Want to find out who was the father of Ukrainian futurism, or why for American art critics the name Alexander Archipenko is almost sacred? Or do you want to see a copy of the first model of the helicopter made by Ihor Sikorsky? Then visit the Ukrainian Diaspora Museum in Kyiv. The museum has unique exhibits that tell about the history of Ukrainian emigration and famous Ukrainian emigrants who were compelled to live abroad.
The Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora was opened in May 1999 as a branch of the Kyiv History Museum.
The museum collection is displayed in eight halls of an old restored house in the center of Pechersk, one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Kyiv. The museum tells the life stories and shows the personal belongings of composers, choir masters, writers, poets, choreographers, singers and other famous Ukrainians who were born in Kyiv, received their education here and worked in the city before emigrating.
One of the most famous Kyivites in the world is Ihor Sikorsky, the aircraft designer and the inventor of the helicopter. He was born in Kyiv, although he considered America his second homeland. Sikorsky started to implement all of his greatest inventions in Kyiv. In the museum, you can see copies of the first and later models of his helicopter, the “Ilya Muromets,” as well as the BIS-2 aircraft, which Sikorsky took to the sky in Kyiv. Although the flight lasted only 12 seconds, it was Sikorsky’s first successful take off.
A separate Memorial Hall is dedicated to another Kyivite — the famous ballet dancer and choreographer Serge Lifar. He attended Bronislava Nijinska’s School of Movement ballet studio in Kyiv. At the age of 19, Lifar left the Soviet Union and emigrated to Paris. There he was noticed by Serge Diaghilev and became a star of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Lifar headed the ballet troupe of the famous Paris Grand Opera for many years, lifting the French ballet to an unprecedented level.
Another interesting collection of the museum tells the story of three generations of the artistic Krychevsky family. Here you can see pictures and sketches of Vasyl Krychevsky — the founder of the dynasty — and the graceful watercolors of Mykola Krychevsky and Kateryna Krychevska-Rosandich, as well as the picturesque works of Vasyl Krychevsky Jr. Fate threw the Krychevsky family to different parts of the world, including to France, the United States and Venezuela, where the fourth and fifth generations of the family continue the traditions of their famous forefathers.
In addition to the works of the Kychevsky family, you can also see in the museum the art works of such well-known Ukrainian painters as Lyudmyla Morozowa (USA) and Oleksa Bulavitsky (USA), who are representatives of the Kyiv School of Painting. There are also exhibits devoted to the virtuoso pianist Vladimir Horowitz, who was born in Kyiv.
All of the famous personalities of Ukrainian origin whose works and lives are represented in the museum are expats from the second and third waves of Ukrainian emigration. Most of them left Ukraine during the revolutionary events of 1917-1921 and World War II. In those dramatic times, Ukraine lost a large cohort of talented artists and patriots.
The building that houses the Ukrainian Diaspora Museum has its own history. The building dates to 1775, when it was a one-story house. In the 19th century, a second floor and attic were added. During this time, the building frequently changed owners. In Soviet times, the house was divided into communal apartments. During the 1980s, the house underwent major reconstruction, and only later a museum was planned for it. Here you can see interesting things found during the reconstruction of the house.
The Ukrainian Diaspora Museum often holds personal and art exhibits that showcase the rich heritage of world-famous Ukrainian emigrants.
Kyiv, 40 B, Moskovska Str.
(Metro station “Arsenalna”)
10.00-18.00 (ticket office until 17.30)
Monday – closed
Last Thursday of each month — closed
Тел: +380 (44) 280-64-18
Тел: +380 (44) 280-88-74