A traveler who arrives to Kyiv for the first time might be overwhelmed with the number of museums and art galleries in the capital of Ukraine. Let «Destinations» point you in the direction of the finest art museums and galleries to visit in Kyiv.
Khanenko National Museum
Museum of Western and Oriental Art in Kyiv, also known as the Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko Museum of Art, is the largest collection of foreign art in Ukraine. (Address: 17, Tereshchenkivska street, Kyiv). The museum was founded in 1919 on the basis of Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko private collection. Famous founders of museum's collections Bogdan Khanenko and his wife Varvara always dreamt to open the public museum of art in Kyiv, while collecting works of famous artists and sculptors. The collection of the museum consists of 25 thousands of exhibits and is considered to be the biggest foreign art collection in Ukraine.
Museum of Western and Oriental Art in Kyiv boasts the works of Bosch, Velázquez and Rubens among the many masters represented, but they are only part of the attraction.
The house, with its frescoed ceilings and intricately carved woodwork, alone is worth an admiration. The 'Western' wing of the museum is packed with priceless antique furniture, ancient Greek sculptures, porcelain ceramics and dazzling paintings, such as a version of Hieronymus Bosch's Temptation of St Anthony. The 'Eastern' wing has Buddhist, Chinese and Islamic art.
Read: Winter Art Exhibitions in Kyiv
National Art Museum of Ukraine (6, Hryshevskoho street, Kyiv) was founded over 100 years ago and was first called the City Museum of Antiques and Art. The National Art Museum of Ukraine has the most representative collection of Ukrainian figurative art in the world. Collection of the museum numbers almost 40 thousands exhibits, among which masterpieces of Ukrainian painting, sculpture, and graphics from Kyiv Rus age to nowadays are represented.
Museum has one of the best Ukrainian icon collections. The collection of Ukrainian baroque art is outstanding by its value. Here one can find amazing examples of Ukrainian baroque icons. Vivid and original heritage of Ukrainian avant-garde is represented in the museum by the works of the world-wide famous sculptor Oleksandr Arkhypenko, painters Oleksandra Ekster, Oleksa Hryshchenko, Oleksandr Bohomazov, and Viktor Palmov.
The museum collection is still being formed, and the trends of contemporary art of the end of the 20th - the beginning of the 21st century find their place here.
Museum of Ukrainian Folk Art (9, Lavrska street, Kyiv) is one of the largest art museums in Ukraine. The museum is located in the area of the Kyiv-Pechersk Preserve. It is situated in the former Metropolitan’s chambers with the former inner Annunciation Church. The museum was founded in 1899 and contains over 75 thousand works of folk and professional decorative arts of Ukraine dating back from the fifteenth century till nowadays. Visitors can explore items of authentic Ukrainian decorative arts such as carpet weaving and weaving, embroidery, ceramics, carving and painting, leather working, horn, metal and glass items, porcelain, painted Easter eggs and iconography. The samples of the nineteenth and early twentieth century folk costume from all regions of Ukraine are the gem of museum collection.
Read: Museum of Modern Art of Ukraine in Kyiv
Kyiv is a great place to explore Ukrainian art and culture. With plenty of big and small museums dedicated to arts, the capital of Ukraine offers top exhibitions and the most interesting art events to attend.