The Faina Petryakova Scientific Center for Judaica and Jewish Art has been set up to commemorate the life of Faina Petryakova – a passionate defender and promoter of Jewish art, and a great scholar.
Faina Petryakova was born in 1931 in Old Buxov (now in Belarus territory) into a Jewish family. Her father was an officer and her mother was a nurse. She studied Russian philology at the Lviv University and art criticism in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Faina 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, a Doctor of Art History, and senior scientist at the Lviv Department of the Folklore Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine., where she earned her doctorate.
In 1990 she curated the first exhibition of Jewish work in the USSR. The exibition was a unique event in the 90s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Having spent most of her life living under a political system that forbade and supressed an open display of Jewish collections, Ms. Faina wanted to make her collection available to the public.
The exhibition, titled Jewish Traditional Art of the 17th -early 20th century , was displayed at the Museum of Ethnography and Art Crafts in Lviv. The exhibition also traveled to Moscow and Kyiv.
Doctor 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.
At the Centre, we are currently preparing her numerous articles for publication. As well, our efforts to restore and display Doctor Petryakova’s vast collection of Jewish art and artifacts is a continual work-in-progress.
You are most welcome to visit The Center in Lviv the next time you are in our beautiful city. It is located at 14/ 4 Mendeleyeva street. As well, I invite you to visit our web site to find out more about Doctor Faina Petryakova, the Center, and our work.
Until next time … Shalom!
-Narrated by: Renata Hanynets
Faina Petryakova Center in Lviv, Ukraine