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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

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Museums in Kiev > State Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema of Ukraine

 

Photo1. Maria Zankovetskaya.

Photo2. Interior of the museum.

Photo3. Scene from Macklen Graç by M. Kulish staged by Berezil theater in 1933.

 

State Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema of Ukraine is located in the area of the Kiev-Pechersk Preserve. It is the only museum of its kind in our country. In 1923 the museum collection was started by legendary art theater "Berezil" actors, led by the brilliant director Les Kurbas. The collection was marked brightly with the national character from the first day of its foundation. Kurbas planned to collect as many items as possible related to both the academic and the folk theater of Ukraine.

In 1926 Berezil was recognized as the best theater in Ukraine. The company was moved to the then capital of the republic to Kharkiv. Then the gathered collections were transferred to the department of history and philology of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. The collection was updated constantly. And in 1927 it was opened to the public. The first exposition was divided into four parts: the school theater, amateur theater, national theater, the general theater and revolutionary theater. Thematic exhibitions, guest expositions (sometimes they were organized abroad) and the museum library were organized.

Many of the exhibits were sent to the museum funds in the 1930s, in particular, during the repression against the Berezil theater company.  Many of the exhibits were sent to the museum funds during the subsequent ideological "cleansings" too. But luckily almost all of the exhibits have been preserved. Since the 1960s a new replenishment of the museum has been started. It was provided basically in its music collection. Then museum management made big efforts to save the ancient folk instruments as they were doomed to extinction in the province. The oldest musical instrument in the collection was made in the 18th century. The unsurpassed collection has been collected in the museum. There are 600 musical instruments in the collection. Some of them like for example hurdy-gurdy, kozobas, simfonion are very exotic musical instruments.

There is a unique violin made by "Ukrainian Stradivari" Luke Maryanenko in the museum collection. In 1910 the violin was made of wood. Then it was seasoned in the normal drying of 25 years. And finally the violin was covered with golden-amber reddish varnish. Inside the violin you can see the lithographic portrait of the master and the image of ten medals which he received at various contests.

There are many unusual exhibits such as a Vertep puppet theater, props and costumes belonging to Ukrainian theater geniuses, Maria Zankovetska’s dressing room as well as theater artists’ sketches.

Conferences, scholarly meetings, presentations, public meetings, as well as lectures on the history of Ukrainian theater and cinema are provided in the museum regularly.



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