In 1922 in Kiev was opened an art gallery. This event marked the fifth anniversary of the October revolution. The exhibition was based on national art values, and most of them were items from Russian art and culture.
The most valuable exhibits of the gallery were the items from a private collection of Tereschenko family, who were major philanthropists and industrialists. They donated the most remarkable items to the gallery: art, graphic and sculpture masterpieces that were created in the late XIX century by famous artists.
A lot of artists were personal acquaintances of the Tereschenko family, and this is how works by I. Shishkin, N. Kramskoi, N. Yaroshenko, I. Repin, Vasnetsov brothers, V. Polenov, M. Vrubel, P. Fedotov, V. Vereshchagin, M. Antokolsky and many other artists ended up in the gallery.
Over time the collection was enhanced by gifts from other museum. Gradually a chaotic collection of art turned into a completed exhibition. The first catalogue of the gallery, which was created in 1928 by its head A. Dakhnovic, contained over 300 works.
In 1930 the gallery was given a national status. At that time it featured Russian and modern Ukrainian art. Moreover, a department of Western European, Ukrainian and Russian graphic was opened, and that made the profile of the gallery even vaguer. That is why in 1936 the gallery was turned into Kiev state museum of Russian art. Its funds consisted of works by famous artists of XIII – early XX centuries.
In 1941 most of the exhibits were evacuated to Ufa, and the remaining exhibits did not survive the war: about 1500 exhibits that included antique icons, works by Aivazovsky, Levitan, Shishkin, Vrubel, Petrov-Vodkin and other famous artists were taken out of the country by occupants.
After the war the funds were gradually restored due to the state policy, as well as collectors and philanthropists. The department of Soviet art grew, and exhibitions became more regular.
Nowadays the museum has a large collection, and part of the collection is represented by works of Ukrainian artists.
Address of Museum of Russian art: Tereschenkovskaya street, 9.