The Glory of Ukraine

Part I: Sacred Images from the 11th to the 19th Centuries — The Icons from the Monastery of the Caves

Most commonly a flat panel painting, an icon is a religious image used for devotion and often believed to possess miracle-working abilities. Deriving from Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism, icons depict holy beings or objects such as Jesus, Mary, saints, angels, or the cross. The exhibition presents more than 80 objects, which, in addition to some of the finest icons from the extensive holdings of the Monastery of the Caves, include some truly exceptional liturgical objects: chalices, ceremonial and altar crosses, silver gospel covers, and textiles displaying masterful needlework and embroidery.

About the Monastery of the Caves
The Monastery of the Caves, the oldest Orthodox Monastery in all of Eastern Europe, fuses nature with man-made structures created over nine centuries. The 57-acre site includes buildings, churches, and residential structures, as well as two unique cave complexes with underground labyrinths over 656 yards long. Created in 1051, the monastery, in Ukrainian, is called Kyiv-Pechersk — Kyiv for the location (Kiev) and Pechersk for the Ukrainian word for caves: pechery. The Monastery of the Caves is often referred to with the term “Lavra.” Lavra is the highest honor given to monasteries, and the Monastery of the Caves received that designation in 1159.

Part II: Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations — Artifacts and the PlaTar Collection

The artifacts in this section of the exhibition are from the private PlaTar Collection of thousands of objects from ancient civilizations that populated modern-day Ukraine. Of particular significance are a number of objects that date to the Trypilian culture. Considered the greatest city of "Old Europe," Trypillia was the center of Neolithic pre-civilization, boasting some 15,000 inhabitants as early as 5,000 BC, and pre-dated the rise of the Romans, Chinese, Greeks, and Egyptians.

Other cultures represented in the exhibition include the ancient horse-riding, nomadic groups — the Cimmerians of Indo-European and the Scythians of Iranian origin (known for their gold objects), Sarmatians (an Iranian people flourishing from the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD), Greeks, Celts, Goths, Huns, and the Khazar (a semi-nomadic Turkic people). Featured objects include stone, flint, and copper tools and weapons; pottery and other ceramic materials; bronze sculpture; extraordinary transparent glass, bronze, and silver vessels; an exquisite silver headdress and gold jewelry, including pendants, rings, bracelets, and necklaces with precious stones; and objects of Christian worship that include relics, a gold chalice, and crosses. 

What's Pictured: (Above, Top) The Dormition of the Mother of God of Kyiv-Pechersk, second half of the seventeenth century, Icon Painting Workshop of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Kyiv, wood, gesso, tempera, silver, Collection of the Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve; (Above, Right) Large Painted Vessel, 3500–2900 BCE, Ukraine, Cherkas'ka region, Trypillia CII, ceramic, PlaTar collection  

In cooperation with the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) and with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States and the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, The Glory of Ukraine is presented by the Foundation for International Arts & Education (FIAE) (Bethesda, Maryland). 

Thanks to Our Sponsors


Suzanne & Walter Scott   ~   Gail & Michael Yanney
Douglas County
Robert H. Storz Foundation



Contributing Sponsors 


The Adah and Leon Millard Foundation  

Supporting Sponsors


Fran and Rich Juro


Additional Support provided by