Taras Shevchenko Museum of Canada
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Museum Building

Taras H. Shevchenko
Museum & Memorial
Park Foundation

1614 Bloor St. West
Toronto Ontario
M6P 1A7
Tel: 416-534-8662
Fax: 416-535-1063



Taras Shevchenko National Museum
Address: 12 Taras Shevchenko Boulevard, Kyiv, 01004, Ukraine
Telephone: +380 (44) 224-90-87
Website: http://museumshevchenko.org.ua

Literary Memorial House-Museum of Taras Shevchenko
Address: 8-A prov. Shevchenko, Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine
Telephone: +380 (44) 228-35-11

"Hata na Priortsi" (The House on Priorka)
Address: 5 Vyshhorodska Street, Kyiv, 04074, Ukraine
Telephone: +380 (44) 432-76-27
Museum open Tuesday to Saturday.

Shevchenko Memorial Museum on Taras' Hill
Address: Kaniv, Cherkasy Province, 19000, Ukraine
Telephone: +380 (4736) 42368, Fax: 42086
Email: TarasovaHora@ck.ukrtel.net

National Preserve "Taras Shevchenko Homeland"
Director: Lyudmyla Shevchenko
Address: Shevchenkove Village, Zvenihoridsky Region, Cherkasy Province, Ukraine
Telephone: (04740) 9-53-49, 2-01-28
Email: zapov_shevchenka@meta.ua

"Museum of 'Kobzar' by Taras Shevchenko"
Address: Cherkasy, 37 B. Vyshnevetskoho Street, 18000, Ukraine
Telephone: (0472) 35-41-05
Museum open Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm, Admission free.

"Museum of 'Zapovit' by Taras Shevchenko"
Address: 08400, Kyiv Region, Pereyaslav - Khmelnytsky, 8 Shevchenko Street, Ukraine
Telephone: (04567) 5-41-03, (04567) 5-42-03
Website: http://www.thisisukraine.org/index.php/uk/what-to-see/24-muzei/390-muzej-zapovitu-tshevchenka.html
Museum open every day, 9 am to 5 pm.

Museum "Courtyard House of Taras Shevchenko" in Yahotyn
Address: 69-A Nezalezhnosty Street, Yahotyn, Kyiv Region, 07700, Ukraine
Telephone: (04475) 5-36-36

Russian Federation

Taras Shevchenko Museum in the Academy of Arts
Address: 17 Universitetskaja Naberezhnaja, St. Petersburg, Russia
Telephone: (812) 323-61-69, 323-6496; 323-35-78
Website: www.museum.ru/M1780
Email: m1780@mail.museum.ru
Museum open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm by appointment only.

Taras Shevchenko Museum in Orsk
Address: 33 Shevchenko Street, Orsk, Russia
Telephone: (3537) 25-66-42

Taras Shevchenko Museum - Guardhouse in Orenburg
Address: 24 Sovetskaja Street, Orenburg, Russia
Telephone: (3532) 77-46-50
Website: http://orenlib.ru/index.php?dn=kray&to=art&id=25
Museum open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm.


Taras Shevchenko Museum in Fort Shevchenko
Address: 7 Maya Uly Street, Mangystauskaya Region, Fort Shevchenko, Kazakhstan
Telephone: (729) - 382-2333
Email: fort.muzei@mail.ru

Taras Shevchenko National Museum (Kyiv)

The Taras Shevchenko National Museum was founded on the basis of the former Shevchenko Art Gallery in Kharkiv, and the Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian Historical Museum in Kyiv. The museum's collection is of unique value, comprised of Shevchenko's original works of art, documents relating to his life and creations, the copies of his hand-written manuscripts, rare photos of the poet and his friends, first printings of Shevchenko's writings, including his autobiography, almost all of the poet's published works, literature about him, beginning with that which came out during his lifetime, and with later and contemporary works from his homeland and that published in foreign lands.

Over four thousand exhibits are placed within the museum's 24 halls and rooms. There are over 800 original paintings, portraits, illustrations, etchings by Shevchenko, the poet's personal objects, photocopies of his manuscripts (26 oil paintings, 522 watercolours, pencil drawings and etchings, 166 memorial objects, 533 pieces of singular archival concerns, such as Shevchenko's autographs, and erection of Shevchenko monuments, and much more.)

The museum's book-fund consists of 34, 867 items, of which 8181 directly relate to Shevchenko. The works of artists-painters, sculptors, writers and composers, in which Shevchenko's life and creativity is reflected, are also featured in the exhibit halls. The art of: K. P. Briullov, I. Repin, V. Tropinin, I. Kramskoy, V. Shternberg, I. Sokolov, M. Bashylov, K. Trutovsky, L. Zhemchuzhnykov, I. Soshenko, M. Mykeshyn, S. Vasylkivsky, M. Samokshyn, O. Slastion, F. Krasytsky, I. Yizhakevych, V. Kasian, M. Derehus, K. Trokhymenko, M. Khmelko, and others. There are works by sculptors, F. Kamensky, P. Klodt, V. Beklemishev, F. Balavensky, I. Kavaleridze, M. H. Lysenko, I. Makahon, P. Movchun, V. Znoba, and others is on display.

In several other halls, material, including translations of the poet's works in many foreign languages, is exhibited and attests to the world the importance of Shevchenko's creative genius.

Literary Memorial House-Museum of Taras Shevchenko (Kyiv)

The house where Taras Shevchenko lived for a period of about one year (1846 - 47) is one of the most interesting nineteenth century buildings still standing in Kyiv. It is also the first Literary and Memorial Museum dedicated to the poet.

The house was built in 1835 in an old part of Kyiv called Kozyne Boloto (Goat Swamp) by a minor official, Ivan Zhytnytskyi. Taras Shevchenko, then an official artist of the Kyiv Archeographic Commission, took up residence in 1846 and lived here for about a year. During this time he wrote poetry, worked on his landscape paintings, met friends and travelled to various parts of Ukraine with the Archeographic Commission as part of his duties. The Russian painter Mikhail Sazhin and the Ukrainian writer Oleksandr Afanasiev-Chuzhbynskyi, who in his memoirs wrote of this period in the poet's life, were living in the same building with Shevchenko.

After Shevchenko's death, the building was maintained with private effort. In 1918, when an inventory of cultural monuments was being made, Vasyl Krychevskyi, then a professor at the Kyiv Arts Institute started a campaign to open a museum dedicated to Taras Shevchenko. Under the leadership of Krychevskyi and according to his project of the building reconstruction, the installation of the first exhibit was begun in 1925. The well-known literary scholar Volodymyr Mijakowskyi was participating in the project. The opening of the first Shevchenko Museum took place on November 10, 1928.

During World War II the original exhibits of the Museum were evacuated to Novosibirsk, along with the holdings of the State Shevchenko Museum and the Tretiakov Gallery. After Soviet forces retook Kyiv in 1944 the Museum resumed its work. The building and its grounds were restored in various stages in order to maintain the spirit and style of Shevchenko's time. On August 4, 1980, the Kyiv city administration officially designated the Museum a State Monument of History and Culture.

The Museum exhibition consists of two parts: a memorial, which presents the room and studio where Taras Shevchenko lived and worked, and a literary-artistic part which relates his stay in Kyiv and elaborates on the role of this house in his life and work as a poet and artist. The exhibition contains original items - Shevchenko's etchings and personal belongings, his clothes, engraving tools, editions of his Kobzar with his autographs, water-colours by his colleague Mikhail Sazhin, paintings by contemporary artists and nineteenth century prints of Kyiv.

The Museum stands in the very centre of the city and anyone who enters its grounds has a chance to revisit Kyiv of the mid-nineteenth century.

"Hata na Priortsi" (The House on Priorka)

Not many people, including the residents of Ukraine's capital, know that in Kyiv there are three Taras Shevchenko museums. Two are situated in the very heart of the city, and the third, in its suburb. The great poet, during his last stay in Ukraine, lived in the third for two weeks in 1859.

The museum is named "The House on Priorka". When Taras Shevchenko returned to Ukraine in 1859, this was to be his third and last encounter with his native country. His wish, for some reason, was not to settle in the centre of the city, as was stated in the first biography of Shevchenko, written by Mykhailo Chaliy, but to take lodging in Priorka, a suburb of Kyiv. Actually, Priorka was a historical district of Kyiv, mentioned in the documents of the Kyiv magistry, and in the Historiography of Kyiv by Mykola Zakrevsky. The name is derived from the word "prior", the dominant Catholic priory (monastery), and to whom, at one time, all this land belonged. In the surrounding vicinity, which was entirely similar to a village (with wooden houses and cherry orchards), the people worked, as a rule, at market gardening, fruit cultivating, and sold their products in Kyiv's market places. In 1834, Priorka became a city, and its residents, called townsfolk (middle-class citizens), continued to carry out their own dealings. It could be said, that Shevchenko was attracted to this picturesque place by its orchards and gardens, or, possibly, he simply did not want to be in "eye's view". As the landlady of the house, Varvara Matviyivna Pashkovska stated that, when asking about the lodging, he said, with ever so much originality, "I walked, and walked, and I sighted a house, not a manor-house, not a peasant house, but one so white, white as cream, with an overgrown orchard. In the courtyard, children's shirts were drying, their sleeves waving - calling out to me. So, I entered. Would you consider taking me as a lodger, and put me into debt for I have no money? I will settle with you - they will send me money from Petersburg." Vavrvara Pashkovska was an educated woman and knew Taras Shevchenko's poetry. For her entire life, she was extremely proud that Shevchenko himself was renting a room in her house. Her humble reminiscences about the poet are full of sympathy. She recalled that Shevchenko's favourite dishes were borsch, buckwheat perogy with cheese and millet kasha. She also recalled that he liked to wake up before sunrise and enter the kitchen asking the hostess to sing a nice folk song. Here the visitor sees Taras Shevchenko as a sincere, warm and open hearted person who could win over local residents - especially their children, of whom he was very fond . He told them stories and gave them candy, gingerbread, bublyky and nuts.

"The House on Priorka" became a subsidiary of the Shevchenko National State Museum in 1989. It became a cultural core of the Podil district of Kyiv. The Museum depicts Shevchenko, the person, upon the background of Kyiv of that period. On display are photographs, documents and common household items of that time. The museum conducts personal exhibitions, children's art exhibitions, contests, poetry evenings and other events.

Shevchenko Memorial Museum on Taras' Hill

The memorial museum on Taras' Hill is part of the Shevchenko national preserve, opened in 1925. It covers an area of 42 hectares including the sacred place of Ukraine's nation - the burial grounds of Taras Shevchenko, "Tarasova Svitlytsia" (the first folk museum of Kobzar, built with people's money in 1884, originally, a house where a sitekeeper lived), and the Memorial Museum dedicated to the poet's memory. The building of the Memorial Museum designed by architects Vasyl Krychevsky, who is considered an author of Ukrainian architectural modern style, and Petro Kostyrko was built in 1935 - 37. Architects designed a palace-museum associated with the image of a white Ukrainian house where a genius of the Ukrainian nation was born and raised and which he never built on the shores of Dniper River in Kaniv. High-ceiling rooms were beautified with Ukrainian decorative murals, wooden ballusters on the second floor and parquette floors.

The museum's collections count over 20,000 unique items including Taras Shevchenko's original engravings, rare editions of his poetic works, valuable archive documents, photographs, audio and video materials, Shevchenko memorabilia as well as art works of prominent Ukrainian artists including art works by Vasyl Krychevsky.

Major renovation of the building took place in 2003 - 2010. First, it was decided to renovate the existing building with maximum approximation to the original architectural plan. However, the work completed in 2010 had serious deviation from the concept of Vasyl Krychevsky and Petro Kostyrko.

Tarasova Svitlytsia

Original look of the Memorial Museum

Modern look in Galleries


National Preserve "Taras Shevchenko Homeland"

Today, Taras Shevchenko's birthplace (as is written, "In that region the land lies close to heaven") incorporates three villages of Taras' childhood, where young Shevchenko's cradle rocked: Moryntsi, Kerelivka (since 1929, renamed Shevchenkove), and Budyshchi.

The basis of the present National Site (functioning since 1992) was the literary-memorial museum in the village of Kerelivka, which opened in 1939 on the farmstead of Taras' parents. It was there that he took his first footsteps, recognized people, firstly himself and later the world. Another part of the National Site is two houses in the village of Moryntsi. One is a reproduction of the house where Shevchenko was born. Another house is a house of Yakym Bojko, Taras's granfather. These houses stand side by side, and are a symbol of the beginning of his life. It so happened, that although Taras was born in Moryntsi, his parents moved to Kerelivka when he had not as yet reached two years of age. Here, the young Taras lived till the age of fourteen. The museum, situated in the village of Shevchenkove (former Kerelivka), features exhibits of articles which belonged to Taras' parents: a table and bench from their house, a stone from his father's grave, and articles that belonged to his older brother, Mykyta.

Taras Shevchenko's first "university", the deacon's house, also has been saved. This architectural relic from the second half of the 18th century has now been restored, and occupies the historical centre of the village. The building was the property and old summer residence of Pavlo Englehardt, who owned the village during Taras' childhood. Englehardt was a military man who came here, to central Naddniprianshchyna, to rest, hunt, and to replenish his "positive energy". Actually, it was particularly within the building's comfort that fourteen year-old Taras was taken to serve as a "kozachok" - a personal servant.

While living in St.Petersburg, Taras Hryhorovych travelled to Kerelivka three times.

Deakon's House

Literary Memorial Museum in Shevchenkove (former Kerelivka)

Interior of the house in Moryntsi

'Museum of the “Kobzar” by Taras Shevchenko' (City of Cherkasy)

This museum is the only one in the world dedicated to one book - Taras Shevchenko's "Kobzar". Opened in May, 1989, it is situated in a historically-designated building in which Taras Shevchenko lived with the Tsybulsky family from April 18 to 22, 1859, which is duly recorded on the memorial plaque on the building's exterior. The museum reflects the history of the various collected editions of Shevchenko's writing, the origins of his creative work, the illustrations to his poetry, and his "Kobzars" in different translations. An initiator of the creation of the Museum and its director is a great great great granddaughter of Taras Shevchenko on his brother, Mykyta's side, Olha Sharapa.

Shevchenko's "Kobzar", by which the whole world knows him, was not first published in its entirety. The first edition that was published in St. Petersburg in 1840, with the assistance of Yevhen Hrebinka, included only eight of his first creations: Perebendya, Kateryna, Ivan Pidkova, Topolia, Dumka, Do Osnovyanenka, Tarasova Nich, and the poem, Dumy moyi, which was written specifically for this edition. Dumu moyi, became an epigraph, not only for the first edition of" Kobzar", but also for Taras Shevchenko's entire creative works.

Of all the editions published during his lifetime, the first "Kobzar" received the greatest attention: fine paper, handy format, and clear type. A remarkable feature of this "Kobzar" is the book's opening etching-illustration of a folk singer-kobzar with a young lad-guide, done by V. Shternberg. This illustration, not as an unrelated subject, but as a generalized image of a kobzar, gave the collection its name. This etching, which faced the title page, created the required atmosphere which would attract a reader to the picturesque world of the Taras Shevchenko's poetry. The publication and appearance of the first "Kobzar", even in its tsarist censored form, achieved tremendous literary and national importance. Only a few copies of T. H. Shevchenko's 1840 "Kobzar" have survived worldwide, and that is why one of them is the pride of the Cherkasy museum.

Another valuable edition which came into existence during the poet's lifetime, the 1860 "Kobzar", is also exhibited in the museum. It was published by Platon Symyrenko (Shevchenko became acquainted with him in the village of Mliyiv during the time of his last trip across Ukraine in 1859). P. Symyrenko, a sugar-factory owner in Ukraine, and a patron of literary arts, allotted 1100 rubles for the publication of this "Kobzar". This edition was considerably fuller than the previous one. It contained 17 masterpieces, and a portrait of T. H. Shevchenko. It truly enhances the entire collection.

In addition to these books, many costly and less-rare editions of Shevchenko's masterpieces are on display. They all differ as to the number of poems included, the completeness of texts, illustrations, as well as the quality of the printing process. The museum's funds contain large collections of Shevchenko picture postcards, badges, medals, posters, and other items, which are exhibited periodically. The museum's unique distinctiveness lies in its simple, as if in a bookshop, manner of displaying its considerable collection of Shevchenko publications, which are accompanied by documents and material relevant within the context of one or another edition.

The museum is beautifully decorated with wood, which harmoniously enhances the displays with a refined, calm and natural atmosphere.

'Museum of “Zapovit” by Taras Shevchenko' (Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky)

Former mansion of a doctor Andriy Kozachkivsky, built in 1820, now is a Museum of "Zapovit" of Taras Shevchenko. In this place in the night of December 24, 1845, the poet wrote his immortal Zapovit (My Testament).

Taras Shevchenko was fortunate enough to meet many remarkable personalities, something he invariably spoke about with gratitude and pride. Those with whom he developed close personal relationships included Andriy Kozachkivsky whose affectionate friendship the poet valued all his life.

A professional physician, Kozachkivsky graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Medicine and Surgery in 1835. Back home from a trip round the world, he was catching up on news in literature and arts and thus came across the almanac Lastivka (The Swallow) edited by Yevhen Hrebnka. There he read Taras Shevchenko's poems for the first time and was greatly impressed by their simplicity and strength. He asked his Ukrainian countrymen to introduce him to the author. That first meeting took place in the fall of 1841. They immediately became friends and talked late into the night. From then on, Shevchenko would often call on his new friend to read to him his latest poems.

When Kozachkivsky moved to Pereyaslav (now the town of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky) where he worked as a doctor and a teacher of medicine at the local seminary, Shevchenko often stayed with him during his visits to Ukraine. Shevchenko made one such visit in August 1845, just after graduating from the Academy of Art with the diploma of a "free artist." After a stay in Pereyaslav, he continued his trip but soon caught cold and had to spend.several days in bed in the town of Mirhorod near Poltava. Realizing that he should not travel in such a state, he returned to Pereyaslav for treatment, but left again as soon as his health showed a slight improvement. However, his recovery was far from complete, and on December 24, 1845, the poet fell seriously ill. He was in critical condition by the time he was brought back to Pereyaslav, where Kozachkivsky did all he could to save him. At a certain stage it looked as if the doctor might fail. And thus, one night when all hope of recovery seemed lost, Taras Shevchenko lit a candle, sat down at a table and wrote his famous My Testament. Finally, when the remedies prescribed by his doctor and Shevchenko's own youthful organism overcame the illness and the poet's health took a turn for the better, Shevchenko grew more cheerful and communicative and would often talk to Kozachkivsky's patients.

That was an extremely fruitful period for the poet. In Pereyaslav he wrote The Housemaid and The Caucasus. He also painted several landscapes and a self-portrait, which unfortunately has not been saved.

The friends met again in 1859. As Andriy Kozachkivsky wrote in his memoirs, in June of that year a mail coach drove into his yard. He did not recognize the passenger at first. The exile with its innumerable moral and physical sufferings had altered Shevchenko almost beyond recognition. Silently, they greeted each other and went inside the house. Too moved to speak, the poet paced up and down the room. Then he saw the bustle of a fair through a window and suggested they go there at once. There, among the people who were so painfully dear to him, he gradually calmed down. When they returned from the fair, Shevchenko had cheered up sufficiently to tell Kozachkivsky about his ordeal. After lunch he wanted to see the Dnieper and set out for the river on foot without waiting until the horses were harnessed. Kozachkivsky picked him up when he was already past the boundary of the town and they drove on together .That was an unforgettable experience. The friends caught some fish in the river and made soup of them. It was a quiet Ukrainian night, and the sky was strewn with myriads of stars. Placing his hands under his head, Shevchenko lay on the grass, telling his friend about his plans. He said he intended to buy a small lot on the steep riverbank near the town of Kaniv opposite the village of Prokhorivka and to settle there for the rest of his life.

Later that year, on his way back from Kiev, the poet again visited his friend in Pereyaslav and stayed two nights at his place. There he wrote down some of his early forgotten poems, which Kozachkivsky knew by heart. Then he left for St. Petersburg. They were never to meet again.

The museum has 12 halls. Three of them are devoted to the history of Pereyaslav. The other four are memorial rooms: bedrooms, library, the room where Taras Shevchenko lived and Andriy Kozachkivsky's office. The other three halls are literary-artistic expositions.

Museum "Courtyard House of Taras Shevchenko" (Yahotyn)

Museum "Courtyard House of Taras Shevchenko" in Yahotyn, which opened in 2003, is one of the subsidiaries of Yahotyn State Historical Museum.

Courtyard House used to be a part of Prince M. H. Repnyn's estate, and served as a hotel for the Repnyn family's guests. In this very place, Taras Shevchenko stayed during his visit to Yahotyn in 1843, and later in 1845 and 1859. Here he painted and wrote. Walls of the courtyard house were also painted by his hand.

In the Museum's four halls, there are over 100 exhibits. Among them are original pieces of furniture of Repnyn's estate - in particular, a desk and a chair where Taras Shevchenko worked , original art works that belonged to Repnyn's family, and paintings by contemporary Ukrainian artists.

'Taras Shevchenko Museum in the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg

Taras Shevchenko's memorial apartment-studio is the only one in the St. Petersburg exposition that introduces life and work of the prominent Ukrainian poet and artist, where he lived and died in 1861.

Taras Shevchenko's memorial apartment-studio was open for visitors in 1964 to comemorate the 150th anniversary of the poet's birth. A set-up of the apartment and the studio includes original furniture, household items and personal things of the poet, his original engravings, copies and reproductions of his paintings, and rare editions of his poetry books, as well as books about his life and work. The exposition was recreated according to the reminiscences of Shevchenko's contemporaries, N. Leskov, I. Turgenev, and I. Mikeshyn. Exposition of the Museum is concentrated on Shevchenko- the artist. One can see the early art works of Taras Shevchenko, which were accomplished before enrolling at St. Petersburg Academy of Art. Among them are watercolour portraits and sketches for historical compositions painted on the instructions of the Drawing School of the Society of Encouragement of Arts. Taras Shevchenko completed a preparatory course of that school and got recommendation papers to enter the best art institution of that time - Royal Academy of Arts. On display are copies of a "Self-Portrait" (1840), "Katerina" (1842), graphic art works from his series "Picturesques Ukraine" (1844), that were done while studying in St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Visitors also can see the art works of his exile period : "Kazakh boy playing with the cat", "Novopetrovsk Fortress from Khivian Road", and others. The late period of Shevchenko-the artist, is introduced by portraits of P. Klodt, F. Tolstoy, F. Bruni, and art compositions "Parable about vine-grower" and "Virsavia". All displayed works of that period are engravings.
Copies of archival documents, such as Shevchenko's birth records, a document about releasing him from serfdom and his academic certificate are also on display.

Museum open by appointment only, tel. 323-35-78.

Taras Shevchenko Museum in Orsk

Taras Shevchenko Museum in Orsk was opened on March 10, 1986, in the old section of Orsk, in its historical zone on the site of the former Orsk fortress. The street, on which the museum is located, has carried the name of the great Ukrainian poet since 1908. The building in which the museum is situated belonged, at one time, to a resident Orsk family. The principal exhibit, a gift from the Taras Shevchenko National State Museum, is comprised of paintings, documents, and other items. The halls of the museum are supplemented, at all times, with gifts from visiting guests, mainly from Ukraine. The poet's entire life is revealed before the visitors, with the main attention being paid to Orsk's places where he served. They are included in the panoramic displays, and the dioramas - the work of Orsk's artists and designers. The number of excursions and visitors grows from year to year.

Photos by Oleh Pimenov

Taras Shevchenko Museum - Guardhouse in Orenburg

The museum was opened on March 9, 1989. It is situated on the site of the main guardhouse of the former separate Orenburg complex in which Shevchenko was imprisoned in April - May, 1850. The visitor's attention is drawn to the small cell, of authentic brick walls and the original sharp-stone floor, although all else has been reconstructed. Figures of the guarding officer and soldiers standing in front of the cell were created in the style of the Orenburg cossack by Lviv artists, Volodymyr and Ivan Turetski and Orest Hnatyv. By implementing various museum techniques in the exhibit hall (the former room used in the training of guard-sentries), the main events and features of those months are recreated. Reproductions and copies of the works of Shevchenko-the artist, mainly the ones from Orenburg, stretch out along two rows in the corridors with the semi-circular ceiling. Woven and embroidered towels, created by the poet, Y. V. Kovtun's great-granddaughter, are displayed in the museum's room of gifts. The room also features Japanese translated works of Shevchenko, an old portrait from Dnipropetrovsk, a glazed wall-dish by the well-known artisan, V. P. Panyada, and much more. The following people actively participated in the creation of the museum: Honoured Art Worker and Laureate of State prize of Ukraine - A. V. Haidamaka, senior research worker and now, Vice-Director of Research in the Taras Shevchenko National Museum - V. M. Yatsiuk, museum workers from Orenburg, R. P. Chubareva, T. M. Artiushenko; artists, A. A. Vlasenko, V. M. Yeremenko, and others.
The memorial-museum has a printed guide-book (published in 1991), which has become very popular in the city.

Taras Shevchenko Museum in Fort Shevchenko

For almost seven years (from 17 October 1850 to 2 August 1857), the highly gifted Ukrainian poet and talented painter-artist Taras Shevchenko was banished in punishment to the Novopetrovsk fortification on the Manhyshlak peninsula. The harsh climate, "sand and stones", but mainly slavery incited Shevchenko - the soldier - to call this place "an open grave", "a wide prison", "a boundless prison".

In Shevchenko's creative legacy we find a good deal of works portraying the Novopetrovsk fortification. It towered above the calciferous rocky cliffs, three kilometers from the shore of the Caspian (Khvalynsk) shore. Today the fortress is in ruins. However, the Novopetrovsk fortification commandment, Irakliy Uskov's cottage has been carefully preserved, and, from 1932, has served as the Taras Shevchenko Museum. The intention of the museum is to depict one of the most difficult periods in the poet's life. The years spent in the Novopetrovsk fortification, with the exception of the soldiers' drills, for Taras Hryhorovych, were filled with creativity and unforgettable encounters.

The development of a new exposition for the Taras Shevchenko Memorial Museum, alongside Kazakh workers, was augmented by the participation of Ukrainian artist-painter Anatoliy Haidamaka, and research workers from the Taras Shevchenko National State Museum in Kyiv, Liudmyla Zinchuk, Mariya Korniychuk. The museum display offers copies and reproductions of paintings and drawings executed by Shevchenko during his residence in the Novopetrovsk fortification. The most rare and vital editions of the great Kobzar's (Bard's) works, by contemporary publications in the Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakh languages, can be encountered in the museum's halls by the visitor. The works of artists dedicated to the poet while residing in the Novopetrovsk fortification are also exhibited in these surroundings. A vase, which contains the sacred earth from the great Kobzar's grave, is displayed in one of the museum's halls.

In the museum's park, where the spirit of Shevchenko greets you, is a mud hut where the artist, in solitude, wrote and painted and a well from which he withdrew water. On the territory of the memorial-museum complex, you will discover the only saved sculptural work designed by Shevchenko - a graveside monument to Dmytryk Uskov. You also can see the first in the world monument of the "Kobzar", which was constructed by Karazhusup, and erected by Irakliy Uskov in the Novopetrovsk fortification in 1881.

The museum's orchard spreads out along two sides. It was first laid out by Taras Shevchenko in October, 1850, in the garrison garden, when he planted a willow branch which he had found in the town of Huryev. Surprisingly for Shevchenko himself, it took root in this wilderness. In his diary, he named it "favourite", "cherished", but the people began to call it "Taras' willow". In time, the willow spread all around, becoming a grove, and survived in spite of the severe climate. "Taras' willow" has held out for over 150 years! Branches from it grew into willows in many places of Ukraine. To great regret, the old willow perished not too long ago. However, Ukrainians brought branches of the original Shevchenko's willow from Kyiv and Lviv and planted them on Kazakh land. In 1925 the Kazakh Soviet government declared a park untouchable.

The memorial-museum complex presents an invincible image of Taras Shevchenko to the visitor, which has great meaning not only for the Ukrainian people, but also for the Kazakh nation. He was one of the first artists to paint the Kazakhs, themselves, and the landscape of this terrain. He also planted the first tree in the Novopetrovsk fortress.

From 1939, the Kazakh city of the Manhyshlak peninsula, Fort Oleksandrivsk (up to 1857 Novopetrovsk fortress), began to carry the name of the Ukrainian Kobzar. Now, it is Fort Shevchenko. To this day, this land defends the good memories about the great Ukrainian poet and artist, Taras Shevchenko.


Prints of Taras Shevchenko's watercolours are available at the Shevchenko Museum. These quality prints would be an excellent gift for Shevchenko art lovers. more ...

• Collection of Ukrainian handicrafts and folk art
• First Ukrainian Immigration to Canada
• Shevchenko Stamp Collection
• Quick Facts on Shevchenko Biography
• Resources
• Become a Donor

The son of a serf, Shevchenko became not only an artist and academician of Saint-Petersburg Academy of Art, but one of the most versatile people of 19th century. His paintings and graphics reflect a refined world that did not resemble his own life.


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since May 19th, 2011