Interior Design | Jewish Studies | Other Architecture | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


The catalogue for the exhibition "The Light of the Revival: Stained-Glass Designs for Restituted Synagogues in Ukraine by Eugeny Kotlyar" held at Fordham University from September 10-December 10, 2023 offers a broad perspective on the revival of Ukrainian synagogues after Ukraine’s independence. It showcases three sets of stained-glass windows, which were designed by Eugeny Kotlyar and partially implemented in Ukrainian synagogues in the period from 1995 to 2005. Two early works shown here were the first samples of stained-glass designs for modern Ukrainian synagogues, which set a new trend. The first of them—the stained-glass windows for the Kharkiv Choral Synagogue (1995) on the theme of Jewish Holidays. The second project—an ensemble of stained-glass windows for the Kyiv synagogue in Podil (2002)—focuses Holy Places of the Land of Israel and the Tribes of Israel. The third work highlighting Jerusalem and the Tribes of Israel is a part of the original design of the Torah Ark itself in the Galitska synagogue in Kyiv (2005). In Kotlyar’s artistic vision, the stained-glass window projects the light, turns the metaphysical into the physical, materializes the speculative image, and, ultimately, fills the prayer with color and light.

Eugeny Kotlyar is a professor at the Department of Art History and the chair of the Department of Monumental Paintings at the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts (KSADA). He is also a curator of the Center for Eastern Studies of KSADA and the chair of the Academic Board of the Ukrainian Association for Jewish Studies (UAJS). His research focuses on Jewish art, Jewish heritage in Ukraine, synagogue decorations, and Kharkiv Jewish local lore. Trained as an artist and art historian, Kotlyar designed stained-glass windows for synagogues and Jewish community centers in many cities of Ukraine. In 2022-2023, he was a virtual fellow in the AAJR-Fordham-NYPL Ukrainian Fellowship Program.