In the period of Kyivan Rus' valuable private collections belonged to the Kyivan, Galician-Volhynian, and appanage princes. The only artifacts that could be seen by the general public were the artworks gracing cathedrals and monasteries and those held in sacristies. Many churches in Ukraine amassed large collections of artifacts. The sacristies of the Saint Sophia Cathedral, the Kyivan Cave Monastery, the Saint Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Chernihiv are known to have contained priceless collections. Incursions by nomadic tribes and internecine fighting among the princes caused considerable damage to those holdings. The greatest losses were sustained during the Mongol-Tatar invasions of the 13th century, which only individual artifacts survived. In the 14th to 17th centuries countless ornamented implements and artworks were assembled in the castles of magnates and on the estates of lords. Many of them were destroyed in the uprisings of the mid-17th century. For subsequent times, lists of holdings in the collections of various palaces, including paintings, furniture, and decorative tableware, are extant. The renewed accumulation of artifacts was a reflection of the Ukrainian national and cultural revival in the 18th century. The most distinguished patron of the time was Hetman Ivan Mazepa. In the late 18th century a numismatic collection already existed at the Basilian school in Uman. In 1809 an archeological collection was opened in Mykolaiv. Similar museums were opened in Teodosiia (1811), Odesa (1825), and Kerch (1826). Of them the Odesa Municipal Museum of Antiquities had the most valuable collection; it later became the first public museum in the Russian Empire. Formal schools of museology were established in the late 18th and early 19th century. The first museum to be established in Kyiv was the Archeological Museum at Kyiv University (est 1835). The Church-Archeological Society at the Kyiv Theological Academy organized the Kyiv Museum of Church Antiquities, with a large and valuable collection of artifacts (approximately 20,000), in 1872. In Western Ukraine, priceless collections of icons, old manuscripts, tapestries, coins, archeological artifacts, and folk art were assembled by the Shevchenko Scientific Society (founded in 1873, its collection opened as an independent museum in 1914), the Stauropegion Institute (founded in 1788, its collection opened as a museum in 1889), and the National Museum in Lviv (reorganized in 1908 from the church museum of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky)... Learn more about museums in Ukraine by visiting the following entries:


MUSEUMS. Institutions for art objects, antiquities, and other cultural goods that have been divested of their sacred and functional qualities. In museums they serve the secondary purposes of preservation, classification, and education. Ukrainian museum development in central and eastern Ukraine reached its zenith in the 1920s. The country's museums consolidated, organized, and exhibited perhaps the finest examples of Ukraine's cultural heritage. In 1923 the Kyiv Museum of Church Antiquities was transferred to the Kyivan Cave Monastery, and in 1926 the All-Ukrainian Museum Quarter was established there which was later reorganized as the Kyivan Cave Historical-Cultural Preserve. The role of a national Ukrainian museum was assumed by the All-Ukrainian Historical Museum, founded in 1924 with the collections of the Kyiv City Museum of Antiquities and Art. Other prominent museums included the Kharkiv Museum of Ukrainian Art and the museum of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. In the Stalinist terror of the 1930s all the aforementioned institutions, as well as a substantial number of lesser ones, were liquidated, and their employees were persecuted and arrested. During the interwar period, Ukrainian museums were maintained systematically and continued to develop only in Western Ukraine and in the diaspora. Western Ukrainian scholars established a network of regional studies museums, encompassing the Hutsul region, Boiko region, Lemko region, and Sokal region. In Prague the Museum of Ukraine's Struggle for Independence was founded in 1925...



NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF UKRAINE. The central art museum of Ukraine. It was founded in 1936 when the holdings of the All-Ukrainian Historical Museum were divided into a historical and an art collection. The former became the basis of the Kyiv Historical Museum (now National Museum of the History of Ukraine), the latter of the Kyiv State Museum of Ukrainian Art, which was renamed Kyiv Museum of Ukrainian Art in 1953. From 1954 to 1964 a collection of Ukrainian folk art, which became the Kyiv Museum of Ukrainian Decorative Folk Art, constituted a branch of the Kyiv Museum of Ukrainian Art. In 1994 the museum was granted a national museum status and assumed its present name. It is divided into three sections: old Ukrainian art, 19th- and early-20th-century Ukrainian art, and the Ukrainian art of the 20th century. The first encompasses artistic works from the 12th to the 18th centuries: rare icons, 17th- and 18th-century portraits, folk paintings of Kozak-Mamai, and fine prints and samples of the earliest Ukrainian sculptures. The second section, devoted to the 19th and early 20th centuries, contains some valuable works of the portraitists Dmytro H. Levytsky and Volodymyr Borovykovsky; the works of Taras Shevchenko and his followers; the paintings and portraits of Oleksander Murashko; the landscapes of Serhii Vasylkivsky, etc. The 20th-century art section features paintings done in the 1920s and 1930s by such masters as Vasyl H. Krychevsky, Fedir Krychevsky, Oleksander Bohomazov, Mykhailo Boichuk, Davyd Burliuk, Alexandra Ekster, Viktor Palmov, and many others. The museum holds about 40,000 items...

National Art Museum of Ukraine


NATIONAL MUSEUM IN LVIV. A museum in Lviv, founded as a church museum in 1905 by Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky. It was expanded, named the National Museum in 1909, placed under the authority of independent curators, and moved in 1911 to the building bought by Sheptytsky. In 1939 to 1990 it was called the Lviv Museum of Ukrainian Art. Before the Second World War, the National Museum had departments of archeology, folk art, church antiquities, modern Ukrainian art, monuments of cultural history, numismatics, and sphragistics; a major library; and an invaluable collection of over 1,600 manuscript books and 2,400 early printed books. The folk-art department boasted a valuable collection of 17th- and 18th-century kilims, Easter eggs, tapestries, and embroidery. The church antiquities department housed the largest extant collection of 14th- to 18th-century Galician icons, wooden engraved crosses, and iconostases. The modern Ukrainian art department possessed works of 19th- and early 20th-century painters, such as Alexander Archipenko, Mykhailo Boichuk, Oleksa Novakivsky, and many others. Under Soviet rule, in the 1940s, the National Museum's historical, numismatic, sphragistic, and archeological collections were transferred to the Lviv Historical Museum; part of its folk-art collection was transferred to the Ukrainian State Museum of Ethnography and Crafts; and the collection of paintings by Western European masters was transferred to the Lviv Art Gallery. In 1952 over 2,100 artworks, including sculptures by Alexander Archipenko and paintings by Mykhailo Boichuk, and 4,500 books were confiscated as 'ideologically harmful' by local Communist Party officials and destroyed. Today the National Museum contains over 100,000 objects...

National Museum


MEMORIAL MUSEUMS. During the 20th century many museums dedicated to the lives and contributions of prominent figures were created in Ukraine, usually in buildings where the persons so honored had lived or worked. Besides over 25 state-funded literary memorial museums dedicated to prominent Ukrainian writers, other state-funded museums were established to commemorate (1) scholars and scientists, such as the Dmytro Yavornytsky Museum in Dnipro (est 1964) or the Hryhorii Skovoroda museums in Skovorodynivka near Zolochiv, Kharkiv oblast, Chornukhy, Poltava oblast, and Pereiaslav; (2) artists, such as the Ilia Repin Museum in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv oblast (est 1969) or the Oleksa Novakivsky Museum in Lviv (est 1972); (3) composers, such as the Viktor Kosenko Museum in Kyiv (est 1964) and the Mykola Lysenko Museum in Kyiv (est 1980); (4) actors and performers, such as the Les Kurbas Museum in Staryi Skalat, Ternopil oblast (est 1988) or the Solomiia Krushelnytska Museum in Bila, Ternopil raion (est 1963); etc. The most numerous are the literary memorial museums featuring collections of documents, manuscripts, printed works, monuments, photographs, and personal effects of noted Ukrainian writers usually established in buildings where those writers lived. Among them the Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky museums in Vinnytsia (est 1927) and Chernihiv (est 1935); the Nikolai Gogol (Mykola Hohol) Museum in Velyki Sorochyntsi, Poltava oblast (est 1929); the Taras Shevchenko National Museum in Kyiv (est 1949); the Ivan Franko Literary Memorial Museum in Lviv (est 1940); the Olha Kobylianska Museum in Chernivtsi (est 1944); and many others. A few are also preserves, such as the Lesia Ukrainka Museum-Homestead in Kolodiazhne, Kovel raion, Volhynia oblast (est 1949)...

Memorial museums


REGIONAL STUDIES MUSEUMS. Cultural, educational, and scientific institutions that collect, preserve, exhibit, and study monuments of a region's natural, archeological, ethnic, artistic, and political development. In Ukraine museums of regional history appeared in the 19th century: in Mykolaiv (1806), Odesa (1825), Kerch (1826), Kyiv (1835), Katerynoslav (1849), Chernivtsi (1863), Simferopol (1887), Kherson (1890), Poltava (1891), Lviv (1893), and Chernihiv (1897). Their basic collections consisted of artifacts from archeological excavations; those were supplemented gradually with historical, ethnographic, natural, and artistic materials. The first founders of such museums were Oleksander Pol, Oleksander Lazarevsky, Filaret Gumilevsky, and Dmytro Yavornytsky. During a period of official suppression of Ukrainian culture the regional studies museums reminded people of Ukraine's rich historical legacy. After 1917-18 new regional studies museums were organized from the collections of various associations, church communities. They developed rapidly in the 1920s, but during the Stalinist terror of the 1930s many of them became inactive, and some were closed down. Regional studies museums are divided into two main groups: state museums, which are fully government-supported, and community museums, which are funded by a local community. The latter group are run by volunteers who are concerned about the preservation of cultural monuments. In 2005 there were 115 state regional studies museums in Ukraine. The more important ones are in Poltava, Rivne, Kherson, Luhansk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Cherkasy (est 1918, five branches, 106,000 exhibits), Zaporizhia, Khmelnytskyi (est 1925, four branches, 57,000 exhibits), Odesa (est 1955, seven branches, 50,000 exhibits), and others...

Regional studies museums


MUSEUMS OF FOLK ARCHITECTURE AND FOLKWAYS. The name of skansens or open-air museums in Ukraine. Open-air museums were introduced in Sweden in 1891 as offering an effective way of preserving folk architecture. By 1982, they had spread from there, and numbered more than 2,000 in Europe alone. In Ukraine there are 5 central and over 20 local and regional open-air museums. Most of them were built in the 1970s and 1980s on the model of foreign museums. Considered an important educational source, they are state-supported. Ukrainian open-air museums are devoted mostly to peasant cottages, with their furnishings and farm buildings, from the 19th and early 20th century. Churches, bell towers, schools, artisans' workshops, mills, and related structures occupy an important place in the museums. Virtually all of the buildings are original; replicas or reconstructions are the exception. The farms are stocked with livestock and fowl, and fields are planted with the local grains and vegetables. Trees and wild plants typical of the region are maintained. Women in regional folk dress take care of the artifacts on display, and craftsmen, such as weavers, smiths, potters, and shingle makers, demonstrate old techniques in the workshops. These activities convey an impression of daily life. The museums often host concerts, festivals, souvenir markets, and thematic exhibits. The largest museum of folk architecture and folkways in the former USSR is in Kyiv. Its construction began in 1971 on a 150-ha site in a forest and park zone of the Pyrohiv district in Kyiv. The Lviv Museum of Folk Architecture and Folkways occupies 67 ha of the Shevchenko Park. Its territory is divided into eight historical-ethnographic zones. Each zone includes 15 to 20 buildings which constitute a distinctive miniature village...

Museums of folk architecture and folkways

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