Address: 29, I. Mazepa Str., Kiev
Phone: +38 (044) 280-52-10, 288-92-68.
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 17:30
Closed: on Monday.
This is one of the most interesting collections of Ukrainian national rarities. In the six halls of an old governor`s house near Kiev Pechersk Lavra more than 15 thousand exhibits have been collected: painting (folk painting, 500 wonderful icons, professional painting, graphics), national materials (towels, vishyvankas, clothes, carpets), ceramics (makitras, pots, bowls, toys), folk musical instruments (kobzas, banduras, dulcimer, Guzul pipes, wheel lyre), collection of painted Easter eggs and, finally, the memorial department, which tells about creative work of the founder of the museum, the sculpture and the artist Ivan Gonchar. Personal library of the Master contains over 2 thousand books.
Ivan Gonchar (1910 – 93) is a public figure, a sculpture and a painter. He started to gather his collection at the end of 1950th. Travelling about Ukraine for four centuries, he found and stored items of folk art of Kiev, Zhitomir, Poltava regions, Donbas, Podolye, Podnistrovye, Halychyna, Bukovina and Transcarpathian region.
The unique collection of national art, which became the base of the private museum, was the result of Gonchar`s devoted work. At the time when state museums were totally socialist realism oriented, Ivan Gonchar`s museum represented Ukrainian national culture, in particular, national art without ideological restrictions and censorship. The collection became widely-known abroad. Tens thousands of visitors visited the museum, which became the center of the movement of “the people of the sixties”.
Creative heritage of the painter includes sculpture (about 400 units), portrait gallery of historic characters and figures of Ukrainian culture, genre compositions, sketches to monuments, small plastic art. Ivan Gonchar`s painting and graphics section numbers over 1000 works, created by the artist during his trips around Ukraine. On the basis of the collected material Gonchar created a series of historic-ethnographic albums, in which he depicted the original universe of Ukrainian nation: old photos of people in national costumes, portraits of outstanding figures of culture, local scenery, customs, art and ethnographic monuments.
When you get into the museum, you feel as if you were in the world of the past decades and centuries, in the surroundings where national traditions funny in their naivety and humorous didactics interpret the world in a simple and plain way. It`s been only several decades since these works decorated our grandmothers` rooms. There portraits of Shevchenko, numerous “Mamai Cossacks” and “Natalka Poltavkas”, improvisations on the subject “Galya is bringing water” and “Meetings by the well”, many kind and pretty views, genuine in their sincerity. They were saved from death in quiet of dusty attics by Ivan Gonchar − one of the most outstanding sons of Ukrainian nation of the last century.
In September 1993, after the painter`s death, the State Ivan Gonchar museum was officially founded. Ukrainian center of national culture was founded on the base of the museum in 1999.