Museum of Maria Zankovetskaya

The history of the museum’s creation dates back to 1922, on the day of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the artist’s stage activity. Even then, the anniversary commission asked the People’s Commissariat of Education of the USSR to open a museum. Maria Konstantinovna was the first among the actors who were approached by the museum commission of the theater museum in 1923 and she did not refuse them, immediately giving them her red apron with hand-made embroidery in which she played in the first year of work on stage. After that, she donated several theatrical costumes, photographs and other personal items, which were placed in a separate exhibition at the theater museum.

In 1926, a theater department named after Zankovetskaya was created in Nizhyn at the Gogol Museum. Through the press, the museum appealed to the public with a request to send exhibits characterizing the life or work of Maria Konstantinovna. Many responded to the request and in a short time more than 1000 exhibits were collected and systematized (posters, programs, newspapers, magazines, photos, addresses and much more). Materials were sent here not only by fans of the Ukrainian theater star’s talent, but also by herself. The artist’s unique things, after her death in 1934, were donated to the museum by her niece and the latter’s two daughters – it was these materials that became the foundation for the creation of Zankovetskaya’s apartment-museum in the house in which she spent the last years of her life. In 1960, an exhibition dedicated to the artist’s work was opened in two vacated rooms of the apartment – this is how the first memorial acting museum in Ukraine began to operate.

The first museum of Maria Zankovetskaya existed for almost 19 years, about 7,000 people visited it annually. The museum hosted open school lessons, meetings with artists, conversations about the theater, celebrations of the artist’s birthday and other events. In the 1970s, the house suffered several problems that eventually led to its complete destruction. First, there was the threat of demolition from the district administration, which was avoided through the efforts of government agencies and the public, and in 1979 a fire occurred. The exhibits were saved, they were taken to the main museum in Lavra, but the building, built in 1892, was badly damaged. On May 31, 1983, with the permission of the leaders of Kyiv, the house was demolished by a bulldozer in a few hours, the trees and bushes in the estate were also destroyed.

The general public again rose to defend the memory of the star of the Ukrainian theater, letters came from all over the USSR to all authorities. At the end of 1986, the Kiev city council decided to rebuild the house in its old location. A new exhibition was created in the rebuilt room, and on September 29, 1989, the now house-museum of the first People’s Artist of Ukraine opened its doors to visitors. In the spring of 2006, Park named after Maria Zankovetskaya was created around the museum.

Where is the Maria Zankovetskaya Museum?

Bolshaya Vasylkivska Street, 121
Tue-Sun: 10:00 – 17:00, Mon: closed
044 529 57 32