Україна: Ukraine - The Maniichuk-Brady Collection
Україна: Ukraine - The Maniichuk-Brady Collection of Socialist Realist Art features works by Ukrainian artists painted during the decades following Stalin and preceding the fall of the U.S.S.R. (1953-1991). Initiated by Stalin, artists throughout the Soviet Bloc were classically trained in realist and socialist realist styles, and commissioned to create works portraying an idealized existence behind the Iron Curtain. Upon Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the official art of the Soviet period was discredited as propaganda and the paintings were subjected to systematic destruction.
In the mid-90s, Jurii Maniichuk, a Ukrainian-American working for The World Bank in Kyiv, began collecting these endangered works. The exhibit Україна (Ukraine in the Cyrillic alphabet) showcases a portion of the nearly 150 Ukrainian works rescued and conserved due to Maniichuk’s efforts.
The collection encompasses political and military themed works, as well as portraits, still-lifes, landscapes, and depictions of regional Ukrainian industry from the 1950s through the 1980s.
After Maniichuk’s passing in 2009, his wife, Rose Brady now carries on her husband’s vision to preserve and share the collection. In the autumn of 2015, The Florida Gulf Coast University Library was honored to exhibit a sample of the museum quality collection that Jurii Maniichuk believed so vital to protect.