Kharkov Museum of Art is one of the oldest and largest museums in Ukraine. Gallery collections include more than 20,000 painting, sculpture, graphic and fine arts items, and are among the most expensive in the country. Exhibitions are held in 25 halls; however, they show only 10 percent of the museum fund. Collection of artifacts was hardly damaged during the World War II - most of the works of art were looted and destroyed.
The museum displays paintings by Karl Briullov, Ivan Aivazovsky, Ivan Shishkin, Vasily Surikov and other prominent Russian painters. It should be noted that Kharkov Museum of Art has the biggest in Ukraine collection of works by Ilya Repin - 11 paintings, including well-known "Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan" and 8 items of graphics. Ukrainian pictorial art is represented by the works of Taras Shevchenko, Sergii Vasylkivskyi, Mykhailo Tkachenko and other artists.
Paintings of the Kharkov Art Museum were exhibited in Germany, Israel, Norway, USA, France, Japan and many other countries.
The museum was established in 1905. Originally, it was called the Municipal Museum of Art and Industry. In 1965, the gallery received its present name.
Museum of Art is one of the major cultural institutions of Kharkov. In addition to exhibits, the museum hosts different lectures and clubs, master classes, concerts, book presentations and creative meetings.
The museum building was constructed in 1912 by prominent architect Aleksei Beketov in the classical style with Baroque elements.