National Museum of Taras Shevchenko presents oeuvre and career of Member of Emperor’s Art Academy, Ukrainian painter, poet, philosopher, civil activist.
The idea of creation of the museum appeared right after the death of the poet, when his friends started to collect carefully everything that was connected with him and his work.
In 1933 on the ground of Ukrainian literal museum in Kharkov, was made a Gallery of paintings of T. Shevchenko, which started its work from 1934. In April 1941, in Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, Central museum of T.G.Shevchenko was opened, but its’ activity was frozen as the Great World War began. In 1941 funds of the museum were evacuated to Novosybirsk, but some of the exhibits stayed in Kyiv.
After the war, museum was reopened in 1949. Now in it’s show rooms the originals of T.Shevchenko’s paintings are presented, which brought him the fame of one of the major painters of Russian Empire. Here are presented personal belongings of the artist, which were preserved by his friends, numerous original works of Taras Shevchenko, archive materials about time of his study in Academy of Art in St. Petersburg and his work as a member of Kyrylo-Mefodiivske Association, rare photos of the poet, publications with inscriptions.
Besides creative heritage of T.Shevchenko, in a museum are represented pieces of pictural and graphical art of his contemporaries – K.Briulov, V.Shernberg, M.Lavrov, M.Sazhyn, I.Sokolov and originals of famous portraits, created after poet’s death by I.Repin, S.Vasylkivskiy, F.Krychevskym and others.
Building on Tarasa Shevchenko boulevard, where modern museum is situated, in the second part of XIX century belonged to Tereshchenko family – famous philanthropists and collectors of art pieces. Sugar giant and philanthropist Mykola Tereshchenko bought it in 1875. On a demand of the new owner reconstruction of the building was made in renaissance style. After that, building that was built in 1840s transferred to beautiful palace and a pearl of Kyiv. In vast halls of his manor Mykola Tereshchenko placed collection of fine arts, which included paintings of I.Aivazovskiy, I.Shyshkin, I.Repin, V. Vereshchagin. After revolution of 1917, Tereshchenko family emigrated abroad; building was expropriated and handed over to state ownership. After the war, when question of museum of T.Shevchenko arose, exactly this architectural monument was chosen. Right here, in a building, where Taras Shevchenko might have been, on April 24, 1949 was opened State museum of T.G.Shevchenko. April 31, 2001 museum was given the status of national.