Ukrainian Stained Glass

Fig. 1 The History of Energy, Mykola S. Linnyk (1986), Chernobyl nuclear plant, Ukraine. © Chris Price, Creative Commons

Fig. 1 The History of Energy, Mykola S. Linnyk (1986), Chernobyl nuclear plant, Ukraine. © Chris Price, Creative Commons

On 19 April 2022 the Worshipful Company of Glaziers in London hosted an extremely successful fundraising webinar led by Dr Oksana Kondratyeva who introduced an international audience of over 200 to the stained glass of her native Ukraine. Dr Kondratyeva’s lecture, reflecting fieldwork and research undertaken with the support of a Glaziers’ Company Arthur and Helen David travelling fellowship in 2016, was a poignant exploration of cities and sites whose names have been made all too familiar to her audience through news of the Russian invasion. While the riches of the churches of Lviv, many of them protected in situ, are relatively distant from the front lines of the conflict, the fate of stained glass in cities like Kharkiv remains uncertain. In 2016 Oksana was able to celebrate the remarkable survival of Mykola S. Linnyk’s 1986 scheme on the history of energy in the administrative buildings of the Chernobyl nuclear plant (Fig. 1), installed only three days before the World’s worst nuclear disaster. It may be wondered whether the scheme has also survived the recent Russian occupation of the site. Copies of Oksana’s article ‘New Light on Ukrainian stained glass’, Journal of Stained Glass XL (2016), 18–42, may be bought for £5.00 via the website of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, with all proceeds going to Ukrainian humanitarian relief.

Additional information on the history of Ukrainian stained glass can also be found on the website of the International Corpus Vitrearum, where Vidimus readers will also find guidance notes on the emergency protection of stained glass in wartime, drafted by Dr Ivo Rauch and a small working party of the ICOMOS/Corpus Vitrearum’s International Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Stained Glass. The documents, in Ukrainian and English, drafted at the request of the ICOMOS Emergency Monitoring and Response Working Group, can be downloaded.

The Institute for Conservation has collated numerous useful links to initiatives to help protect and care for cultural herniate in Ukraine:

The Global Heritage Fund and Europa Nostra, the leading citizens’ movement to promote and celebrate Europe’s cultural and natural heritage, invite contributions (in dollars, pounds or euros) to support Ukraine’s cultural defenders:

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