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College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Oleszkiewicz Researches Feminine Symbolism in Art

October 24, 2016

Professor Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba has recently spent five weeks in the Ukraine and Poland, conducting research for her Fall 2016 Faculty Development Leave project, “Continuity of Feminine Symbolism in Popular Art from Prehistory to the Present.” She visited eight museums and cultural centers, collected materials, interviewed experts, and documented their collections of both prehistoric Tripolyan culture objects and designs, and nineteenth to twenty-first century collections of embroidered ritual cloths (rushnyky), woven kilims, decorated Easter eggs (pysanki), ritual breads, embroidered folk costumes, paper cut-outs (wycinanki) and furniture ornaments, among others. Her findings prove that there is a striking persistence of design patterns since the Neolithic era and beyond, through millennia, up to contemporary East-Central European and Near Eastern popular art. Currently, Dr. Oleszkiewicz-Peralba is reviewing her findings in order to publish an extensive article on this topic, which later will be expanded into a work that includes Asia, and the Americas.  


On October 11, 2016, Texas Folklife Resources from Austin, TX, filmed an interview with Dr. Oleszkiewicz-Peralba for a documentary on Santa Muerte, one of the topics of her recently published book, Fierce Feminine Divinities of Eurasia and Latin America: Baba Yaga, Kali, Pombagira, and Santa Muerte. Next week she is scheduled to appear on Texas Public Radio as an expert on this topic.

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