The museum was founded by the efforts of the Ukrainian intelligentsia at the end of the 19th century as the first public museum in Kyiv. The museum building was designed by Moscow architect Pyotr Boytsov (Tereshchenko’s mansion) in neoclassical style. The project was finalized and the work was supervised by the famous Kiev architect Vladislav Gorodetsky (Franko’s Theatre, St. Nicholas Church, Karaite Kenassa, house with chimeras). The sculptural decoration of the facade was made by the workshop of Elio Sal (he also worked on the building of the Karaite kenassa, the house with chimeras, Ukrainian Opera church).
The first exhibition on the occasion of the All-Russian Archaeological Congress opened in the unfinished premises of the Kyiv City Museum of Antiquities and Arts in August 1899. The official opening and consecration of the institution, which received the name of the Kiev Art and Industrial and Scientific Museum named after Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich, took place on December 30, 1904.
In 1919, after nationalization, the museum became known as the 1st State Museum, since 1924 – the All-Ukrainian Historical Taras Shevchenko, since 1936 – the State Ukrainian Museum, since 1939 – the State Museum of Ukrainian Art. During the German occupation of Kyiv in 1942, the museum was merged with the collection of Russian art under the general name of the State Museum of Eastern European Art, in 1944 the previous status of the museum was restored. The change in the names of the museum reflected the complex processes of the life of the country and certain stages in the formation of the domestic museum business. In particular, by the names one can trace how the profile of the collection changed, and how individual parts of the primary assembly departed to become the basis for the birth of other museums in Kyiv.
The last name of this institution – the National Art Museum of Ukraine – appeared in 1994 during the independence of the Ukrainian state, showed the high status of the museum as the leading collection of domestic art, which still remains the spiritual treasury of our country, its pride and wealth.
The funds of the National Art Museum of Ukraine currently have more than 40,000 exhibits, among which are masterpieces of Ukrainian and foreign painting, sculpture and graphics from the times of Kievan Rus to the present day. The museum has one of the richest collections of iconography in Ukraine (Volyn icon of the Mother of God, St. George with life). Also presented are classical examples of painting of the 19th century, the Ukrainian avant-garde, the latest trends in painting of the period of the 20th-21st centuries.
Where is the National Art Museum of Ukraine located?
Mikhail Hrushevsky street, 6
Wed, Thu, Sun: 10:00 – 18:00, Fri: 12:00 – 19:00, Sat: 11:00 – 19:00, Mon, Tue: closed