin’s
executions and forced labor/work camps (along with the induced starvation) were precursors to Adolph Hitler’s deadly
regime against the Jewish people a decade later.
The following is a quote I pulled from the free booklet I took at the actual exhibit:
“The famine in Ukraine was created by Moscow artificially from political considerations. In order to completely
destroy all aspirations toward independence, the Soviet government organized a man-made famine with the purpose of destroying
the entire people whose only sin is the longing for freedom.”
- Suzanne Bertillion (LE MATIN, December 1933)
Dates Visited: June 27, 2014 and November 01, 2014.
|"Saints Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church"-It's situated directly across from the museum.
Oops! The picture above is actually "Saint Nicholas
Cathedral," another Catholic church in Ukrainian Village.
is what happens when you walk around taking various pictures. It’s easy to get them confused.) :)
|"The Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago" - You will see specific exhibits for Pysanky & Holodomor.
|"Shokolad Pastry & Cafe" - European-style. (You can see the Ukrainian flag through the window.)
|"Old Lviv"-Ukrainian Restaurant. I liked the rose-patterned curtains inside.(The food is very good!)