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Art and Architecture Overview

Architecture Intro - A-J - K-R - R-Z Art Intro - A-LM-Z

Annotated Bibliography of Eastern European Folk Art

A-L

Danusha V. Goska, PhD

 

Index | Folk Architecture | Folk Art

Introduction | Architecture: x-x | Architecture y-y

Anonymous. "Mohuchov: Watercolor Artist of Old Architecture" Forum: A Ukrainian Review 1992 Fall-Winter, 87, 28-32.

 

Overview:

The story of Leonid Mohuchov, a Ukrainian, b. 1924, who paints Ukrainian architecture; his fate under the Soviets and today. Includes reproductions of four watercolors of churches, one line drawing of a church, a watercolor of a peasant hut, and a photo of the artist.

Main Points:

Only with Ukraine's regaining of independence have Leonid Mohuchov's paintings come to light…many were destroyed by Soviets…he was not allowed to show his work…"I continued to paint what was in my heart, praying that someday the Ukrainian people would see my work…I'm extremely happy that in my watercolors I was able to preserve for our descendants many of Ukraine's magnificent architectural monuments"…recently his work was exhibited in Kiev…"at the age of sixteen, witnessing the Luftwaffe bombardment of Chernihiv with incendiary bombs for several days and nights, he captured the awesome sight of burning churches in his sketches"…enrolled in Odessa art school…had to quit to feed family…took part time art lessons…earned his living as a poster painter…criss-crossed Ukraine by hitchhiking, painting en route…2,000 water colors; no storage facilities; lives in two room house with wife and daughter, both invalids, and son, daughter in law, and grandchild...hid his best works "for the future that will be"…now popular…typical reaction: "As I stood looking at your paintings I wept, and my heart bled with grief for the ruination of the 1,000 year old achievements of our people. Only persons with dark souls could have attempted to systematically destroy our culture"…Mohuchov constructed three kinds of frames for his paintings: black frames for buildings already destroyed; gray for those which need restoration; light brown for those in fairly good condition…his corpus includes paintings of houses of worship of all religions practiced in Ukraine: Ukrainian Orthodox, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Judaic, Muslim, others…a plea for donations and announcement of an exhibition.

 

Beaton-Planetta. "A Tale of Three Churches: Ethnic Architecture in Sydney, Nova Scotia" Canadian Ethnic Studies XVI, 3, 89-108.

 

Overview:

Brief sketch of the histories of three Canadian ethnic churches; brief description of their current architecture and internal decoration. Includes photos of the original Ukrainian church and the one built after that, two photos of its interior, one photo of the Polish church and a steel mill in the background, and two photos of the Polish church's interior.

Main Points:

Sydney, Cape Breton, est. 1785, was Anglo-Celtic…early in twentieth century, became center of steel industry…Whitney Pier was the ethnic ghetto…6,500 in less than two square miles…religion was the most significant factor for ethnic continuity…seven ethnic churches arose…author studied the most prominent, which all used traditional crafts to create "'folk' architecture and religion while adhering to the standardized requirements of each church's hierarchy"…congregants at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church live in "Hunky Town" part of Pier…first church built in 1913…faced various struggles, such as a schism of parishioners…burned in 1933…new church has 150 families…church is wood frame, cruciform, has short facade…exterior is "exotic"…onion domes covered with gold anodized aluminum…gable roof sections have decoratively molded projecting eaves…low gable roof over porch has a pediment…main roof has pronounced returned eaves…some windows are round, some square, some pointed…belfry is separate from church, to give more volume…inside the church are typical icons and ethnic souvenirs…interior is richly decorated…Poles came to Sydney in 1901…formed a society to pay for a church…completed in 1918…church is a rectangular wood frame building with a short facade on a poured concrete foundation…exterior is simplified gothic…projecting eaves and verges have decoratively molded cornices and friezes…each corner has simulated turrets…single steeple rises to 65'…interior is also gothic…ornate alter…pictures of Our Lady of Czestochowa and John Paul II…the Diocese, run by Anglo/Irish, often attempts to oppress the Polish character of the church, although one Irish priest did learn Polish…each of the three churches in the article have recently been named Heritage Properties under the Heritage Act of Nova Scotia.

 

Botik, Jan. "Slavonic Parallels of the Dwelling Forms of the Enlarged Families" Ethnologia Slavica XII-XIII 1980-1981 11-37

 

Overview:

Introduction to the house forms for joint families in Slavic countries. At every introduction of a new term for a family, a house, a room, etc., related words in several European languages are provided, with information on etymologies of words for rooms and houses in Slavic countries and their neighbors: Germans, Hungarians, speakers of Romance languages. Argues that joint family dwellings evolved from an ur form of single room, nuclear family dwellings, typical across the Slavic lands. Includes ten pages of floor plans of specific joint family cites.

Main Points:

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, there were joint families in the Slavic countries…data this for study comes from Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Beylorussia, Great Russia…nuclear family is precursor of joint family; nuclear family house is precursor of joint family house…Slavs, since feudalism and into the twentieth century, lived in two or three room houses consisting of one living space, one entrance room, and one stockroom…family was not only a social but also an economic unit; homes included space for social and biological needs and for economic activities: animals, corn, fodder, crop and tool storage…biological and social needs intermingled in all spaces of house…people worked and slept everywhere…people slept in entrance room, stockroom, loft, podstenie [sheltered space in front of the house], barn, hayloft, woodshed, stable…all activities centered in the "living room": meals prepared, textiles produced, tools made, milk and meat products processed; also, agricultural products were stored and domestic animals may have been kept here…overlapping does not mean that spaces were not functionally specific…every space had a special, primary function…most common dwelling form in Slavic lands up to the twentieth century was the house with a single dwelling room for humans or "living room"…use was identical throughout Slavic territory…"stabilized when the room was the only space in the house and so reinforced the accumulation of numerous functions"…only room with a fireplace…"more archaic types of fireplaces survived up to the twentieth century"…Southern Slavs most commonly had an open fireplace; Eastern Slavs had stoves; Western Slavs had a stove with an open fireplace…Southern Slavs had special lids for baking in an open fireplace…into the second half of the nineteenth century "black rooms" or "fumed rooms" [in other articles read for this paper this term was translated as "black cottage"] were found throughout…room with fire was only space with heat; all family members slept there in winter and held social occasions and ceremonies and did work made possible by the fire's heat and light…furnishings had to be as economical and universal as possible since everyone doing all kinds of work was in the living room…in South Slavic regions fireplace might be in the middle of the room and accessible from all sides…furnishings were often mobile, small and light…table and chairs were placed by fire only during mealtime…afterwards might be hung on the wall…straw or rushes were placed on floor for sleeping, then put aside in morning…one bed for the whole family…pots, water tanks, baskets, were on shelves…chests for the best clothing…there might be a chair with a back for the head of the house; the best pieces of furniture might be decorated…In Russia the stove was in a corner opposite the door of the living room; in Slovakia, Ukraine, Belorussia, the stove was in the corner behind the door…the table stood opposite the stove…benches were made of logs or built into the walls…Eastern Slavs had a bed for the whole family: a 30 to 100 cm by 2 m by 3 m raised wooden floor situated along one side of the stove…another bed underneath the ceiling for children…"In Slovakia only the married couple had their own bed"…room part functions changed when a family member was born, christened, married, or died and during some holidays; furniture and the room's appearance changed…after the end of feudalism [1848 in Austrian, 1860's in Russian empire], some peasants improved their houses…another room might be built; dominant feature of this room was representation; had more luxurious furniture and decoration, and no fireplace; room was called svetlica a light room; belaja izba a white room, cistaja izba a clean room, etc. …used only on festival occasions and for storage…end of nineteenth, beginning of twentieth century, a kitchen developed, usually by modifying the function of another space, like the entrance room, or by adding a new space…economic activities of the nuclear family and joint family are identical…sleeping arrangements in joint family dwellings are discussed; the whole family slept in the living room only in winter, sometimes on the floor; couples might sleep on benches built into the wall…in summer the old or women with children slept in the living room; young married couples and adolescent children slept in hay lofts, etc. from spring till autumn…sometimes rooms developed into permanent bed chambers and storage rooms…the youngest couple went to sleep in the stockroom on the first night of their marriage; till birth of first child…joint families might live in a block project, a single room dwelling enlarged horizontally or vertically by the addition of extra rooms, example: Krupinska, Slovakia…usually no bed in living room; if there was, only women giving birth, the sick, paralyzed, and old slept there…families consisted of five to twelve couples; rooms were never bigger than 5 m by 5 m…positions and functions of rooms, byres, etc. were the same in joint family houses as in nuclear family houses…in Bulgaria and Slovakia, couples had their own ("cold") rooms; "'the function of these chambers is closely connected with the establishment of the patriarchal large family'"…Slovak mountains houses developed vertically…no heat in second floor…dwellings could be enlarged via a "pavilion project:" many buildings in one area; these, too, were like nuclear family dwellings in function and plan…might be simple buildings, 2 m by 3 m, a perch floor, wicker construction, slanted roof; every married woman in Voronezh and Rjazany had such a dwelling…the function of individual spaces for couples did not affect collective character of family social and economic life, because these spaces' functions were limited…families were authoritarian and patriarchal, position was gained with age; the patriarchal order manifested itself in the sitting order at the table; head of the family had the place of honor; women sat with men rarely; children ate separately or with their mothers…Southern Slavs ceded a special spot near the fireplace for the head of the family.

 

Buxton, David. The Wooden Churches of Eastern Europe: An Introductory Survey Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981, 405 pp.

 

Overview:

Buxton writes as a scholar, a teacher, and an enthusiast whose interest in his topic is contagious. Remote and unique architectural gems made inaccessible by political conditions, or which have simply burned down or been allowed to decay, are captured in five hundred twelve plates. Most illustrations are crisp black and white photographs which capture the splendor of the author's subject; some plates are detailed plans of the churches; some are sketches. Architectural details are excellently illustrated with perfect and obvious example photographs or sketches. Though the focus of the book is the architecture of wooden churches in Eastern Europe, Buxton grounds his discussion in brief treatments of worldwide log architecture, wooden church architecture in Scandinavia, and the other wood arts and crafts of Eastern Europe. He also discusses log cabins in North America and the vanished synagogues of Eastern Europe. The author's gifts are not limited to architecture. He earns admiration through brief histories and ethnographies of numerous peoples: Ukrainians, Poles, Slovaks, Lemkos, Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, who have, at times, fought with each other. As he takes up the topic of each group in turn, he manages to present their history and ethnography with all honesty and tragedy without falling into the trap of advancing the cycle of hatred.

Main Points:

(From the "Introduction," pp. 1-37) Eastern Europe is the principal refuge of log construction, which was once more widespread…there is still some in the Alps, but no wooden churches there…depletion of forests necessitated timber framing or half timbering; this system penetrated eastward with German expansion…in log construction, logs lie horizontally in close contact…political boundaries are irrelevant…religion, which usually corresponds with language, is more important…this book mostly concerns Orthodox and Uniate churches; these religions are now banned…these churches have been ignored or dismissed by architectural scholars who treat Eastern Europe…their best hope for survival is the open-air museum…evolved in a world where not only every building, but most man made objects, were wooden…Lake Biskupin dig, in Poland, from 700 B.C., and tenth century Novgorod dig, show ancient lineage…once whole cities were built of log construction; none survive, but there are sketches…photos of log villages in Russia in 1927…a quick review of Eastern European log farm buildings; examples are provided from modern open air museums…there was once a Russian palace of log construction; a model of it survives…log bridges still exist in Russia…log windmills…while any peasant could build his own log house, special teams were required for churches…employed by the village as a whole…master carpenter = architect…plans would be drawn on the ground, rather than on paper…timber had to be cut in spring before the rising of the sap; left to season until following winter; construction began in spring after timber was cut…in far north and high in mountains, only pine and fir…lower elevations and further south, deciduous trees were available; oak was known for its durability and sometimes used for the massive beams of the basement framework…trimming v. untrimming; splitting v. unsplitting, by region and era…"foundations were inadequate…churches were not expected or intended to last indefinitely"…systems of joining described and illustrated, and pluses and minuses of each discussed; systems related to other structures, e.g., American log cabins; systems plotted by area where most popular; how systems were assessed aesthetically; appropriateness of each system for a given kind of church structure…cantilevered brackets or consoles discussed; "based on the inherent resistance of wood to bending stresses;" found no favor in Catholic countries…use of columns with consoles…roofs discussed; purlin roof influential till modern times…towers and cupolas are the leading feature of wooden churches…use of raftered roofs…wooden tiles or shingles became the covering of choice for wooden church towers…Lemko churches in Slovakia have wonderfully diversely shaped shingles; shaped shingles add texture to roof…stone v. wood architecture interactions and influences; dating is important; older dates for wooden churches distrusted by author…easternmost churches most spontaneous and free of stone influence…Russian scholars say that wood influenced stone…ideas of architecture scholarship provocateur Josef Strzygowski considered…The following chapters are: Northern Russia, pp. 38-86; Ukrainian Galicia and Carpathia, 87-147; Ukrainian Plains, 148-188; Rumania, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, 189-268; Catholic Churches in Poland and Czechoslovakia, 269-325, and Protestant Churches of the Margins, 326-384. Each chapter gives pertinent history, geography and architectural history of the region at hand; churches are discussed as representational of types and in and of themselves, origin of forms are considered, e.g., it is theorized that onion domes evolved to resist heavy rain and snow of Carpathians…Appendix One treats The Log Cabin in North America: early whites couldn't build log cabins, nor could Indians; whites tried to do more difficult timber framing technique…Finns and Scandinavians built first, in 1638…their cabins described…immigrants from Central Europe built more later…Scot Presbyterians learned the technique…chinking; plastering…other uses of log construction, e.g. army posts…ironically, log construction moving across America west met log construction moving from Russia east on the Pacific coast…American log construction never reached the "apotheosis" of Eastern European wooden churches -- it is "larval" by comparison…Appendix Two treats The Vanished Synagogues: were one hundred twenty; most still standing in twenties and thirties…a grievous loss to world architecture…stone synagogues are based on Western European models…distinctive Jewish structures were built in wood from the late 1500's in Poland…Jews migrated to Poland, had a better, freer life than elsewhere, became wealthy…c. 1650, restrictions on synagogue construction were lifted -- could be as high as gentile houses of worship…hundreds were build in stone and wood; "the nearest approach to a national architectural style that the Jews have ever produced"…some architects were Jews; certainly absorbed gentile styles and hired gentiles…synagogue design; compared to Protestant churches; synagogue layout…were not uniform in style…use of pillars with/over the bima…detailed records of thirty synagogues survive…Loukomsky's, et. al., pagan origins theory (see below) cannot be believed…wooden synagogue depends on a masonry prototype; there was a reciprocal influence…Jews absorbed secular rather than sacred architectural trends in synagogue construction.

 

Cybriwsky, Roman. "The Pre-Soviet Village in Ukraine" Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers 34 1972 119-136.

 

Overview:

Focuses on placement of houses in villages in Ukraine as affected by weather such as wind, topography, such as rivers and ridges, and available building materials, such as stone or wood. Provides maps of village location, diagrams of fifteen rural settlement types, maps of sample villages, a map of predominant settlement types, a village population map providing data from c. 1900, and detailed population charts. Reviews work of Soviet and Ukrainian geographers.

Some Main Points:

Ukrainian villages were drastically changed by Soviet influence, especially with the introduction of collectivized agriculture in 1929…students of the Ukrainian rural scene divide discussion into two periods: pre and post 1929…Ukraine has four major physical provinces…Polisya, the northwest, swamps, marshes; Carpathian Mountains, the west, heavily forested; Crimean Mountains, the south, steep; chernozem plains, the rest…Settlements in each: Polisya, poor drainage, settlements away from rivers on interfluves, little arable land, settlements small and dispersed; Carpathian Mountains, settlements along valley bottoms, long and chain like; Crimea, warm, densely populated, irregularly shaped villages; chernozem, most attractive, largest villages, rainfall slight, settlements near rivers…valleys and trees were preferred in all areas as protection against invading hordes…Ukrainian geographer Kovalev described six village types with numerous subtypes: simple linear; complex linear; radial; irregular; square; free…physiographic factors like local relief, hydrology, vegetation and wind direction influenced village shape…as did historical factors like political history, administrative decrees, and ethnic custom…Kubijov's and Kovalev's "irregular clustered village" was the predominant type in Ukraine…western areas reveal cultural influence of Poles and Slovaks…the steppes were an area of late settlement where Russian, Cossack and Czarist influences were important…in the north, Belorussian influence can be seen…south was settled late and by many ethnic groups…village types are diverse there.

 

Czaplinska-Archer, Teresa. "Polish Architecture: The Contribution of Helena and Szymon Syrkus" Architectural Association Quarterly 1981 Oct. 13:1, 37-43.

 

Overview:

Poles, even as architects, have a "highly developed sense of social responsibility." This can be seen through the careers of Helena and Szymon Syrkus, who built buildings in Poland in the first half of the twentieth century that attempted to create a more harmonious social reality. Includes ten photos and eight sketches, some of the Syrkuses work, some of work like theirs.

Main Points

Polish architects have a highly developed sense of social responsibility…Poland's struggle for national identity after 1918 stressed the abstract aspects of environmental design in the architectural field…traditional ties to France brought awareness of avant garde…"Helena and Szymon Syrkus have played a crucial role in establishing the social concern associated with the International Style as the characteristic way of thinking for the generations of Polish architects which followed. This has come to be called the 'Polish School of Architecture'"…the avant-garde in architecture in the 1920's in Poland called for objective, collective art without individualism…Szymon Syrkus was born in 1893…studied architecture in Graz, Vienna, Riga and Moscow; also studied painting…started Praesens group and began publishing a magazine, in which he wrote: "By way of experiment, architectionisation provides new opportunities, not only plastic as it might seem, but also social. For architecture changes the social pattern, as the social pattern changes architecture."…architecture, he declared, must be aligned to mass production to produce forms capable of rapid change; houses ought to be integrated into surrounding environment; the "supreme social role of architecture" is a function of three factors: economic, social, technological; cheap, small accessible apartments must be built of standard, pre-fabricated units…in 1928 Helena and Szymon invited to be part of CIAM's executive committee…in 1920 and 1921 committees form in Poland to attempt to meet post-war housing needs…complexes are built with large communal kitchens, meeting rooms, libraries, kindergartens…"an attempt was made not only to provide housing but also to create a social environment which would educate its members into cooperating with each other. This new environment had to amalgamate family life with social awareness and interests"…buildings limited to three to four stories…intended for the poorest…functionalist ideas were applied to the planning of towns…tenants were constantly consulted…"They discovered that proper residential layouts required an analysis of how far children could comfortably walk alone. This became the paramount factor of the adopted social design"…first plan: 192 dwellings in four blocks at right angles, blocks split in the middle to allow for ventilation…praised by CIAM…Syrkus wanted to promote Le Corbusier's ideas on high technology…not enough money or technology in Poland to do so…this switched focus to educational and social values…during Nazi occupation promoted social theory of housing in the Underground Architecture and Town Planning Studio…their guiding theory: "social co-operation is more rewarding than competition and rivalry."

 

Danyluk, Arkhip. "Architectural Jewels of the Boykos" Forum: A Ukrainian Review 1986 Winter, 68, 10-13.

 

Overview:

Popular (non-scholarly) introduction to the architecture of the Boykos, peasant highlanders from the Carpathian mountains. Includes an archive photo of a Boyko family in peasant dress, three sketches of Boyko churches, a sketch of a Boyko house, seven plans of Boyko houses and stock buildings, one plan for a Boyko church, a decorated front door and a map of Boyko territory.

Main Points:

Boyko architecture includes homes with galleries, water mills, and churches…basis is a system of proportional dependencies…khata s or homes are rectangular in form…homes of the well to do were divided into two sections by the entrance hall, with the pantry attached to the side wall of one of them…homesteads typically consisted of an entrance, hall, pantry, threshing barn and stock sheds…poorer Boykos included the slaughter house and cattle shed in their homes…fir trees were used…split rounded, half rounded or square logs…ceiling was tree trunks split lengthwise, placed on girders…for ventilation, the entrance hall had no ceiling; the upper part had shelves for drying flax and firewood…roofs were tall and steep…no whitewash inside, because houses had no chimneys; a hole was cut above the door…doors are trapezoid…floor is clay…a huge stove dominated the interior; a cradle hung above the bed…benches were built along the walls…a fir hope chest, a maple table.

 

Danyluk, Arkhip. "Boyko Folk Architecture" Forum: A Ukrainian Review 1992 Summer, 86, 10-11.

 

Overview:

Popular (non-scholarly) discussion of Boyko folk architecture. Includes two sketches of Boyko wooden churches, one church plan, and decorative door jamb carvings.

Main Points:

Boykos lived in the Western Ukraine, in the Carpathian mountains…they had access to much wood for building…Boyko built cottages with galleries, water mills, churches, chapels, and bell towers…Boyko cottages had massive roofs like mountains…they used thick logs…roofs were high, peaked, and slightly concave…buildings looked like old firs with drooping branches…farmsteads had several buildings; stable was the most important…"Academician Igor Grabar wrote: 'It is here that the original art of the Precarpathian Rus celebrates its highest accomplishment! ...the ingenuousness of their structure which makes them look like children's toys, reflect the unique beauty of genuine folk art'…churches are three sectioned wooden structures with square and octagonal multi-tier summits…doorframes were often decorated…as were the interiors of homes.

 

Ewanchuk, Michael "Settling In: Tools and Farming Techniques of Early Ukrainian Pioneers" Material History Bulletin XXIX (Spring, 1989), 59-64.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Fodchuk, Roman. "Building the Little House on the Prairies: Ukrainian Technology, Canadian Resources" Material History Bulletin XXIX (Spring, 1989), 89-97.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Frolec, Vaclav. "Culturally Spatial Relationships in the Development of Ground Plan of the Village House in the Carpathian-Balkan Region" Ethnologia Slavica XXII 1990, 47-69.

 

Overview:

Read more like a list than an essay; many words for houses and rooms in Slavic countries and their etymologies in the languages of the neighboring people, presented in a sketchy discussion of the development of houses in Slavic countries. Includes one hundred twenty-four basic ground plans for Slavic houses.

Main Points:

The word for "house" is considered…anteroom…kitchen…rooms without fireplaces are called "clean" or "white" rooms; paradni svetnice in Czechoslovakia, or beautiful room; in Polish biala izba or white room; in Hungary tiszta szoba or clean room; in Romanian odaia frumoasa, casa dinainte or nice or front room, in Serbia gostinka soba or guest room…Slavic houses have a fundamental unicellular form from which other forms developed, sometimes by adding new spaces; spaces with a particular function arose…sometimes houses were divided as well as added to…"the Slavic house has been developing from a single cell form into a ground plan consisting of two parts with the entrance, originally non-heated, hall and a room with fire and oven"…upper stories discussed…types considered: Central and East European; Central European; Aegean-Balkan; Balkan; Carpathian-Balkan; Carpathian-Danubian; Balkan-Danubian; Carpathian; Danubian; their location, dissemination, and variations; basic floor plans provided for each…two streams of influence: Southern European, concentrating rooms around a core fire; and Eastern European, where the fundamental unit is a room with an oven and a cool hall connected; history of each form, and conditions which affect adoption and dissemination of forms, considered.

 

G., A. "Architectural Sketches of Volodymyr Sichynsky" Forum: A Ukrainian Review 1986 Summer, 66, 40-42.

 

Overview and Main Points:

Popular (non-scholarly) account of Volodymyr Sichynsky (1894-1962) a Ukrainian artist who illustrated his research into Ukrainian architecture with his own sketches. As an architect he reproduced traditional Ukrainian folk forms in his work. As a researcher he published 508 items. Includes reproductions of twelve of his sketches, including sketches of two wooden churches.

 

Gzell, Slawomir. "Tourism and Small Towns in Poland; Historic Towns and Tourism: Working Documents and Conclusions Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 1991, pp. 59-69.

 

Overview:

Brief but detailed account of plans to refurbish two towns in Poland -- Muszyna and Kalwaria Paclawska -- with historic buildings for increased tourism. The author is a town planner in both towns. Includes a map of Muszyna; the plan's draft map; a "landscape of values" illustrating what buildings are to be emphasized and preserved and others to be eliminated and elements of the natural landscape; two maps of Kalwaria Paclawska, one topographic; the "conservation scheme" for Kalwaria Paclawska including plans for each building; and another "conservation scheme" map for the whole town.

Main Points:

Author's main concern is the rational development of tourist areas…new buildings should be separated from old towns by a hypsometrical or physiographical buffer…"it is necessary to shape [the town's] society"…the standard of education and culture of small town residents must be raised in order to make them open to change…Muszyna and Kalwaria Paclawska are examples of tourist facilities improving the shape of small towns…Muszyna was founded in 1209…population and progress were set back by epidemics and invasions…it bounced back in the 1920's…there is mineral water nearby…architectural landmarks include St. Joseph's church, c. late 1600's, castle ruins, and a few dozen nineteenth century houses…"new buildings will be constructed within the existing urban tissue…new buildings will be in the market square, as part of a "functional complex"…the plan will emphasize compactness of streets, homogeneity of dimensions, traditional shapes of roofs…"complete removal of houses with maintenance of old facades is common practice in Muszyna"…"only local traffic is permitted in the protected area"…when Kalwaria Paclawska was founded in 1668, it consisted of a monastery, a church, thirty-five chapels…"the spatial planning of Kalwaria Paclawska is typically urban whilst the buildings are typically rural"…town growth at end of seventeenth century was mostly due to pilgrimages…pilgrims may have reached 50,000…townspeople were mostly artisans, but the artisan tradition disappeared after the eighteenth century…wooden buildings from this era remain, as do the monastery and chapels…town is losing population; 25% of houses are deserted, 50% are inhabited by old farmers…50% of workers work in nearby city…old wooden houses are uncomfortable and their furnishings are rudimentary…the plan is to turn the town into a tourist center, and convert old buildings into hotels.

 

H., O. "Village Architecture of Ukraine" Forum: A Ukrainian Review 1981 Summer, 48, 10-14.

 

Overview:

Popular (non-scholarly) description of an open air museum in Ukraine. Includes five large photos of peasant home exteriors and one full page photo of a peasant home interior, equipped with painted beams, drying herbs, boots, spinning wheel, straw basket, wooden milking bowls, hanging cradle, stool, bench, and woven textiles.

Main Points:

Fifty miles south of Kiev, in Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, a new museum has been created…buildings such as windmills have been relocated here, sometimes traveling on tractors, trucks, or in horse drawn carriages…there are more than twelve windmills…mills were used to grind flour…were sometimes made without a single nail and with only an ax or saw…oldest buildings date back to Kiev Rus period of the eleventh century.

 

Hryniuk, Stella and Roman Yeremiuk. "Building the New Jerusalem on the Prairies: The Ukrainian Experience" pp. 137-152 in Visions of the New Jerusalem: Religious Settlement on the Prairies B. G. Smillie, ed., Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1983.

 

Overview:

Opinionated and nationalistic take on the role of church buildings in Ukrainian immigrant spiritual life in Canada. Contains many interesting quotes, repeated below. Includes a photo of a service in Ukraine, a cartoon depicting the tribulations of the Ukrainian church in Canada, a map of Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox settlements, and a chart plotting Ukrainian religious affiliation in Canada by year from 1931, in ten year increments, to 1971.

Main Points:

In 1596, some Ukrainian churches accepted union with Catholicism…150,000 peasant Ukrainians came to Canada between 1896 and 1914; built churches first thing, even before they had priests…resisted allurements of more settled Canadian religions, and stayed true to their faith…immigrants from Bukovina were mostly Orthodox; from Galicia, Ukrainian Catholic…Canadian Protestants criticize Orthodoxy; a defensive apologia for Orthodoxy is provided…entering a church, in the Orthodox tradition, is leaving the temporal, profane world and entering the sacred and eternal; here one puts aside all worldly cares…home may be considered a church, domashnia tserkva; eating area of home held a wall facing east, and icons; here father led prayers; father represented priest…settler Maria Adamowska wrote:

 

'Our poor settlers consulted among themselves and decided to meet every Sunday and sing at least those parts of the liturgy that were meant to be sung by the cantor. Since our house was large enough, that was where the meetings were held. On Sunday mornings everyone hurried to our house the way one would to church…And so it was that we were able to gratify, at least partially, the longings of our souls' (142).

churches were built; considered "the center of eternity in microcosm,"…Prince Volodymyr's reaction to St. Sophia in Byzantium as recorded in the Primary Chronicle of 980-1015:

 

'We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth

For on earth there is not such splendor or such

beauty, and we are at a loss to describe it…

for we cannot forget that beauty. Every man,

After tasting something sweet, is afterwards

unwilling to accept that which is bitter…' (142)

this encounter was a factor in Volodymyr's acceptance of Byzantine Christianity for Ukraine…orthodox churches assault all the senses, with incense, bells, singing, icons…pioneers brought, with their "meager belongings," icons, church books, and prayer beads…prayer books more common than Bible…always kept sacred and profane separate; there was a church, for God alone, and a Narodnyi Dom, for secular issues…a Vatican plot was responsible for lack of Ukrainian priests; Ukrainians pled with priests back home to come:

'Dear Fathers;

Life here is very good for our bodies, there is no physical deprivation, but what of that, when there are great deprivations of the soul. There is enough to eat, drink, wear. But our soul is poor, very poor. This is because it has nothing to eat, or drink, nothing from which to live, no roof to stand beneath. It can only shelter itself from under strangers' roofs and listen to them, but it does not hear, and does not understand' (144).

Ukrainians' souls were subject to predation: "Competition for the souls (or votes) of the unsuspecting immigrants was well under way...the Roman Catholic church was one of the first and foremost antagonists"…Polish Catholic priests were imposed, a fate worse than death…a "village intelligentsia" resisted because "the Catholic church was responsible for much of the social and political backwardness"…as churches came to be built, they served as "focal centres for the maintenance of a separate Ukrainian identity"…today fewer Ukrainians go to church; part of national trend across all ethnic groups.

 

Kusela, Zenon. "Folk Architecture" pp. 303-308 in volume I of Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia Volodymyr Kubijovyc, editor. Toronto: Ukrainian National Association, University of Toronto Press, 1963.

 

Overview:

Brief, dry, general introduction to Ukrainian folk architecture. Sixteen crisp and detailed archival photos of Ukrainian peasant house exteriors; two photos and two drawings of interiors; one map of distribution of house types; illustration of a typical plan of a Hutsul homestead; two illustrations of gates and wickets; one photo of a chicken house; one photo of a barn.

Main Points:

The chief type of Ukrainian peasant dwelling, the khata or hut, is remarkably uniform over the whole of Ukraine, in villages, towns, or even the outskirts of cities, even though building materials are not equally available throughout…Ukrainian peasants who have recently moved to Siberia and the Far East have brought this style with them…in the steppe, the building material is clay mixed with cut straw and chaff husks formed into cylindrical shaped clods or large bricks…in the northern forest-steppe, houses of unbaked bricks, covered with a layer of clay, are often constructed…in the corners of the proposed cottage, wooden posts are driven into earth and are united horizontally at the top with wooden logs; on these are placed crossbeams and joists which support the rafters…poles are inserted between posts…these poles are interlaced with straw bands…willows or brushwood are used for this…a thick coat of red clay mixed with manure covers all; this is then whitewashed…wooden cottages predominate in forest areas…spaces between posts are filled with wood or horizontal logs…stone or oak pillars are planted at the corners…chinks between logs are stuffed with moss…doors are attached to posts…windows are cut into the logs…houses are lathed and rough or top plastered, applied for traditional aesthetic reasons…in 1924, 50% of cottages were built of wood, 33% of clay, and 6% of stone…recently, under perhaps German influence, gable roofs have become more common, creating a higher loft with a window…roofs in the steppe/forest are of straw or reeds placed symmetrically in sheaves…right bank cottages have a roof pole; straw is placed on the support rib in wattled bunches rather than in even sheaves…Poltava and steppe cottages often have an outside porch…Hutsul and Boyko porches form a small gallery…doors are single, on iron hinges, secured with wooden locks…threshold is high, to keep out water and animals…older cottages have a hexagonal door…door jambs and window frames may have geometric carvings…old windows were small openings high in the walls covered by movable boards, then ox bladder…typically cottages have two windows in front, and one on the narrow side, and a small window above the stove…sometimes windows have wooden shutters, often painted and sometimes covered with designs…floor was of earth or clay; richer peasants may have wooden floors…people carved family dates on a beam…most cottages have three rooms: entrance into the hall, living quarters on one side, on the other a store room…the store room is not always whitewashed…form can be traced to pre-historic times…inside are a wooden shelf for dishes, a plank bed for sleeping, an icon corner, hope chest, a stove of clay or tile…there are still "black" cottages which have no vents…the flue is made of wood and clay…houses may be surrounded by ditches or banks planted with thorns…farm buildings include a storehouse, a barn, stables.

 

Lehr, John C. "Changing Ukrainian House Styles" Alberta History XXIII 1 1975, 25-29.

 

Overview:

At first, Ukrainian peasant settlers in Alberta built houses like those at home; later, as they assimilated to an Anglo-Canadian norm, they chose Anglo-Canadian houses. In some ways, these were not as good as peasant houses. Includes three photos from various stages in the Ukrainian-Canadian progression: initial dug-out, peasant house type, Anglo-Canadian norm. This article makes many of the same points, in the same words, as the longer and more detailed "The Landscape of Ukrainian Settlement in the Canadian West" summarized below; repeated information will not be included in detail here.

Main Points:

Between 1891 and 1914 Ukrainian peasants homesteaded in Alberta…house types paralleled assimilation of Ukrainians into Anglo-Canadian norm…at first, in summer, lived in tents; in winter dug-outs: a rectangular pit dug a few feet below ground; aspen boughs lined the pit and lashed together at the top to form a V framework; willow and aspen lathes were woven between frame; mud plastered over all; then sod, grass upward; door was a carpet…heating was a tin or iron stove…hay covered plank for sleeping…then a traditional house was built [see article below for detailed description of this house]…in many instances a second house was built, similar to the first, different only in size, sophistication of construction and type of roof covering: shingles replaced thatch, which allowed a lowering of the roof pitch…first house was left standing, as a store room…after twenty years, little assimilation of non-Ukrainian architecture…interiors described: large mud stove; only other furniture, a couple of wide bunks and a small table of rough lumber, a stationary bench…flowering plants in curtainless windows, icons on east wall of house, colorful tissue paper flowers against white washed walls…dirt floors, chickens in house: Canadians regarded Ukrainians as dirty…1914-1925, very good years for farm products; Ukrainians did well; built more Canadianized houses; hybrid houses…retained: southward orientation, rectangular form, interior layout of rooms…new: addition of a story or a half story; no more "low browed" appearance…ratios were kept; length was dictated by length of available timber…room plans kept; women were not acculturating as quickly…in very prosperous settlements adjacent to non-Ukrainians, entirely North American houses were built…were designed by architects; ethnicity of occupant didn't matter…transitional house lost its visual national character when, 1930's - 1950's, it was sheathed with shiplap or weather board siding…one traditional house has a "boom town" false front…"'many near froze to death'" in "improved" houses, not tested as peasant houses had been…"The Ukrainian folk tradition in building…died during the inter-war years" has no offspring…old style houses which survive are used as storage.

 

Lehr, John C. "Ukrainian Houses" Alberta Historical Review V, 4 (1957) 17-27.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Lehr, John C. "The Rural Settlement Behavior of Ukrainian Pioneers in Western Canada, 1891-1914" pp. 51-68 in Western Canadian Research in Geography: The Lethbridge Papers Brenton M. Barr, ed. Vancouver: Tantalus Research, 1975.

 

Overview:

Exploration of a behavior pattern displayed by Ukrainian peasant immigrants to Western Canada early in this century that was regarded by Anglo observers as irrational, and that ultimately proved economically disastrous: their insistence on homesteading "inferior" sites. Quotes from that era provide an intimate penetration into the thought processes and evaluations of these so called "rebellious...fiendish" peasants and support Lehr's argument that Old World physical environment, peasant aesthetics, and economic exploitation conditioned the peasants' perception of and reaction to material reality in the New World.

Main Points:

"'...there is a difference between the modern and the ancient reactions to the same stimuli...'"…Ukrainians peasants arrived in Western Canada between 1891 and 1914, establishing some of Canada's largest ethnic block settlements…Ukrainians, unlike others, choose marginal and submarginal land: aspen bush and marshy, stony, sandy ground over prairie; this was disastrous in the long term: retarded economic progress and rate of assimilation…settlers were from Galicia and Bukowina; serfdom abolished in 1848 -- a paper convention, not reflected in real relations…peasants worked land owned by absentee, foreign aristocrats who monopolized timber…land rents and timber prices killingly high for peasants [literally so; some statistics state that at this time, 10,000 peasants starved to death per year in Galicia alone]…only 17% of holdings were large enough to be self-sufficient…taxation and interest rates, high…some have argued that racist Canadian policy shunted Ukrainians to bad land; a quote is sited, Canada's Minister of Interior: "These are not lands on which the ordinary Englishman or American will go, but they are fit for peasant settlement...These people have not as high standards of living as we have..." author says such racist policies are "myth"…"To the Ukrainians, their settlement decisions were perfectly rational and carefully considered"…peasant immigrants were anxious to get land with timber "to prevent any recurrence of their previous situation in which timber was a strictly controlled and often expensive resource"…even though timber clearance was an arduous and time consuming task that would delay planting and harvest, peasant Ukrainians wanted timbered land above all -- though it be light and rocky, and bypassed rich prairie sod…a settler states, "'When I came out here I saw a creek -- there's water! A bush -- there's fire! We didn't have that in the old country'"…peasants were ignorant of the economics and methodology of New World agriculture…refused large stretches of prairie thinking them much larger than they could ever use; went outside system to pay unscrupulous shysters for split up land grants that couldn't support them…settlers had no cash when they arrived; were never part of a cash economy; viewed self sufficiency, rather than buying and selling, as their goal; saw unrelieved prairie as inadequate; chose, rather, diverse holdings with marshes, for edible waterfowl and marsh grasses for roof thatching…perhaps these Ukrainians, from mountains and woods, frequently facing invasion, feared the open spaces of the prairie, which may have caused them a sense of "exposure and alienation"…woods provided the "'illusion of protection'"…Ukrainian literary tradition "'shows a deep, almost mystical bond with the spirits of the soil'"…in folk culture, the ideal landscape includes meadow, water, and woodland…a settler: "'We chose to settle in that part of the district because the mountains, streams and meadows very much resembled our native Carpathian scenery'"…Ukrainians took risks to settle near other Ukrainians…government agents were aghast: "'Almost distracted with these people, rebellious, act fiendish…Nothing but pandemonium ...threatened to kill interpreter…am simply baffled and defeated…They are wicked"…settlers suspected that "settlement without timber would duplicate their previous exploitation"…"only as the tastes and inclinations of the Ukrainian settler veered toward cash flow and entry into the market economy that the marginal land homestead became progressively less satisfactory"…this process "paralleled the gradual assimilation of conventional Anglo-Canadian social and agricultural goals."

 

Lehr, John C. "Log Buildings of Ukrainians" Prairie Forum V, 2 (1980) 183-196.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Lehr, John C. "Colour Preferences and Building Decoration among Ukrainians in Western Canada" Prairie Forum VI, 2 (1981) 203-206.

 

Overview:

Identifies color preferences for house paint and trim among early twentieth century peasant Ukrainian settlers in Western Canada; claims Ukrainian-Canadians today still choose these colors. Posits theories as to meaning of colors. Not illustrated.

Main Points:

Early twentieth century Ukrainian peasant immigrants to Canada came mostly from Bukovyna and Galicia, where a limited range of colors were used to decorate houses: bright blue trim for houses and yellow and red trim for other farm buildings…in Transcarpathians, sky blue; in Podillya, blue-green…patterns were repeated in Canada, not just in rural, but also in urban areas, as contemporary visitors noted, e.g. in Winnipeg…folk from Bukovyna used green; Galicians preferred blue…internal decor: blue trim on white plaster walls; walls sometimes had simple geometric designs in blue…ceiling was white or blue…also on churches…when asked, people today (1981, when article was written) say: "'It was always this way, I just kept it the way my Dad had it,' 'I like it this way' 'It looks nice' 'I had it red once but I pained it green like it always was'"…meaning? people from Bukovyna call it "zelena Bukovyna," green Bukovyna…in some parts of Carpathians, blue is protective against evil…on ceiling might have symbolized sky or heaven.

 

Lehr, John C. "The Landscape of Ukrainian Settlement in the Canadian West" Great Plains Quarterly II 2 1982 94-105.

 

Overview:

An erudite discussion of the natural and social forces which have affected the patterns of settlement and material culture of Ukrainian-Canadians in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Focused on early Ukrainian settlers, their distinctive material culture, and the forces that have caused that culture to slowly disappear. Includes a map of Ukrainian settlement, three photos of Old World style Ukrainian settler homes in Canada, and three photos of Ukrainian-Canadian churches.

Main Points:

Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba were first settled by more than 120,000 Ukrainians peasants from Galicia and Bukovyna between 1892 and 1914…they turned their settlements into copies of the Old World landscape…settlers gravitated to other Ukrainians and formed block settlements…lacked money; had to start from scratch on uncleared land…dominion surveyors had formed parcels of 160 acre units…settlers could lose everything if they did not settle in accord with dominion laws, which "reflected the interests of the corporate and governmental elite of English Canada" and "bound [the settler's] actions, determined his landscape, and molded his society"…laws guaranteed low densities; Ukrainian struggled for higher density; their efforts "were to little avail"…to live near other Ukrainians, settlers sometimes took bad land…in first fifteen or twenty years, settlers recreated Ukrainian homeland, transferring folk forms and reviving more ancient forms…some immigrants created caves in riverbanks; others built one room sod roofed earthen dugouts like chorna khata (black houses) and like mountain huts of Hutsul shepherds; in a photograph, a woman and two children are shown outside of a very primitive shelter that seems to be made out of saplings leaning against each other in a v shape; these were used for a few months, and later were used for storage and survived for decades…substantial houses were built; like in Ukraine, had southern orientation, one story, rectangular, two or three rooms, central chimney, a gable, hipped gable, or hipped roof, built of logs, saddle notched corners on round logs, dovetailed corners on square logs…walls plastered with mud and exteriors washed with lime; roofs thatched; no rye straw like in old country; used slough grass; very steep…farm layout, water drawing equipment, crops, all European; few survived for more than several years…woven willow fences, typical of Ukraine, gave way to cheaply available boards and barbed wire…layout of farms was changed by technology and mechanization…wheat replaced rye; hemp oil and twine was replaced by commercial varieties…Ukrainian well sweeps, designed for areas of high water table, are still used…churches appeared within three or four years of first settlement; settlers didn't reproduce wooden churches of peasantry, but Russified Byzantine architecture…church architecture, bell towers, and crosses marking sacred ground discussed…schisms between Bukovyna Orthodox and Galicia Uniate churches…"the church was buffered by many acculturative influences" …as early as 1919, houses became "'Anglo-Saxon in design, well built and with sufficient windows'"; superficial, "flamboyant" decorations eliminated first, while plan, building materials, color, and construction techniques remained the same…men were vehicles of assimilation; women, bearers of tradition; in old wedding photos, only women are in Ukrainian dress…"the peasant builder always built from the inside out; the use of space determined the basic form of the folk house"…divisions of house and uses for each division described... when change came, it was dramatic: "pattern book" house designs were adopted…folk house became a storage shed…"The Ukrainian pioneer was in a powerless position in Canadian society. He was manipulated; seldom did he manipulate. Even the place names in Ukrainian settlements were established by English speaking administrators, surveyors, railway builders"

 

Lehr, John C. "The Ukrainian Sacred Landscape: A Metaphor of Survival and Acculturation" Material History Bulletin XXIX (Spring, 1989), 3-11.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Lukomski, G. K. "The Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe" The Burlington Magazine January, 1935, 14-19.

 

Overview:

Brief description of wooden synagogues in Poland. Recognizes "two or three" types; argues for origin in ancient Slavic pagan architecture and Asiatic influences, pleas for preservation. Includes eight photographs of synagogue exteriors.

Main Points:

Biggest wave of Jewish immigration to Poland was in the Middle Ages…Jews were driven out of Western Europe by religious persecution and attracted by privileges in and invitations from Poland…built synagogues in wood and stone…some stone synagogues from the fifteenth century are still standing and in a good state of preservation…the oldest wooden synagogues date only to the sixteenth century…"traces of oriental influence" have been attributed to "primitive examples in Palestine"…Adam Mickiewicz expressed this theory in Pan Tadeusz …said architecture of synagogues was introduced by Syrian carpenters…in fact, synagogues were influenced by pagan Slavic architecture, which showed traces of Asiatic influence…other theorists have attributed synagogue style to Silesia or Polish churches…others attribute their style to influences of prehistoric Slav architecture…"the actual builders were Polish peasants who were faithful to ancient tradition"…example: roofs in two or three stages and towers at each side of the facade…this is partly Chinese, partly Tibetan, partly Indian in style…thanks to the religious conservatism of the Jews, this style was saved…stone synagogues were built in such a way so as to serve military purposes…"buildings resembling the wooden synagogues of Poland are found nowhere else in Europe"…nothing like synagogues of Germany…"the most ancient wooden synagogue was destroyed by fire in the Great War"…many more synagogues listed…"two or three" types of wooden synagogue…one: square plan, a pyramidal roof in one, two, or three stages with decorated cornices…their facades are like facades on Indian temples…eaves may be curved and tilted upwards as in Chinese temples…second: oblong, roof decorated with arcading…third: like Polish barns…interior has columns, four or six…ceiling corresponds to the form of the roof…sometimes vault is decorated…sometimes pillars of bima support the roof…interiors have frescoes and oil paintings and wooden carvings…stone synagogues rarely have paintings…"the synagogues of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries will soon be in a ruinous condition, impossible of restoration"…wooden synagogues can also be divided up by shape of the roof, number of cornices, and stages…examples are given…synagogue of Wolpa is the most beautiful of all…"recalling forms found in Mandjur Chinese architecture."

 

Copyright 2004, Danusha V. Goska

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