Belarusian National Arts Museum
The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus (Belarusian: Нацыянальны мастацкі музей Рэспублікі Беларусь) is the largest art museum in Belarus located in Minsk. The museum comprises more than thirty thousands works of art which make up twenty various collections and constitutes two main ones: the one of national art and the other of art monuments of various countries of the world.
The State Art Gallery was officially created on January 24, 1939 under the Resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of Belarus. The gallery took 15 halls of Graduate Agricultural School, former Minsk Girls Gymnasium. Besides divisions of painting, sculpture, and graphics, a separate division of art industry was created by a special order. At this time, the gallery was led by a famous Belarusian painter-ceramist Mikalai Mikhalap.
At the beginning of 1941 the State Art Gallery’s funds and stocks had already numbered nearly 2711 art works out of which four hundred were on exhibition. A long-term work on the description and study of each monument as well as on the creation of the museum collection’s catalogue was to be done. The fate of the whole collection was tragically unfavorable during the first days of the Great Patriotic War. In a short time it would disappear without even leaving a trace.
After the War merely a small part of the works of art was returned, mainly those which had been at the exhibitions in Russia before the War. In spite of the postwar devastation, when Minsk lay in ruins, the Government of Belarus allocated considerable sums of money for purchasing works of art for the Gallery. It was already in August 1945 when the canvases by Boris Kustodiev, Vasily Polenov, Karl Briullov and Isaak Levitan were obtained.
The construction of the new building of the State Art Gallery with the ten spacious halls, occupying two floors and a large gallery, was finished in 1957. In those years the Museum’s collection had already reached the pre-war level and included about three thousand works of Russian, Soviet and Belarusian art.
The period of the 1970s and the early 1980s was a peak of the Museum’s exhibition activity. The collection of the Belarusian modern painting and graphic arts were taken from the Museum’s funds for exhibitions abroad.
In 1993 the museum was renamed into National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.
Thomas Heeremans, Summer, 1689.
Ferdynand Ruszczyc, Near church. 1899.
Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg. A mare with a colt, 1854.
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