Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

A school where special mystery dwells

The Lviv Ivan Trush College of Decorative and Applied Arts turns 140
31 October, 2016 - 18:11
Photo replica by Pavlo PALAMARCHUK

Vira Svientsitska, Osyp Kurylas, Olena Kulchytska, Anton Monastyrskyi, Sofia Karaffa-Korbut, Emmanuil Mysko, Roman Selskyi, Zenovii Flinta, Borys Voznytskyi, Ivan Marchuk, Mykola Butovych, Oleksa Shatkivskyi, and many other noted artists studied at this art institution of Lviv, and very names of them speak volumes about their alma mater.

This institution was founded in Lviv in December 1876 by the Education Ministry of Austria-Hungary as Modeling and Drawing School, which launched professional art education in Lviv and Galicia. The educational institution has seen several reforms in its history. Now the Lviv Ivan Trush State College of Decorative and Applied Arts is celebrating its 140th anniversary. It is headed by Vasyl Otkovych, a well-known Lviv-based restorer, Honored Figure of Arts of Ukraine, a National Taras Shevchenko Prize winner.

The college is one of the few which, by right, age, and traditions of specialist education, deserve to be called a true School, a School in the broadest sense of the word. Graduation projects of its alumni adorn various points in the city and oblast of Lviv and many other cities of Ukraine.

Every day, the college’s classrooms and studios are filled by about 400 young people who hone the facets of their talent and derive skill and experience from their teachers, a pleiad of renowned artists who combine artistic and teaching work.

When the problem of icon restoration arose in Lviv and Ukraine as a whole, the college began to train restorers. Three years later, the Academy of Arts also began to teach this specialty, and the problem of a shortage of restorers in Ukraine was solved in a few years’ time.

The current problem is a need for stone, metal, and wood restorers. As a rule, foreign specialists are invited to do this work. The Lviv Ivan Trush College can train this kind of restorers but it is short of area for classrooms and studios. A few years ago, a 100 sq. m. building was vacated at 7 Svientsitskoho St., in front of the college. The college management sent a letter to the city fathers, asking them to place this structure at the college’s disposal so that it could open the necessary departments there. This correspondence had lasted for several years, and, just on the eve of its anniversary, the college received a letter from the City Hall, saying that a structural unit of the Lviv City Council was in bad need of these premises. As you can see, the Austrian authorities constructed two buildings for the college, while the patriotic authorities of Lviv thus responded to the urgent needs of this educational institution.

In spite of everything, the Lviv Ivan Trush College of Decorative and Applied Arts is marking its anniversary. On this occasion, Lviv hosted two exhibits of artworks – made by college students at the Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Artisanship, and made by teachers at the National Andrei Sheptytsky Museum on Drahomanov St. At these exhibits, one could really touch on the eternal mystery of art that dwells in the old Austrian premises.