Pysanka Exhibit



From the guide:  This is another case of modern pysanky.  Many are similar to those in case #9, but a few interesting variations should be pointed out. 

The first is the group of pysanky on the side facing the entrance.  These are unusual because they are written on brown eggs.  Traditionally only the whitest eggs were used for pysanky so as to produce the most vivid colors; most colors look muddy over brown  This set of pysanky do not use much color, except for red which, when paired with black on a brown eggs, produces a beautiful effect. Even eggs with only black as a final color look quite stunning when the design is intricate.

Also on this side you can see an interesting egg: on the third shelf, at the far left, is a white egg with red and brown leaves on it.  This egg uses a combination of pysanka and etching techniques.  A pysanka is written and then, before removing the wax, it is treated with a strong acid, which eats away at the shell.  This is similar to the technique used for white pysanky, except that the egg is etched much more deeply, producing a three dimensional effect.  This technique has become more popular in recent years.

On the far side of this case are a set of pysanky referred to as “Trypillian,” named after the neolithic civilization that existed in Ukraine from app. 5000 to 2750 BC.  That culture created beautiful pottery with flowing curvilinear designs in white, black and ochre.  In recent years pysankary (pysanka artists) in North America have taken to writing these pottery designs on eggs, creating beautiful, modern works of art.  You can see examples of these designs on white and brown eggs.  Rather than the geometric precision of traditional pysanky, these have intertwining curves and a relentless energy.  Animals and human figures are often depicted in a stylized fashion.

  Case 9: Diaspora 1        Case 11: Large Eggs

Case 10: Diasporan Pysanky

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