Unveiling the Beauty and Significance of Ukrainian Jewelry

Online Lecture: Unveiling the Beauty and Significance of Ukrainian Jewelry

Presented by: Olga Oleksenko, Founder of the Strong & Precious Art Foundation

April 25, 7:00 PM E.T.

This lecture is presented through the Association of Jewelry Historians and the Related Arts (ASJRA). To register, email Elyse Karlin at ekarlin@usa.net.


During this lecture, Olga Oleksenko will delve into the distinctiveness of Ukrainian jewelry art. Throughout the centuries, jewelry in Ukraine served not only as an aesthetic or social status symbol but also carried profound meanings and concealed messages.

Drawing upon illustrations from the vast collection of the Treasury at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine, which boasts an impressive 56,000 golden and silver artifacts, Oleksenko will demonstrate the enduring tradition of imbuing Ukrainian jewelry with profound ideas.

The lecture will cover two prominent themes in the historical context of Ukrainian jewelry. Firstly, the exploration of life and dignity, ranging from ancient solar symbols of the Cimmerians (650 BC) to contemporary designers’ creations, like burned yet vibrant spikelets. Secondly, the discussion will touch upon the theme of the fight for freedom, an essential aspect of a dignified life. This journey spans from intricacies in the Scythian Golden Pectoral, invisible to the naked eye, to the contemporary representation of FREEDOM encoded in binary code within a necklace crafted by a modern artist.

The essence of the Ukrainian nation traces its roots back to the tribes of the nomadic Scythians, Slavs with agrarian roots, and the militant Cossacks. This inherent spirit found its encoded expression in jewelry of the past. Today, contemporary Ukrainian artists continue to embody these time-honored ideas in precious materials.

The lecture has been prepared with the invaluable support of Iryna Udovychenko, Senior Researcher at the Treasury of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine.

About Olga Oleksenko

Olga Oleksenko is a distinguished figure in the realm of Ukrainian jewelry and Founder of the Strong & Precious Art Foundation. With a passionate commitment to promoting the rich heritage of Ukrainian jewelry art and showcasing contemporary Ukrainian jewelry brands on the global stage, Olga has played a pivotal role in elevating the presence of Ukrainian craftsmanship internationally.

Starting the nonprofit in 2022, Olga Oleksenko has been a prominent representative of Ukrainian jewelry brands at prestigious exhibitions worldwide. Her endeavors have taken Ukrainian jewelry to acclaimed events such as GemGen√®ve and NYC Jewelry Week, providing a platform for Ukrainian artists to shine on an international scale. Additionally, the Foundation organized an auction at Sotheby’s to raise funds for a rehabilitation center in Ukraine.

A connoisseur of jewelry, Olga Oleksenko brings to the lecture a wealth of knowledge as a curator of private jewelry collections and an art collector. With a career spanning over 12 years, she served as the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique director in Kyiv, later taking on the role of brand ambassador in Ukraine.

Driven by a deep appreciation for the historical significance of Ukrainian jewelry, Olga established the Strong & Precious Art Foundation to showcase the depth of the Ukrainian jewelry school and propel its story onto the global stage. Her lecture will be a captivating exploration into the uniqueness of Ukrainian jewelry, unraveling centuries of tradition and innovation that have shaped this captivating art form.

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