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Annotated Bibliography of Eastern European Folk Art

M-Z

Danusha V. Goska, PhD

 

~*~

The Introduction to

An Annotated Bibliography of Eastern European

Folk Architecture

Prepared for a Class with Henry Glassie

by Danusha V. Goska

Medwidsky, Bohdan. "Ukrainian Grave Markers in East Central Alberta" Material History Bulletin XXIX (Spring, 1989), 72-75.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Melnycky, Peter. "Draught Horses and Harnesses among Early Ukrainian Settlers in East-Central Alberta" Material History Bulletin XXIX (Spring, 1989), 37-44.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Noble, Allen G. "House Types in Blota, Poland, and a Source of North American I Houses" Pioneer Society Transactions 1991, 14, 1-9.

 

Overview:

Describes house types in one Polish town near Warsaw, their eras of greatest popularity, and argues for the older houses as being evidence of this area as providing models for North American I houses. Illustrated.

Main Points:

Blota is seventeen kilometers away from Warsaw…is slowly suburbanizing…the oldest houses are sixty years old…houses are divided into four groups: there are ten houses from before 1939, forty-seven from between 1945 and 1960, nine from 1961-1980, and five from 1980+…houses in the first group are "folk," in the second are true to folk form, in the third and fourth are departures from tradition, and have urban features…house type four is regarded as imposing and a proof of wealth…inhabitants of these houses are not connected to agriculture…they work in Warsaw…they have lumber frames, brick or stone facing, two and a half stories, often gable rooved, are asymmetric, similar to a mountain chalet…roofs are metal, shingle, tile…exteriors have balconies, porches, dormers, decorative windows and doors…rooms have different sizes…houses of type three have utilitarian arrangements of rooms and heating facilities, no external decoration, and two stories, with the main door opening on to the street…houses of type two are very different, adoption of Ukrainian house type, have square floor plan, one story, pyramidal roof, central chimney, three flues, are constructed of rubble salvaged from post war Warsaw, are "starkly utilitarian" built under "straitened conditions" from Polish style to "universal East European"…the entry porch became a simple stoop, decorative details were lost, foundations went from stone in type one to poured concrete in type two, floor plan is like type one, with hearth and chimney in center to serve all rooms efficiently, like type one, main door is to side yard…type one houses have timber frame construction…a steep roof for thatching, gables filled with vertical weather boarding, vertical boards are finished with serrated end, have as an attractive decorative touch a prominent finial, exposed framing, porches have wooden balustrades, floor plan: two major rooms with a central passageway and an oven in each room…type two houses are typical of the Carpathians, Ukrainians, German-Russian Mennonites, perhaps forerunner of the I house typical in Appalachia with internal hearths and chimneys abutting interior front to back walls .. "No satisfactory alternative origin has yet been suggested for the double interior chimney I house."

 

Ovsiychuk, Volodymyr. "Cathedral in Lviv" Forum: A Ukrainian Review 1986 Summer, 66, 41-44.

 

Overview:

Popular (non-scholarly) description of eighteenth century Ukrainian Catholic Saint George's Cathedral in Lviv.

Main Points:

Cathedral of Saint George (Yuri) was the last work of eighteenth century Lviv architect Bernard Merderer…site was originally an oak forest…in 1280, a beechwood church stood at the site; foundations for this church were laid by Prince Lev, the city's namesake…in the 1460's a new "dark and slim" stone church was built…building began for current church in 1744…built on the city's highest point…had to harmonize with pre-existing buildings: a monastery, a seminary…in order that these buildings not dwarf the new cathedral, the ground was raised and an artificial pedestal was built…stone from Lviv quarries…church is in form of a Greek cross…has a central circular drum, supported by high arches…chapels in corners…"verticalism underlines the slenderness and grandeur of the building, hiding its massiveness"…small horizontal balustrades over the entrance doors break into the movement upward and create dramatic tension…the facade and entrance prepare one for a religious experience…a statue of St. George is found outside the door.

 

Podolak, Jan. "Pastoral Constructions in Slovakia" Ethnologia Slavica XIX 1987 45-92.

 

Overview:

Exhaustive account of buildings built by shepherds in Slovakia, from the late Middle Ages to today. Includes accounts of building materials, building size, building use, where buildings were placed in relation to permanent habitation and in relation to the flock of sheep. Includes information about shepherds' lives, politics, history, and agriculture, as revealed through pastoral constructions. Argues that economic and political changes have altered placement of pastoral constructions; for example, that huts were originally one room, then two rooms, and, beginning c. 1900, have been divided into three rooms: one for working, one for dwelling, and one for storage. Argues that shepherds' huts in Slovakia were originally like shepherds' huts throughout the Carpathians, but that as time has gone on, they have become more regionally distinctive. At first, fire was open; now there is a closed stove. Article covers structures for care of sheep, for example, the fold in which sheep are milked. Points out that buildings made by herdsmen of cattle and horses were influenced by shepherds' constructions. Includes twenty-three photos, twenty-two of contemporary pastoral constructions of varied size, shape, placement, and building materials, and one of the cutting of wood for construction.

Main Points:

Two regions in Slovakia: lowland breeding and mountain breeding…in Middle Ages, lowland breeding was typified by common herds and the hiring of a herdsman…cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, all herded separately…lands were ensured by cadastral territory…herds were pastured daily; shepherds drove herds off in the morning and brought them back at night…lowland breeding lands had no pastoral constructions…by the end of the fourteenth century, a new highland system developed: colonization of shepherds according to Walachian law…higher ridges would now be used; these were located far from permanent habitation…sheep folds and shelters for shepherds had to be constructed for use from spring to autumn…factors influencing placement of constructions are considered…pasture was necessary…sometimes, if pasture was good, sheep would return to the same place for two or three hundred years…roads or trails that allowed the sheep access to pastures were needed, as were roads for transportation of sheep products…constructions might be placed near mountain paths…climatic considerations dictated a southern or southeastern placement, protected from northern winds…near a spring…near a forest for wood for building and heating…should not be placed where someone had died tragically or was killed (forget about placing it anywhere in Eastern Europe!) or where lightening had struck frequently…shepherds moved on traditional dates, for example, sheep were pastured in the village from St. George's Day, April 24, for two weeks…portable wooden folds which were regularly shifted housed the sheep, which provided sheep dung for various plots of land…the second stage began with zahajenie chotara day, the day of closing the fields…sheep transferred to submontane pastures…in the third stage, sheep moved to alpine pastures…"the construction of building objects was adopted to their easy unfolding and transfer from one place to another"…before the sheep arrived, buildings were spruced up and inventory was taken of: dwellings for shepherds, spaces for processing and storing dairy products, folds for milking, shelters for any other animals like dogs, pigs, calves, horses, and, rarely, poultry…as time went on, (twentieth century), for hygienic reasons, shepherd dwellings were moved away from sheep…feudal lords made the shepherds guard passes and provide protection to travelers in the mountains…various words used by highland shepherds reveal ties to Turkey, Hungary, and Walachian colonization…location of these words throughout Eastern Europe considered…shepherds lived in the same hut where sheep was processed and stored…made of the trunks of coniferous trees…booms were peeled of bark…no dug foundation…four corner stones…square or oblong ground plan…chinks were filled with moss…in the back, where things were stored, chinks were not filled; for ventilation…huts had no windows…doors were oriented to east or south…floor was of beaten earth…in the first half of the twentieth century, floor boards were introduced…no ceiling…smoke from fire preserved cheeses…roof was covered with bark or shingles…beginning c. 1950, tarred paper or sheets has been used…on lower sites, as early as the nineteenth century, some began to build with boards, which were lighter and could be transported more easily…boards were put horizontally so that their ends were inserted in grooves or vertical supporting columns or they were nailed to the frame construction from the outside… wooden huts occurred where fields were dunged by closing sheep into portable folds…each wall formed a unit ready for transport…some rare sheep master's huts were made of stones, in the High Tatras, above 1600 meters, where wood was lacking…no mortar or plaster was used…stone walls were 150 cm. high…inside, the wall is straight; outside, it looks like a freely laid heap…double pitch roof of chopped logs covered by bark from coniferous trees…floor was the bottom of a pit dug one meter into the earth…with the restriction of sheep grazing on the High Tatras, this fell out of use early in this century…dimensions of shepherds huts was usually 3 x 5 to 4 x 7 meters…fireplace near entrance…shepherds slept on ground, near fire…when raised wooden beds were introduced, the hut had to be enlarged…though huts were single room, use for each part of hut had been fixed by tradition…in time, the back part for storage was separated with a 1 m fence, then a wooden wall; a new name for each part was developed…sometimes milk was transported down to the towns for processing; in these cases, the huts were less developed…socialism improved dwellings for shepherds…names for hut and even the fire in the hut -- vatra -- show spread of influences; vatra came from Asian nomads; komornik came from Romania…in alpine pastures, non-portable sheep folds for non-milking sheep were built…shelters for shepherds in this area…shelters with a slanting, one sided roof were built for dogs and overnight watch by shepherds…cheese rooms had broad wooden racks, wooden hooks in the wall for hanging cheese in cloth, dishes for dripping whey, for salt, for liquid curd, ax, hoe, dishes for milking…cheese room had no floor or ceiling, and unchinked walls, for ventilation…branches were placed on the sides of sheep folds and extended overhead to protect sheep in bad weather…folds maintained by sheep thieves had their own special name…at first folds had a circular, then a rectangular, ground plan…it was discovered that unportable folds had disadvantages: the build-up of sheep dung was harmful to pasture grass, even years afterwards, only nettle grew…portable sheep folds became more popular, in the Middle Ages in the valleys; changed more slowly in uplands, and change was still coming in the first half of the twentieth century…in the mountains, traditional folds were too heavy to move; lighter folds had to be developed from "thin rods"…folds had two openings, one for driving sheep in, one for driving them out to milking area; in pens on a slope, the milking area was always uphill, so as to avoid accumulations of dung and urine in the milking area…the milking area was kept clean; boards were put down and a roof might be put over…magic acts were performed there to enhance productivity…there was a special fold, near shepherd's dwelling, for sick or young sheep…valaska sheep could be kept under the open sky; others were not as tough; they had to have roofed folds…pigs might be kept; pastured in forest; fed on whey; had roofs made of bark…horses were kept for transport; had shelters of three sides and bark roof…shepherds rarely kept cattle; if so, they had provisional shelters…all had dogs, which had no shelters or just a slanted roof…structures to keep stock out of springs and structures to channel water to stock are described…shepherds had no toilets; socialism has brought in these improvements…in addition to sheep, cows, barren cattle, horses and pigs were kept in the highlands; their structures are described; these were more simple; there was no production…women tended to dairy cows…"At the end of WW II a considerable part of these structures were destroyed and they were not restored after the war."

 

Schindler, Hans. "Concerning the Origin of the Onion Domes and Onion Spires in Central European Architecture" Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1981 138-142.

 

Overview:

Brief but well supported and focused argument that onion domes and onion spires found on churches and secular buildings in Central Europe are not, as has been previously assumed, the result of Byzantine or Eastern influence, but, rather, the result of northern craftsmen and Italian architectural influences coming together in Prague in the sixteenth century. Includes reproductions of a sixteenth century woodcut of a city view of Prague with a few of the discussed domes visible, an early seventeenth century drawing of Prague with more onion domes, three photos of Central European religious buildings with onion domes, drawings of the facades of a hunting lodge and of a castle with onion domes, and two plans for onion domes.

Main Points:

Onion shaped spires can be found on country and pilgrimage churches throughout Southern Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and the Dolomite region of Italy, and to a lesser degree in Poland, Hungary, and the part of Yugoslavia which had been in the Austrian empire…these are different from the more elaborate tower terminations on other seventeenth and eighteenth century structures…some have guessed Byzantine, Eastern, or Islamic origins…if a "foreign stylistic element is adopted, we would expect to see it made part of the general architectural design portfolio, and not be limited to country churches"…these churches were built to celebrate victory of Catholicism over heterodoxy; architects would not adopt form of heterodox faiths…a dated city view of Prague in a woodcut from 1562 shows the first visually recorded onion dome in this series: the small towers placed at the corners of the terminal platform of the main tower of St. Vitus cathedral, the five towers of the no longer extant Rosenberg palace, and a water tower…another image from 1606 confirms the 1562 image…the Rosenberg castle, completed in 1549, was designed and built by Hans von Tirol…the Gothic tower of St. Vitus cathedral was built in 1560 by Bonifaz Wolmut…there was an interaction between Italian builders and masters trained in the north…"the onion shape appears to be the consequence of efforts to modify Gothic linear forms according to conventions imported from the south"…there was also inspiration from Flemish painters and sculptors living in Prague: Jan Brueghel in 1604, Adrean de Vries in 1601, Vredeman de Vries, 1597-1599…the onion shape had been used to top spires on buildings in the Netherlands since early in the sixteenth century…two architects who had worked in Prague may have taken the onion dome to a church in Bavaria…other churches with onion domes are considered…trade connections may have influenced the design's dissemination…"onion like structures, mostly in the form of open frames, mark Dutch secular building and churches of the sixteenth century. But the fully developed onion dome or spire appears to be a local architectural development in Prague...Italian builders and northern craftsmen felt impelled to modify the Gothic tradition in this period of considerable architectural activity"…its popularity might be owed to structural considerations…a skilled carpenter could make it, and its plan was well established; too, the design was associated with prestigious pilgrimage churches and new churches that adopted it could borrow some of that prestige.

 

Schockey, Jim. "Ukrainian Furniture and the Marketplace" Material History Bulletin XXIX (Spring, 1989), 109-112.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Stachiw, Myron. "Bibliography of Ukrainian Vernacular Architecture" Vernacular Architecture Newsletter 1990 Winter, 46, 12-37.

 

Overview:

Contains 400 entries on vernacular Ukrainian buildings in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. Most of the works are not in English, but are, rather, in Ukrainian, Russian, German, Polish, Slovak, Czech, etc. Most entries are complete, but some do not contain page numbers for articles or publishers for books.

 

Szymanski, Adam. "The Origin and Dissemination of Windmills in Poland" Ethnologia Polona 1988, 14, 71-114.

 

Overview:

A dry and scholarly treatment, in detail, of the origin and dissemination of windmills in Poland. Exhaustive statistics are provided for numbers of each type of windmill found in each sector of Poland at five different stages of Polish history. Includes sixteen charts plotting various data, four maps plotting location and dissemination of various windmill styles, and four sketches of windmills in four different styles.

Main Points:

Natural environment, shape of terrain, afforestation, surface and ground waters, climate, esp. winds, immigrant settling processes, historical and political processes, influenced windmills…windmills are discussed during five periods: the period from the twelfth to the fifteenth century; the sixteenth to the eighteenth century; the beginning of the nineteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century; the years 1918 to 1939; the second half of the twentieth century…the first mention of windmills in Poland occurs in 1271, in Bialy Buk…the first water mill, 1303…dates of first windmills in other areas in Poland and the rest of Europe are given…first date debates are discussed…builders of first windmills in Poland were probably German settlers…molendianrius class arose in Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth century…these people dealt with flour and built and operated windmills…laws pertaining to the building and usage of windmills, and selling of flour are discussed…the first mills belonged to monasteries and feudal lords…were located in towns…as towns developed they moved to rural areas…a signet stamp from 1382 now in the Czartoryski Museum is the first, anonymous, representation of a Polish wind mill…first windmills were small, built on high, uncovered trestles…looked like those in England and France…serfdom in Poland, which lasted till the 1860's, rested on the production of grain, which was tied to windmills…two basic types of windmills: post and tower…Mennonites, escaping persecution in Holland, moved to Poland and built about 300 windmills in Zulawy, to drain low areas…they used scoop windmills…the tower windmills has two variations: the Mediterranean and the rotating cap windmill…tower windmills appeared in Greater Poland in the last decade of the eighteenth century, when Germans had invaded and colonized Poland…Poles did not take to it, saw it as a foreign cultural product…statistics for various regions of Poland and their windmills in the second treated period are provided…all tolled: 20,500 windmills in eighteenth century Poland…the greatest development of windmills in towns took place at the turn of the seventeenth century, and beginning of the eighteenth…perhaps because export of whole grain was stopped, and grain was processed inland…some towns had as many as several score of windmills…Hoffman, a German constructor, built a huge tower windmill with new improvements: louvre boards on arm sheeting which were mechanically regulated, new bearings for the armed shaft, etc.…rural windmills processed corn, produced flour, brown bread, mash, groats, but seldom ground wheat, for owners and local populations; urban windmills produced products to be traded further afield…after the introduction of steam mills, windmills rapidly disappeared…millers were the most prominent group making their living from handicraft-industrial production…four types of relations between millers and churches and lords are described: renting; leasing; na miarach --the miller received one third of the profit; hiring of millers…in the sixteenth century, millers had to grind grain for the manor for free, and provide food for six dogs…there were special taxes for millers…there were three types of millers: hereditary; na miarach ,those who worked for a percentage of the grain; hired…in period three, milling was strongly affected by enfranchisement and the industrial revolution…statistics for windmills in the third period given…the abolition of "compulsory grist" allowed people to apply for permission to build new windmills…these were built in the traditional manner, often with a central krolewski or royal post…in some areas, as windmills ceased to be profitable, landlords sold or leased them to peasants…in other areas, windmills increased…most popular types during this period: post or trestle, tower, paltrock, first registered by Cornelius van Uitgeest in Holland in 1593…created to saw timber…the history of the paltrock windmill in Poland…Poland faced devastation after WW I…in spite of industrial revolution, wind and water mills still dominant before 1939…there were between thirteen and sixteen thousand…windmills had a production potential of 935 thousand tons…productivity of various windmills provided…the mean was 251 quintals…in Podgorze, a new windmill: the turbine…its history…in Podgorze, watermills ground wheat while corn was ground in hand querns…statistics for windmills, their type and location, in the final period are provided…"military operations in 1939-1945" caused the collapse of milling in Poland, plus "administrative instructions in the forties and fifties"…the Nazis destroyed many mills…post war conservation of architecture was focused on the cities; folk architecture was neglected…the war destroyed power, and some people repaired mills or built new ones for power…this was "violently halted by drastic administrative instructions"…a concerted effort to destroy millers and mills via communist red tape is described…"these decisions caused serious difficulties in the production of fodder and, at the same time, in cattle breeding, since large amounts of rough ground mash had been produced in windmills"…a description of research and museal works on flour milling and descriptions of forms of management and protection of windmills.

 

Thomas, Diana. "Documenting Ukrainian Churches in Alberta" Material History Bulletin XXIX (Spring, 1989), 65-71.

 

Overview:

Main Points:

 

Varyvoda, Antin. Wooden Architecture of the Ukrainian Carpathians Cooper Station, New York: The Lemko Research Foundation, 1978. 286 pp.

 

Overview:

Provides a sixteen page summary, in English, of the author's descriptions of Lemkos and their architecture; there are also forty pages in Cyrillic script. Includes 178 plates; most are of the author's architecturally precise and aesthetically satisfying water colors of Lemko architecture. Some are of architectural plans and detailing, carved door frames and metal decorations.

Main Points:

The Lemkos once lived in the Carpathian mountains…brief history and geography of area…"The Lemkos are of medium height, with wavy hair, dark eyes and dark complexions. They are energetic and inclined towards emotionalism. These characteristics are readily discernible in the Lemko's manner of speaking and in their general behavior. Lemkos are deeply religions"…Lemko dress described…Lemko village shapes: usually a chain, sometimes an oval, rarely a fork…"unique architectural heritage of the Lemkos is in danger of complete annihilation"…churches were destroyed during two world wars; Communists follow policy of neglect toward remaining buildings…Lemkos were ethnically cleansed from Carpathians by Communists after WW II…a witness: "the strong mountain vegetation began covering the burned down ruins of houses and farms, leaving only the occasional chimney to hint at the former existence of human life. The sun dried the grass that no one cut, and the wind husked the grains from ripe wheat, while weeds covered fences"…wooden architecture of the region contains elements from princely period; though oldest examples are from sixteenth century, chronicles and engravings and stone churches show influences from eleventh century…common, ancient features: an organic relationship between external appearance and internal construction, a subordination of individual parts to the general ensemble, composition of shell with emphasis on the structure's silhouette, an absence of accented facade, an architectural composition that can be viewed from any vantage point…within this frame, there are regional variations, created by tribes and local climatic, geographic and political conditions…regional variations involved differences in proportion…e.g.: mountain architecture has lower spires than plains architecture…regional schools: Bukovynian, Hutsul, Boyko, Podolian, Lemko, Podhale-Zakopane, Orava, Silesia-Dabrova…all share: solid timber structure, variety of roof forms, cantilevered galleries, wide eaves supported by brackets or consoles, porches, different techniques of board sheathing, a great number of shingle designs…unlike Western Europe, post and beam did not predominate; rather, solid layered timber called blockwork or log cabin style…timbers might be, depending on region, left round, split through the middle, or squared…no: false ceilings, internal columns, diagonal braces; shell of building is structural support…spruce, pine, fir, beech…axes, saws…length of log determined length of structure: sometimes eight meters; more usually six meters…bottom layer: best quality hardwood placed on foundation log posts sunk vertically into the ground…before laying timber, set doorframe; in churches, always rectangular, usually decoratively carved; here carpenters recorded constructions, repairs, alterations -- a history of the building…walls were inclined inward; provided structural stability and created illusion of greater height…churches were covered with shingles or board sheathing…annual precip c. 1500 mm; wide roof overhangs or arcades were built to protect against rain; supported by brackets or consoles…churches might reach height of eighteen meters; their silhouette imitated the conifers around them…square towers fall into two categories: square tower surmounted by pyramid; square tower topped by solid timber stepped pyramid achieved through recesses…octagonal towers also fall into two categories…these usually had cupolas…forged iron crosses topped all…churches might be Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, or Orthodox…churches were set in picturesque settings, in highest point in town…three fold subdivision into narthex, nave, and chancel…built on east-west axis…transepts in cruciform churches were north-south…Roman Catholic churches described…Greek Catholic and Orthodox churches described…interiors described…no ceilings…beams, doorframes, balustrades, all decoratively carved…iconostasis described…windows were utilitarian…carving on iconostasis was in low relief, often using local flora: pears, apples, sunflowers, daisies…belltowers were not connected with churches; belltowers described…Domestic Architecture considered…remarkable uniformity in spite of regional styles: Slobozhanshchyna, Central Dneiper, Polissia, Carpathians…simplified elongated rectangular plan derived from need to form roofs that drain rainfall best…length to depth ratio: 1:1,4 to 1:2,25 in the north; 1:2 to 1:3 in the south…depth of structure might be 4.5 to 6 meters, like length of logs; 4 to 5 meters in less wooded south and east…archaic one room dwelling exists only in Hutsul log cabin and Volynian storage shed…three parts: entrance hall, living quarters, storeroom…from outside divisions are not apparent…gable or hip roof…three domestic styles in Carpathians: Hutsul, Boyko, Lemko…architectural and structural elements are identical…churches evolved from houses…Hutsul log cabin described…Hutsul homestead is an independent closed ensemble of living and farm buildings joined by a high fence around a courtyard…Hutsul homestead described…roofs, to drain water, had to be three times as high as the walls…openings in gables allowed chimney smoke to escape…timbers, with time, assume a silvery hue; interior not plastered or whitewashed…narrow annexes for stock along back of house were covered with wide overhangs…interior decoration described…on the svolok beam were carved designs…Boyko house described…Lemko house described…outside walls were covered with oil and crushed brick; logs were chinked with lime -- strong contrast... internal placement of fire, dishes, plank bed, and wall for hanging embroideries discussed…stoves were 2 to 2 1/2 meters long, 2 m broad, 2 m high…"Stoves came in a diversity of original designs that resemble architectural compositions. They contained niches, shelves, interior cupboards, each filling a special function. Always exquisitely decorated, they served as one of the principal decorative elements..."

 

Walker, Frank Arnell. "'Czecho-Slovak' Revival: The Architecture of Dusan Jurkovic" Architecture Association Quarterly 1981 Oct., 13:1, 45-50.

 

Overview:

Slovaks in the Austro Hungarian Empire lived under unbearable conditions of oppression. Dusan Jurkovic (1868-1947), a Slovak, rejected contemporary elite architectural styles and theories and integrated peasant architecture and art into his commissioned buildings. Includes eight photos and one floor plan of Jurkovic's work, a photo of Jurkovic, and a photo of a Czech building which inspired him.

Main Points:

"'The Slovaks in Hungary...breathe with care...they feel themselves watched...harassed by a police force whose bloody ferocity shows itself on every possible occasion…Everywhere they feel themselves the butt of a jealous and hostile malevolence. No intellectual life whatsoever. The savants and literary men live an immured life, confined to themselves. Only the mountain and village population continues to decorate its houses, wooden objects and embroideries with harmonious colors in a naive and fresh style'"…"'Dusan Jurkovic's buildings resound with folkloristic themes: characters from East European legend and myth parade in architectural attire and converse with us in a multiple of tongues. One speaks in words of stone; another in timber and lath.'"…life for Slovaks got worse after Ausgleich of 1867... ruthless proscriptions of race or language…"'The Slavs are not fit to govern, they must be ruled'"…the three Slovak high schools closed…the Slovak cultural society disbanded…leaders were reactionary clergy…brutally repressive legislation…total economic domination… vast (highest per capita of all immigrant groups to U.S.) emigration…no rights, no middle class, no leadership…Slovakia was apparently doomed…"there remained, however, the Slovak peasantry"…Slovakia had no non-peasant history…end of nineteenth century, revival of national consciousness…Dusan Jurkovic single handedly revived interest in crafts and architecture of Slovakia…grandfather and uncle, active in spring of nations…cousin, one of very few literary Slovaks…moved to Moravia to escape hopelessness of Slovakia…Michal Urbanek, mentor, not provincial…became acquainted with historicism in Vienna and works of Antonin Wiehl (1846-1910), acknowledged leader of national revival in Czech architecture, who gave a national dimension to historicism, wanted to express Czech national revival through architecture, designed gothic arch with folk motifs…and Koula (1855-1919), who for the first time, "threw down the gauntlet" of folk architecture at historicism…Jurkovic designed buildings with wide eaves, steeply pitched shingled roofs, long bracketed balconies and polychromatic ornament, "efficient shelters wholly adapted to and tempered by the climate and simple agricultural life of the Slovak and Moravian mountains"…in 1896 Jurkovic established himself independently…designed buildings for summit of Brnova…1897, designed rest house at Pustevny…other than heavy rough stone plinths, entire structure was of wood…rest house was a two story open gallery structure…totem pole like columns with decorative curving brackets carry the spread of the eaves; inner core walls, constructed on squared up log cabin principle, support the main roof…a restaurant at Pustevny was a high, single story space with apsidal end; shingled roofs swept smoothly round hip and dormer…Jurkovic designed all interiors, as Arts and Crafts approach demanded…1899, in Brno, found new patrons…received commission for summer house at Rezek…a central two galleried hall space surrounded by a number of balconied rooms and verandahs…in 1902 completed work on spa buildings at Luhacovice…Polish magazine Architekt paid early attention to Jurkovic…"in time the stream of folk architecture flowed into the broad surge of Secessionism…it was by manipulating the tangible and emotive signs of provincial culture that the designers of the folk revival brought immediacy to the experience and the understanding of architecture…"

 

Ward, Tom. "Analysis of a Ukrainian Thatched Barn" APT [Association for Preservation Technology] Bulletin XX, 4 (1988) 30-41.

 

Overview:

Everything you always wanted to know about how to restore a Ukrainian-Canadian thatched roof, log construction barn for display in an open air museum. Includes six photographs illustrating work on the stable in various stages, and six pages of line drawings precisely illustrating how to thatch a Ukrainian roof for museum display.

Main Points:

Oleksa Makowichuk of Bukovynia, in spring of 1904, immigrated to near Smoky Lake, Alberta …June, began building seven farm buildings, e.g. two room house, granary, stable, all finished in one year…material: found on homestead; method: just like in Ukraine; log buildings, covered with plaster, thatched with marsh grass…1911; fire destroyed buildings and contents; stable was mostly spared…now rye, not marsh grass, was used to thatch stable…Ward and team conducted analysis for restoration and to increase body of data on Ukrainian settlement…Makowichuk stable is two room with stall and partitions and mangers…crude…logs worked only where necessary…absence of consistent detailing and decorative elements…evidence shows Makowichuk salvaged materials from burned buildings; e.g., saddle notches at mid span, serving no structural purpose…walls: peeled tamarack, spruce, balsam poplar…sill logs joined with tight fitting square saddle notches, but typical corner joint was double round saddle notches; inferior, as not self draining; were plastered over with mud but corners were weakened…most remarkable feature: thatch roof, steeply pitched, central shed dormer…purlin framework, rafters, eaves, beams, described…south eaves extended to shield from rays of sun…rye was durable…rye bundles were 1000 mm long and 150 mm wide… attached to purlin with a continuous tie…stable now at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, where it is successful…for new roof, seven acres of six foot tall rye were used…harvested with a modified binder to cut as close to ground as possible…a platform was installed to protect stalks from damage as they fell…were stooked…wooden jigs ensured proper shape of bundles…polypropylene twine was used (for an added dash of authenticity)…three thousand five hundred thatch bundles…threshed by two men over a six week period…tied to purlins and neighboring bundles with polypropylene twine…on corner most affected by winds, bundles were sewn down…crew took ten days…including sewing rye, took a full year…roof has served for five years…life expectancy: twenty-five years.

 

Wonders, William C. and Mark A. Rasmussen. "Log Buildings of West Central Alberta" Prairie Forum V, 2 (1980) 197-217.

 

Overview:

Very detailed analysis of log buildings built by agricultural immigrants early in this century in a sample area of Alberta. All buildings shared some characteristics, but buildings built by various ethnic groups showed distinctive features. Includes a map of area under study and locations of log buildings, four pages of line drawings meant to clarify architectural terms for walls, joints, beams, roof types, etc. in log buildings, and six photographs of log buildings, full and in close-up detail.

Main Points:

The settlement geographer seeks relationships between man and the land through studies of the form of the landscape…traditional rural architecture is especially useful because it is purely functional and bears strong relation to resources at hand…pioneer work is esp. interesting because it is an initial response to an unsettled environment; meant to meet need for practical shelter within limits of "expertise"…study is in west central Alberta, where largest concentration of log buildings can be found…area: agriculturally marginal land, settled late, too poor to allow for replacement of buildings…geographic details provided: longitude and latitude, elevation, soil type, mean temperatures and precipitation in summer and winter…afforestation: mixed, aspen, coniferous in west, from boreal to sub-alpine…economic history of region…agricultural devoted to grain; average farm, 380 acres…survey methodology provided…survey found great deal of individualism in log construction…family, with maybe help of one neighbor, built barns…one Ukrainian alone, with maybe aid from his wife, built some of best constructions…green logs "set" together…family built in no special season, but when they arrived; later, logs were cut in late winter…ten logs a day per man cut and squared…three men got a house up in three days; work force was then decreased…tools: ax, saw, hammer, auger, chisel, rope, maybe a knife…folk architecture lacks common terminology; therefore, this article will use pictures…wall beams were of poplar or spruce…usually square, sometimes round…sixty of sixty-two buildings had barked logs…sidewalls reinforced by wooden pegs…a family of Russian carpenters produced flat hewn, saddle grooved beams…a variety of cornering techniques found; most common, full dovetail; this was self locking, protected against exposure, was attractive…other notches considered; double saddle notch opened up log to rot…joint styles considered…"One must remember that there were no formal rules"…chinking and wall cover considered…green sphagnum moss, clay, ground straw, horse or cow dung…only occasionally plastered inside…external wall cover considered; might be a renovation feature…roofs considered: gable on homes, gambrel on barns, other options…one used birchbark as a water proofing membrane…all buildings had inadequate foundations; buildings sink, up to a foot ; foundations described…did the builders know their foundations were inadequate? …maybe didn't care; new structures built after initial crisis period also lack decent foundations…sizes of buildings recorded…layouts given…66% of buildings currently in use, but often not according to initial plan; former homes may now be chicken coops…site orientation…all buildings faced a cardinal point…ethnic analysis…a Pole copied Ukrainians exactly, as he had lived in an area of Poland without trees and was familiar only with mud construction…common to all ethnic groups: poor foundations, squared beams, dovetailed corner notching; "it is deviation from these features which largely helps to differentiate the groups"…Ukrainians used poplar; why? it is prone to rot; did they know this? -- a controversial point…Scandinavians, more familiar with northern forests, used coniferous trees…later Ukrainian buildings are of spruce, a better choice…typically Ukrainian: lathing, two types of plaster, white paint, Ukrainian style barn; barn described…Ukrainians devoted most care to construction of barn, less to house, though house was built first: "greater concern for farm unit rather than for personal comfort" an old Ukrainian speaks: the difference between Ukrainians and Germans was the Ukrainian bought a cow first, the German, a light horse…Scandinavians, opposite; put most care into house construction; house in photo looks very swank, not at all like Ukrainian squat hut…Scandinavian barns small and crude…French Canadians and other groups considered briefly; family of Russian carpenters built the best.

 

Yargina, Z. Wooden Synagogues Commonwealth of Independent States: Image Publishing House, 1991. 367 pp.

 

Overview:

This book is important, if for no other reason, than because it contains over two hundred plates, most reproductions of archival photographs of wooden synagogues in Eastern Europe, some of synagogue interiors and exteriors, others of the Jews who built or worshipped in these lost treasures. There are also sixty-two pages, in English, of general introduction to wooden synagogues, and fifty pages in Cyrillic script. The introduction places wooden synagogues in the gentile wooden architectural tradition of the Carpathians and explains the forces that lead to the creation and wide dissemination of a uniquely Jewish style.

Main Points:

The architecture of wooden synagogues is, of all Jewish art, the most revealing of the spiritual life of the shtetl…ritual rules, peculiarities of towns and shtetls, economic or administrative restrictions, Jewish traditions and their interaction with gentile culture all influenced their architecture…now all destroyed…"the present publication is in large measure a piece of restoration work undertaken…to place wooden synagogues within the general context of Jewish culture"…an attempt to present a cumulative image…Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland…the first: Galicia and Podolia, 16th and 17th c. …perhaps there were thousands…enough material to describe one hundred…in some cases only one amateur snapshot…were places of worship, schools, courts, meeting places, there were even sometimes special prison cells…spatial organization was dictated by ritual and placement of bema…synagogues were log cabins with dovetailed bemas, lined with planks; to stiffen the walls, vertical posts might encase wall beams…roof and vaulted or dome shaped ceiling were most complex structural elements…stone synagogues and Polish mansions may have been prototypes for wooden synagogues; various synagogues show various influence…had enough common features to be regarded as an integral architectural phenomenon…characteristic features: soft plasticity of lines, high, shingle roofs, modest facade…synagogues compared to Carpathian architecture…Jews immigrated to Eastern Europe from the West in the sixteenth century…160,000 in fifty cities and towns by the end of the century…many synagogues built in Poland…largest number of Jews in southeast Poland [Carpathians]; copied local style and it spread…pre-partition Poland allowed Jews self governing bodies; these ordered standardized forms of synagogues; style spread…quick establishment of style gave sense of stability and cultural autonomy…synagogues were nearly always square…entrance always from west or north…Ark at east or south, opposite entrance; bema, along same axis, in center…high, multi-tiered roofs…interiors had various vaults and domes, paintings, carvings…interior metal and embroidered decorations described…exteriors were reserved; interiors were unrestrained…this mixing of styles can be found throughout Jewish art…local administrators governed synagogue construction in minute detail…separate facilities and separate entrances for women, maybe in annexes or upper stories…cheder s and administrative buildings might be separate or connected…five synagogue types are suggested, based on their construction: late 17th to 18th c. beam framework with square prayer hall; 17th to 19th c. western annex and synagogue under same roof; 18th to 19th c. synagogue, western annex, and gallery under same roof; second half of 18th c. synagogue with towers on western facade; second half of 18th c. synagogue with hall surrounded by one story or two story annexes, no towers…described in greater detail; examples provided…buildings were not static; constantly added to and altered, usually annexes were altered, not main hall …painted ceilings were most unrestrained…interiors described in detail and examples given: domes, paintings, engravings, color choices, motifs of paintings, wood carvings, niches, Arks, bemas…influences from Jewish tradition, folk art, Ukrainian monumental painting, etc. considered.

 

Zuk, Radoslav. "Endurance, Disappearance and Adaptation: Ukrainian Material Culture in Canada" pp. 3-20 in Visible Symbols: Cultural Expression among Canada's Ukrainians Manoly R. Lupul, ed. Edmonton: University of Alberta, 1984.

 

Overview:

The author, an architect of Ukrainian churches in Canada and a Canadian of Ukrainian decent, discusses material culture, including architecture, and Ukrainian-Canadians. Argues that, at first, a typically Ukrainian material culture existed in Canada, but, now that new techniques have been adopted, there is no typically Ukrainian material culture in Canada, except in churches. An intriguing discussion on the deracination of white ethnics in North America; combines a hard headed analysis of ethnic kitsch and admission of the irrelevance of peasant culture to urban hyphenated Americans with a Romantic call for a return to the essential folk and folk aesthetic. Argues for the creation and retention of a Ukrainian-Canadian material culture through the study and adoption of abstract relations found in Ukrainian folk art. Includes seven color plates and one black and white plate of churches and office buildings; two plates are of Ukrainian-Canadian churches Zuk has worked on.

Main Points:

Material culture is the best indicator of a country or community's cultural position…basic source for archaeological research…reflects broadest spectrum, not merely exceptional people or elite…culture of daily existence…material culture is the best way to judge contribution of elite artists to society…though practical, items of material culture may possess the same elements of high art like music and poetry…first Ukrainians in Canada brought few possessions, but a centuries-old capability…in Canada they made embroidered linens, tools, sickles, flails, forks, furniture, white washed log houses, thatched roofs -- just like home…then there was a Ukrainian material culture in Canada…it has since disappeared…"It would be difficult, perhaps even impossible, to see a man's embroidered sheepskin coat worn to the office in Edmonton or Saskatoon" …material culture is "governed by the exercise of individual and collective choice"…factors affecting this choice are listed…there are three modes in the design and manufacture of material culture: self-made, commissioned, and mass produced…Ukrainian-Canadian material culture was self made; today, even commissioned items are rare…the quality of an object is determined by: relevance of content, timeliness of style, excellence of form…what is acknowledged as "Ukrainian culture" cannot be practiced today…culture must be practiced to be true; must be part of daily existence…Ukrainian culture is identified as agrarian; there is no interest in or knowledge of urban traditions…ethnic Canadians of other backgrounds, Italian, for example, can hearken back to an Italian urban life…Ukrainian culture is limited to fixed events, e.g.: a folk dance, Christmas, or possibly an hour in church on Sunday…there is a reliance on superficial symbols, e.g.: Cossack dance, pysanka, church domes -- all "substitutes for a meaningful contemporary cultural experience"…mediocrity is fostered "for the sake of obvious, blatant symbolism: the numerous churches that are parodies of Ukrainian architecture, the printed embroidery patterns on crockery, blue and yellow ball point pens; flirting Cossacks on calendars, the kovbasa, holubtsi and pyrohy [sausage, dumplings, and pierogies] which, judging by the various posters and other announcements of students events, are some of the most popular identification symbols among the young"…"It is of fundamental importance to distinguish between the basic cultural characteristics and their modes of expression. The essence of cultural character is abstract in nature" and found in: shapes, lines, rhythms, proportions, textures, colors, preferred by "a specific native cultural temperament" expressions of "cultural temperament" embody these characteristics…folk costumes are not only the result of "a native preference for a specific set of patterns and colors, but also an adaptation to a characteristic shape of face, hair growth, body build, set of postures and movements"…"folk culture...cannot be transformed; it can only evolve" mass produced culture can be transformed…reviews transformations of Late Gothic style in high architecture from France, Spain, England, Germany…world styles are transformed in each country…to create a Ukrainian-Canadian material culture, Ukrainians could buy mass produced items: cars, towels, houses, which "exhibit abstract characteristics closest to the Ukrainian cultural temperament" "manufacturing opportunities might arise"…objects which express these qualities could be commissioned, including clothing and hairstyles…however, "a distinctly Ukrainian contemporary urban home, while possible, is incomprehensible to most Ukrainians…"'How could one build a thatched roof house as one's city home?'"…absorption of abstract relationships "occurs through immersion in folk culture, where they exist in basic form" "participation in various modes of folk culture is essential" in order to best make "everyday cultural choices" "a culture of significance must be in the forefront of contemporary universal cultural evolution "... urban manifestations are necessary…there is no non-ethnic, "neutral 'international' culture"…"culturally specific manifestations of universal values" are the goal, a la Bela Bartok, Alvar Aalto, and Emilio Pucci.

 

Zuk, Radoslav. "Architectural Significance and Culture" Canadian Ethnic Studies XVI, 3, 16-26.

 

Overview:

The author, an architect of Ukrainian churches in Canada and a Canadian of Ukrainian decent, discusses his theories of how buildings can achieve significance through appropriate exploitation of the culture of the people who will use them. Includes sketches of an eleventh century stone church and of a seventeenth century wooden church in Ukraine, a sketch of a proposed Ukrainian church in Toronto, and a photo of a Ukrainian church in Winnipeg.

Main Points:

"A building is fully significant only when it responds to the entire range of key architectural considerations...organization, presence, and image, relating to the functional, the absolute and the expressive aspects of architecture, respectively. The image should reflect the building's purpose, its time in history, the region where it is located and the people who use it" …the author's works attempt to "create an image expressive of a house of worship, of the second half of the twentieth century, of the peculiarity of the Canadian landscape and of the cultural temperament of a specific segment of the Canadian population…by means of a typically Ukrainian proportional and rhythmic geometric structure inherent in the building outline"…"All architecture of real significance is ethnic. Not only indigenous folk architecture…but also commissioned buildings"…refers to Florentine, French, Spanish and Italian high architecture as ethnic and folk…a brief review of architectural styles in Ukraine…argues against direct copying of whole buildings or isolated features…discusses building's intended purpose, time it is built, places where they are built, and people who will be using them (worship, twentieth century, Canada, Ukrainian-Canadians) as they impact his work…discusses typical Ukrainian proportions and rhythms as they influence his work.

 

Copyright 2004, Danusha V. Goska

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Last Update: 02 Jan 2012                                                                                                         Copyright © 2003-2012, Bill Tarkulich