Lubow Wolynetz

Lubow WolynetzLubow Wolynetz preserves cultural traditions of her native Ukraine at the Ukrainian museum on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and fosters appreciation of those traditions by teaching embroidery and other arts and crafts to NYC students of all ages and cultures from all over the world. “For Ukrainians,” Lubow says, folk art “is the creativity of self-taught people who have no professional background. It is important because folk art, traditions, and language are what kept our identity and helped people preserve themselves as a distinct ethnic group." It was in a displaced persons camp in Germany after World War II that she learned some of these skills, from her mother, and also from a teacher in the camp’s elementary school. “The teacher had a suitcase filled with embroidery samples, and my dream was to have a suitcase like that.” After the war, Lubow and her family came to New York City, where she continued her education, earning a B.A. in Slavic languages and history from Hunter College and an M.S. in library science from Columbia University. After working for nine years as a researcher in the New York Public Library’s Slavic Division, and taking time off to marry and raise two sons, she began working at the Ukrainian Museum when it was founded, where she started educational courses in traditional baking, embroidery, Pysanky (the Ukrainian decorated Easter eggs) and other traditions. Named curator of folk art at the museum in 1989, she continues to curate exhibits and remains the beloved teacher of embroidery and festive Ukrainian baking.




Interviewed by Rachel Bernstein, video by Kuji Banks.

Awards Ceremony

Video by Kuji Banks.

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