The Bogdan Khanenko Museum.
The beautiful, elegant mansion on Tereschenkovskaya Street (No. 15) was built in Kyiv in 1881-1882 under the supervision of the world-famous court architect Robert Friedrich Melzer from St. Petersburg. At the request of the man commissioning this building, Bogdan Khanenko, many well known painters, such as Mikhail Vrubel and Wilhelm Kotarbinsky, were involved in the interior decoration, as well as Melzer. The building seamlessly blends with the other handsome buildings in this scenic part of the city; It is original yet practical in all respects. The former homeowners, Melzer’s lawyer Bogdan Khanenko and his wife Varvara, over the years gathered a collection of art and antiques from the East and the West. They began collecting in St. Petersburg, and continued in Warsaw, where Bogdan Khanenko worked as a magistrate.
Other antiques were purchased in antique shops and at auctions in Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Vienna and other European capitals. In 1881, the family settled in Kyiv, amidst their rich collection. Among various prestigious positions held by Bogdan Khanenko were: Chairman of the board of the Tereschenko brothers sugar beet mills and refineries; a member of the Kyiv stock company, The chairman of Kyiv trade and manufactures committee, a member of the council of trade and industry representatives in St. Petersburg, a member of council for Russian industry and commerce bank; a Board member of the Russian society of sugar, a Board member of Southern Russian society for the promotion of agriculture and agricultural industries, The chairman of the society for commercial education, a member of the Red Cross general directorate and the chairman of Kyiv society of antiquities and arts. Quite a career! In December 1918, Varvara Khanenko, now widowed, decided to pass the collection over to the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences to keep it intact. When Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, the history of the collection was resurrected and the Khanenko family given the credit they deserved. Today, this unique collection embellished with many new additions, justly bears the names of its founders.
This article was published in the book Interesting Kyiv.
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© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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