National Art Museum of Ukraine

National Art Museum of UkraineNational Art Museum of UkraineNational Art Museum of UkraineNational Art Museum of Ukraine

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6 Grushevskogo St.
Kiev, Ukraine

Type: Art

National Art Museum of Ukraine was constructed in 1898, by architect Vladislav Gorodetsky, the building was originally designed as the museum for the local society of patrons of arts and antique lovers. The facade of the building conveys a classic architecture form - precise reproduction of a six-column porch of Doric order with entablature, triglyphs, metopes and frieze decoration depicting the Triumph of Arts. The architectural composition featuring figures of gryphons and large concrete lions at the top of the stairs were created by an Italian sculptor, Emilio Sala.

Originally called the Kiev City Museum of Antiques and Art, the founders set out to put together a collection of pieces representative of Ukrainian fine art. Ranging from medieval icons to portraits of military and church leaders during Cossack times, some depicting caricatures of Mamay. Present time famous artist works included those of Taras Shevchenko, Ilya Yefimovich Repin, Vladimir Borovikovsky, Vasily Andreevich Tropinin, Mykola Pimonenko, Mikhail Vrubel, Nikolai Ge, and Oleksandr Murashko among many others.

After World War I, the museum also served as the Museum of History. One of the memorable expositions displayed an old trophy tank, which was lended by the Triple Entente to the White Army.

After World War II the museum changed its name and exposition, and returned to what it's known now, presenting art. The collection began to grow, with Ukrainian art coming from all areas of Ukraine like Galicia. The directors obtained Ukrainian art from Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as Ukrainian artists living abroad in Europe and America. However, during Stalin's repression, this activity was seized, and a big part of the collection was dispersed and hidden.

During Ukrainian independence, the museum reached a status of international recognition. For the first time, its collections traveled outside of the country and were exhibited in Canada, France, Denmark, and Croatia.

Today, the museum continues to expand its collection. Some new additions include a unique icon relief of St. George and works by the international Kiev born pioneer of Geometric abstract art Kazimir Malevich.

The current exhibition includes over 20 thousand pieces. Among many are works by a now world renown constructivist Vasiliy Yermilov, and Cubo-Futurist Alexander Bogomazov. The Ukrainian side is depicted in works of famous Ukrainian and Russian artists such as David Burliuk, Aleksandra Ekster, Vadim Meller, Kliment Red'ko Solomon Nikritin, Victor Palmov, Maria Sinyakova, Mikhail Boichuk, Mykola Pymonenko and many others.

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