Nash Holos: Faina Petryakova


The Faina Petryakova Center for Judaica and Jewish Art was set up to commemorate the life of Faina Petryakova – a scholar and a passionate defender and promoter of Jewish art.

Petryakova was born in 1931 in Old Buxov (now in Belarus) into a Jewish family. Her father was an officer and her mother was a nurse. She studied Russian philology at Lviv University and art criticism in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Petryakova was an extraordinary person. She was very popular among her colleagues, and also with critics and artists. She was popular not only because of her flamboyant nature, beauty and charm, but above all because of her knowledge, her passion for her work, and her outstanding work ethic.

She was a professor at the Lviv Academy of Arts and senior researcher in the Lviv department of the Folklore Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, where she earned her doctorate in art history.

In 1990, she curated the first exhibition of Jewish work in the Ukrainian SSR. The exhibit was a unique event. Having spent most of her life living under a political system that forbade and supressed an open display of Jewish collections, Petryakova wanted to make her collection available to the public.

The exhibition, “Jewish Traditional Art of the 17th - early 20th centuries”, was displayed at the Museum of Ethnography and Art Crafts in Lviv. The exhibition also traveled to Moscow and Kyiv.

Petryakova passed away in 2002. She left behind a remarkable scientific legacy worthy of her stature as a renowned scholar in such fields as Ukrainian glass, porcelain, ceramics and Ukrainian Judaica.

The Petryakova Center has prepared several of her numerous articles for publication. Efforts to restore and display Petryakova’s vast collection of Jewish art and artifacts is a continual work-in-progress.

The Center is located at 14/ 4 Mendeleyeva street. To find out more about Petryakova and her work, visit the Center’s web site.

Until next time … Shalom! 

Narrated by: Renata Hanynets

Listen to the program here.

Ukrainian Jewish Heritage is brought to you by the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE), a privately funded multinational organization whose goal is to promote mutual understanding between Ukrainians and Jews. Transcripts and audio files of this and earlier broadcasts of Ukrainian Jewish Heritage are available at the UJE website and the Nash Holos website.

Photo:  Wikipedia