Kharkiv Art Museum
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Kharkiv Art Museum

09 Feb 2012 3:56 PM
61002, Kharkov, 11 Radnarkomiska St.
Tel.: (057) 706-33-94, 706-33-95

V.Karazin acquired unique collection of works by Western artists XVI-XVIII centuries.: Holtsyusa, Van Dyck, Dürer, Brueghel and others for the newly established University of Kharkov, which had become the institution of science and art of the European level.

This collection became a catalyst for interest in the study of art. Graduates of the University I.Betskyy and A.Alferov extended university collection up to 3.6 thousand paintings and graphic works by Italian, Dutch and French artists of XVI-XIX centuries.

While numerous reorganizations of museums in Kharkiv (1920-1934 years) the gallery art collection was supplemented with collection of the first in Ukraine Kharkiv City Art and Industry Museum (founded in 1886), unique works of Ukrainian icon painting, painting and graphics, which were kept in the Museum of Ukrainian Art and collection of sugar manufacturer P.Kharytonenko (Volodymyrivska Museum). In 1930 Kharkov art school was destroyed: the fabricated by GPU case of "Russian-Ukrainian nationalist bloc" caused repressions os true Museum devotees. 

The Collection also suffered repression: works of artists of Ukrainian avant-garde were removed from it as "harmful to the socialist ideology" in 1937-1939 years. 

On the eve of World War II Museum, which was then called "Ukrainian State Art Gallery", had more than 75 thousand exhibits and considered one of the best museums in the USSR. But despite the unique value of the collection, it was not even included in the plan of evacuation. Hard efforts of museum workers allowed to rescue about 5 thousand exhibits, the rest was plundered by the Nazis. The Museum building was burned along with the remains of the collection.

Despite huge losses, the museum gradually revived from the ashes. Although today its collection is less than the pre-war, it is still one of the most significant in Ukraine.

The largest part of the collection is a national cultural heritage: unique icons of XVI-XVII centuries, paintings and graphics of famous artists of  XVIII-XX centuries: D. Levitsky, V. Borovikovsky, M. Bashkyrtsevoyi, V. Orlov, G. Narbut, O. Slastona, O. Murashka. Many works of representatives of the Kharkov art school: D. Bezperchomu, P. Martinovich, S.Vasylkivsky, P. Levchenko, M. Tkachenko, I. Repin and S. Serebryakov.

The works of artists of the Kharkiv region of XX century are considerable interest: S. Prokhorov, Constantinople, P. Shyhymaha, A. Khmelnitsky, N. Vergun, V. Hontarov etc.

The section of decorative art includes original items of eastern European porcelain and bronze sculpture, the Ukrainian folk pottery, carpets, embroidery, carving and decorative painting.

Museum lives despite the difficulties of today and expands. Today it includes Parhomivskyy historical and art museum (standalone unit) and the Museum of Folk Art Slobodian (branch). Kharkiv Art Museum hosts every year over 40 exhibits. 

The museum is well known not only in Ukraine but also abroad. An exhibition of the museum's collection takes place in Poland, Germany, USA and Finland.

In 2005 Kharkiv Art Museum celebrated 200 years of its collection.

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