New Exhibit at the Wenham Museum


Support for Ukraine - Pysanky for Peace Project | Exhibit dates: April 16 – June 18

The Wenham Museum will open a new exhibit on April 16 entitled Pysanky for Peace, a traveling exhibition of pysanky, which are elaborately decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs.

The eggs are being made by artists from around the country, many at “Pysanky Parties” hosted by volunteers, and collected by Sarah Bachinger in upstate New York, a 4th generation Ukrainian American and founder of the nonprofit organization Pysanky for Peace.  

In lieu of an exhibit fee, the Wenham Museum is donating funds to Razom, which provides critically needed medical supplies to Ukraine.

“This is a very unusual exhibit model,” said Jane Bowers, the museum’s Exhibitions Curator and Manager.  “Travelling exhibits generally have a fee to cover the costs of curating, shipping, and managing the exhibit. However, in this case, the curator is donating her personal time and effort to raise money for a very worthy cause. We are more than happy to help in her efforts.”

There will be at least 50 pysanky on display.

The eggs are decorated using the wax resist method of dying. Wax is applied to the eggshell in intricate patterns; when the egg is dipped in dye the color only appears on the areas that don’t have wax.

Bachinger will also be teaching participants the egg decorating technique at the Wenham Museum on April 16. There will be two workshops: a morning session for children aged 5-11 which will use cold wax, and an afternoon session for adults and children aged 12 or older which will use wax melted using a candle and a special tool called a kitska to apply it.

Traditionally, Pysanky are made during the Easter season. The legend among the Hutzul people (Ukrainians who live in the Carpathian Mountains) is that the fate of the world depends upon the pysanky.  Evil, which exists in the shape of a horrible serpent who is forever chained to a cliff, sends his minions out each year to see how many pysanky have been created.  If the number is low, the serpent’s chains are loosened and he is free to wander the earth causing destruction. However, if there are enough pysanky, the chains are tightened and good triumphs over evil for another year.

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