Money, Sovereignty and Power: The Paper Currency of Revolutionary Ukraine, 1917-1920 (2013)

In the wake of the Great War, from the detritus of imperial collapse there emerged a new political order of nation-states. Amongst the newly established entities there appeared an independent, sovereign Ukraine. From the outset, Ukraine was the object of invasion and its survival was in doubt. Nevertheless, in the search for legitimacy, extraordinary efforts were made to affirm the state’s sovereign, national character. This was to be accomplished by consciously connecting with Ukraine’s historical past both to invoke precedence and encourage a narrative of political continuity. The symbols introduced in the currency of Ukraine during this revolutionary period were examples of this process. The exhibit “Money, Sovereignty and Power: The Paper Currency of Revolutionary Ukraine” documents this process, describing the use of symbols in the currency produced by various successive governments during the period of the Ukrainian Revolution.

Curated by Professor Bohdan Kordan, this exhibit is organized by the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan in co-operation with the Ukrainian Museum of Canada and the Oseredok Museum and Art Gallery of Winnipeg. Created as a travelling exhibit, the exhibition initially opened September 2013 at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada (Saskatoon) and then subsequently traveled to Winnipeg (Oseredok), Edmonton (St. John Institute Art Centre), Victoria (University of Victoria Art Gallery), Calgary (University of Calgary Nickel Art Gallery), Lethbridge (Galt Museum and Archives), Yorkton (Godfrey Dean Art Gallery). The exhibition run concluded in New York April 2017 at the Ukrainian Museum of New York.

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