Ukrainian Institute of America
2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10021
Open: Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm/Monday Closed/ Tuesday-Saturday 12:00pm-6:00pm
Fee: Adults $8.00/ Seniors $6.00/ Students with current ID $4.00/Children under 12 Free/ Members Free
I was really impressed by the Ukrainian Institute of America on a recent visit. I must have passed this building a hundred times on my way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and never thought twice of it. I was sorry I did as you will miss a lot by not walking in. The galleries are really impressive and the main gallery on the bottom gives you an interesting look at the history of the Ukrainian.
The first floor gallery discusses the formation of the country, a bit about its history and its ties to Europe and to Russia, its religious past and the current state of affairs of the country including its recent split of the eastern sections of the country and Crimea to Russia. Its a country in turmoil considering they want to join the European Union. It is a country in flux and on the cusp of entering the 21st Century with some of its past still tugging at it. Like all countries, it will prevail on the will of it’s people. There is a lot of solid history here and a country ready to enter its future.
The artwork of artist Vasyl Diadyniuk
The second and third floor galleries are full of art work from Ukrainian artists that is on sale and each of the galleries is dedicated to certain artists selling their works at somewhat hefty prices. Still you get to see the developments of the artists both here and abroad.
The forth floor is dedicated to special exhibitions. There are two shows going on now. One is by artist Vasyl Diadyniuk and another show is by artist Alexander Archipenko.
The artwork of artist Alexander Archipenko
The Museum has an interesting history.
Ukrainian Institute of America History:
The Ukrainian Institute of America Inc. is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to showcase and support Ukrainian culture. To that end, the Institute affords the general public an opportunity to learn about Ukraine and how the Ukrainian spirit expresses itself, with special emphasis on the creative arts.
Founded more than fifty years ago by William Dzus, a prominent Ukrainian industrialist and philanthropist, the Institute sponsors:
*Lectures and symposia
The history of the building:
The building that is home to the Institute, the National Historic Landmark Harry F. Sinclair House is one of the few remaining examples of the splendid mansions that prominent citizens of New York City built in the 19th Century. The mansion was built in 1897 for Isaac D. Fletcher, a wealthy banker and broker, by the architect C.P.H. Gilbert. Executed in Gothic Revival style, the building is richly decorated with intricate crockets, carvings, moldings, pinnacles and other exquisite details. Six stories high, partly surrounded by a dry moat, the Institute features stately rooms that are magnificently proportioned and lavishly finished (Institute History).
The C.P.H. Gilbert house
In 1887, manufacturer, Isaac D. Fletcher, commissioned famed Gilded Age architect, C.P.H. Gilbert to design the mansion. When Mr. Fletcher died, left this mansion and his art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which sold it to Harry F. Sinclair, founder of Sinclair Oil Company and also famous for his involvement in the Teapot Dome affair. The last private owner was Augustus Van Horne Stuyvesant Jr., the last descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, who was the first governor of New Amsterdam, today’s New York City bought the house in 1930 and lived here with his sister, Anne. The house was sold as part of the estate when Mr. Stuyvesant died in 1953. The Ukrainian Institute of America acquired the mansion in 1955 (Institute History).
A key goal of the Institute is to continue to preserve this extraordinary fragment of the city’s history for the benefit of all citizens of New York. The house still retains its wooden moldings and the house looks as if its residents just moved out.