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Museum Buildings

In compliance with the Last will of Bohdan Khanenko (1917) and the Deed of Gift signed by Varvara Khanenko (1918), their Kyiv estate on the Tereshchenkivska Street, 15 has become an art museum.

Nowadays, the exquisite interiors of the Khanenkos’ mansion house a permanent museum exhibition of the European fine and applied arts of 14th -18th centuries. A unique collection of the earliest Byzantine icons of the 6th -7th century is also displayed here. On the ground floor, one can see selected works of art from the Ancient world.

By decision of the Kyiv authorities in 1986, a neighboring house in Tereshchenkivska Street, 17, the historic house of the Sakhnovskys, the Khanenkos’ close relatives, became a part of the Khanenko Museum. In 2006, a renewed permanent exhibition of the Asian arts was opened on the first floor of the house.

The Khanenkos' Mansion

The historic mansion of Bohdan and Varvara Khanenkos located in Kyiv on Tereshchenkivska Street 15 is one of the precious architectural landmarks of the city. The history of the building goes back to the early 1880s, when the Ukrainian “sugar-king” Nykola Tereshchenko, the father of Varvara Khanenko, purchased a large plot of land with a three-storeyed house on the new Kyiv street, Oleksiivska. In 1882-1888 another house was erected on the vacant part of the site, featuring two stores on front façade and three stores from courtyard. The architect of the project was most likely Robert-Friedrich Meltzer. In 1888, Nykola Tereshchenko transfers this newly built house and part of the land to his eldest daughter, Varvara.

In 1891 the Khanenkos commissioned completion of the left wing of the house (Olexander Kryvosheyev's project). In 1889-90, they (who?)were engaged in interior design. Destined for the presentation of a rich art collection, the house was conceived by the owners as a kind of "art history theatre".

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The Khanenkos were inspired by the European fashion for historical stylization in architecture. They ordered an artistic design "in the spirit" of a particular historical era for almost every hall of the ground and the first floors. Thus, the mansion had a "Gothic" and "Renaissance" living rooms, a “Rococo” Golden Chamber, a Dutch “Burger” dining room - all unique spaces as well as invaluable artistic and intellectual documents of the late 19th century.

Apart from Robert Meltzer, the following architects and artists contributed to the design of the Khanenkos’ mansion: besides, Leonardo Marconi, Pyotr Boitsov, Wilhelm Kotarbinski, Mikhail Vrubel and Adrian Prakhov.

Unlike the artistic spirit of the ground and the first floor, the Khanenkos’ private rooms on the third floor of the house, so called mezzanine, were decorated very modestly, even ascetically.

Judging from archival photos of the house, the Khanenkos’ private art gallery exhibition had often been re-shaped depending on the change in interests or on new acquisitions.

In 1919, Varvara Khanenko and art historian Georgy Lukomsky curated the first public museum exhibition opened on the ground and the first floors of the mansion.

Varvara Khanenko lived in the rooms of the second mezzanine floor for the rest of her life (until May 1922). In 1930-34, the first museum exhibition of the Islamic arts, curated by Maria Vyazmitina, was opened on the second floor of the house.

According to unconfirmed data, during the WWII,  the Nazi Officers Club was housed in the museum. Then the house was damaged and that made the museum's management to dismantle part of the Khanenkos’ historic architectural settings. As  the result, the interior of the Delft Dining Room was almost completely lost.

After a profound restoration and conservation works on the Khanenkos’ mansion conducted in 1986-98, most of the unique old interiors of the house were saved and restored. On the front façade between the windows of the first floor, the coat of arms of the Khanenko family took its place again. The main topic of the permanent exhibition in the Khanenkos’ historic mansion became European fine and applied art of the 14th -19th centuries. In 2004, a unique group of the four earliest Byzantine icons of the 6th -7th century was put on display. In 2018, an exhibition of art of Ancient civilizations (Egypt, Greece and Rome) was arranged in the Khanenkos’ office premises on the ground floor of the mansion.

To tour around the Khanenkos’ mansion please go to 3D tour “European art of 14th -18th  centuries”, “ Earliest Byzantine icons of 6th -7th centuries”, “Art of Ancient civilizations”.

Hanna Rudyk


Tha Sakhnovskis' House

The Sakhnovskis’ historic house, located in Tereshchenkivska Street, 17 was built in 1878 by Adelaida Sulymovska, according to the project by architect Volodymyr Nikolayev. The house is a three-storey  building if faced from the street, and it has 5 floors if faced from the yard. Unlike the neighboring Khanenkos’ mansion, that was erected a decade later, the house was conceived as an apartment building intended for renting.

The facade of the house is eclectic in style featuring Neo-Renaissance elements. In particular, Neo-Renaissance motives are evident in round medallions with sculptural human heads decorating the windows of the first floor, as well as in columns and pilasters of the Corinthian order in the decoration of windows of the first and the second floors.

In 1880, it was at this very house that telephony was first tested in Kyiv.

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