Olena Kulchytska was born in 1877 in the town of Berezhani. She studied art in Lviv (1901—1903) and Vienna (1903—1907). Her works were first exhibited in 1909 in Lviv, and later she represented the Ukrainian graphic arts at the salons of Kiev (Kyiv), Cracow, Poznan, Warsaw, Vienna, Berlin and Stockholm.
The artist’s creative work was inseparably linked with the life and history of the Ukrainian people. Her oils are attractive by their original coloring and in the way the artist handles the theme and subject matter in them. The harmony of the pure, clear, and sunny palette of her water-colors is very impressive. Her etchings are executed with a deep understanding of the potentialities of the material and display a high craftsmanship in conveying artistic conception through simple technique.
Kulchytska’s book illustrations deserve special interest. All her life she had been illuminating the works of Ukrainian classics, ancient folk epics, school books, fairy-tales, etc.The artist made a significant contribution to Ukrainian decorative art with her artistic enamelling, jewelery, ceramics, carpet-making, weaving, and modelling. She always insisted on utilizing folk art traditions in modern art. Together with her sister and associate, Olga Kulchytska, Olena was an ardent collector, researcher and popularizer of folk art.
Many years of her life she devoted to pedagogical activities first at secondary schools, and then, as a professor at the Fedorov Polygraphic College of Lviv. Olena Kulchytska took an active part in the social life of her country. She was twice elected deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR.
The versatile artistic legacy of Olena Kulchytska became a valuable contribution to Ukrainian culture. Her life, which she wholly devoted to the arts (she died in 1967 at the age of 90), is a fine example for the younger generation, in whose memory Olena Kulchytska remains a subtle lyric, a wise philosopher and great artist.