Ukrainian in the USA

KHOLODNY, Petro (artist)

Ukrainska abetka

[Ukrainian ABC]

Publication: Knyhospilka, New York, [1954-60s].

KHOLODNY, Petro (artist), Ukrainska abetka

Very attractive and remarkably rare ABC, created by a son of the Ukrainian Minister of Education. A fine example.

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Our Notes & References

Extremely rare production by the Ukrainian diaspora: we could not find any other copy in libraries or on the recent market.

Attractively illustrated, by the son of the Minister of Education of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, Petro Ivanovych Kholodny (1875-1930). Petro Kholodny (1902–1990) junior was born in Kyiv, moved west with his family in 1920, received his art education at the Ukrainian Studio of Plastic Arts in Prague and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 1950, he moved to the USA where he became an honorary member of the Ukrainian Artists’ Association. While mainly creating icons, stained glass windows and mosaics, Kholodny also was a book artist and a long-time illustrator of the children’s magazine Veselka, published since 1954 under the initiative of the Ukrainian People’s Union in the USA.

The ABC uses full pages to illustrate each letter using a Ukrainian word, with each double-page showing a bright, rotating dominating colour (orange, green, yellow…).

The edition was prepared by the “Knyhospilka” Publishing Company, founded in New York by a doctor in the Army of the Ukrainian People’s Republic during the Ukrainian Revolution, Anton Bilous (1892-1955). During its work in 1954-68, the publishing house produced series of fundamental works by major Ukrainian writers, including a 15-volume edition of Mykhailo Hrushevskyi’s scholarly works, a 20-volume collection of Ivan Franko’s works, as well as series of books by Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, Nikolai Gogol and Lesya Ukrainka.


Balynsky O., Krilov I. “Knyhospіlka u Niu-Iorku: Dokumentalnii spogad” // Vizv. shliah, 1976. Ch. 2, 3, 4.

Hordynsky, Sviatoslav. “Kholodny, Petro P.” // Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).

Item number



Physical Description

Octavo (17.5 x 14 cm) 33 pp. including the lower pastedown, all illustrated in colour, all printed on card.


Original publisher’s colour illustrated wrappers of thick card, printing details to upper pastedown.


Wrappers a bit creased, discoloured and stained, esp. spine, but without loss, in fine, fresh condition inside with only the odd minor spot.

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