Kiev’s art galleries and museums evolved far beyond the regular exhibition centres a long time ago. They are cultural platforms that promote local art, hold numerous lectures and artsy events, and attract citizens and tourists alike with their vivid diversity and creativity. These are the venues of the Ukrainian intellectuals, who wil introduce you the cultural life of the country in the best way.
Mystetskyi Arsenal is a National Art and Culture Museum Complex and one of the largest museums in Kiev. Monthly, it welcomes various art exhibitions, performances, festivals, music concerts, and, of course, museum exhibitions. The museum also serves as the main location for Ukrainian Fashion Week and becomes a mecca for the most stylish citizens and bloggers of the Ukrainian capital. It is a real crime to come to Kiev and miss any of the inspiring exhibitions at Mystetskyi Arsenal.
In the very heart of Kiev, close to the cosy Taras Shevchenko Park, one can pop into the Museum of Western and Oriental Art. Its founders Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko were Ukrainian patrons. They used to live in an amazing mansion in the Renaissance style on Tereshchenkisvaka Street, where, nowadays, the richest collection of foreign art in Ukraine can be found. The collection of the gallery has 25,000 works, but the core of it is the personal collection of former owners of the mansion.
PinchukArtCentre is considered the main exhibition space for contemporary art in Ukraine. The centre is located in a six-story building, four floors of which are occupied with exhibitions and installations. The gallery is open every single day from 12 pm to 9 pm and is definitely a favorite place for local youth. For them, it is practically the only opportunity to get acquainted with the projects of not only local but also foreign artists of the 21st century. On the sixth floor of the building, there’s one of the best spots for coffee in Kiev called One Love Espresso Bar.
For almost a century now, it has been the largest collection of Russian art in Ukraine, since the Kiev National Museum of Russian Art opened in 1922. The collection includes more than 12,000 paintings in 30 halls, along with sculptures, graphic arts, and crafts. It introduces visitors to the Russian icon painting of the 13th-17th centuries, as well as the collection of masterpieces by artists from the 12th century, realism, and Art Nouveau periods, and continuing up to today.
In the museum’s displays, there are masterpieces of Ukrainian painting, sculpture, and graphics from the era of Kievan Rus to modern times. Despite the fact that the museum was built in 1899, the official opening took place only in 1904. Initially, the museum’s collection was augmented with various items from private collections thanks to the efforts of numerous Kyiv patrons, and later it was extended to an impressive 40,000 works.
Contemporary Art Center M17 is not just a gallery, but a cultural platform. In addition to exhibitions, it often holds lectures, concerts, design events, and fashion shows. In constant collaboration with international artists, Contemporary Art Center M17 is looking to become the core of the contemporary cultural life of the capital, and hence it has been enthusiastically promoting Ukrainian artists and their work since 2010. It is a space that has already hosted the most prominent local contemporary artists such as Aleksandr Rojtburd, Petro Bevza, and Ivan Marchuk, the latter having been featured in The Daily Telegraph‘s list of the Top 100 living geniuses.