The Poltava Museum of Local Lore named after Vasyl Krichevsky was founded in 1891 as a significant scientific and cultural center. V. Dokuchaev – a prominent scientist and a professor donated over 4000 soil samples, nearly 500 samples of rocks and 862 herbarium sheets which lay the basis of the museum. Catherine Skarzhynska (1854-1932) – one of the patrons of art of the museum, gifted more than 20 thousand exhibits and a collection of scientific publications comprising of 4000 books. During 1894-1913 Paul Bobrowski gave several valuable collections of eastern antiquities to the museum.
The funds of the museum have a unique collection of antiques and folk art items not only of local origin, but of various parts of the world: Ancient Egypt, India, Japan, China and Indonesia. The real pride of the museum is the collection of Cossack antiquities, which still remind of the high spirit, liberty and independence of their previous owners. There are about 300 thousand exhibits in the museum. Among them – archaeological, numismatic, natural collections, samples of Poltava folk embroidery, weaving, carpet weaving, wood-carving, church things etc.
The building of the museum is, beyond a doubt, a masterpiece of architecture in the style of Ukrainian modern. It was built during 1903-1908. The project was made by an artist and an architect Vasyl Krichevsky, who combined traditional folk architecture, ancient Ukrainian ornaments, pavilion coverings, twisted columns, two-storied roofs, wood carving, pottery, majolica and folk decorative painting thus creating the basis of a new style – Ukrainian Modern.
A famous Ukrainian artist Mykola Samokish made decorative painting of the walls, and Sergey Vasylkivsky created three large canvases which became the part of the meeting hall: «Cossack Golota and Tatar», «The Milky Way of Romodan» and «The election of Colonel M. Pushkar».
The history of this building and of the museum is closely connected to the Poltava Zemstvo.
In 1891 three small rooms of the outbuilding, which was in the courtyard of the Zemstvo, were given to be the first premises of the museum. Not long afterwards the construction of a new building for the Zemstvo had begun. In 1920 it was completely given to the museum.
By 1941, the museum had a rather rich and large exposition: its funds comprised of 117 900 items. Fascist invaders almost destroyed the whole collection. The building of the museum sustained considerable damage in the fire. From under its ruins, ashes and dust only about 20 thousand exhibits were saved.
After the war, the exposition was restored, but for a long time it was located in an unsuitable building. Only in 1964 the reconstructed building of the museum was solemnly opened to the public. Unfortunately, the building could not be restored to its former beauty. The current reconstruction is being carried out in several stages and already has breathed a new life into this fine piece of architecture.
The Poltava Museum of Local Lore named after Vasyl Krichevsky takes part in a great number of international exhibitions in Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Russia, India, Austria, Poland and many other countries. The institution is the winner of the Nationwide Museum Festivals «Museum of the Third Millennium» (Dnepropetrovsk, 2005, 2008), laureate of the Republic Prize of D. Yavornytsky for the best scientific and publishing activities.
In addition to the rich and diverse exposition of the museum there are interesting exhibitions, master-classes, clubs and amateur associations such as the salon «Music room», club «Poltava and Poltavites», «Literary Kaleidoscope», «Nature – our temple».
As a scientific institution the museum works in the sphere of natural and historical research. A strong team of researchers constantly work to publish the annual edition – «The Poltava Museum of Local Lore named after Vasyl Krichevsky: collection of scientific articles: little-known pages of history, museology, monument protection», and other scientific issues, such as «From the scientific heritage», «The memory of generations», «My famous countrymen» etc.
The museum is always waiting for you.
Vasyl Hryhorovych Krychevsky (1872—1952) – art scholar, architect, painter, graphic artist, set designer, master of applied and decorative art, author of a project of an outstanding monument of Ukrainian architecture in the style of Modern Art - the Poltava Zemstvo Building (The Poltava Museum of Local Lore named after Vasyl Krichevsky), and the State Emblem of Ukraine.
|1872||December 31 V. Krychevsky was born in Vorozhba village, near Lebedyn, Ukraine.|
|1885||According to the results of the examination was admitted to study at the Kharkiv Railway Technical College.|
|1889–1892||Worked for a city draftsman Mykhaylo Babkin, then Sergiy Zagoskin – an architect and a professor of architectural Design at The Kharkiv Institute of Technology.|
|1892–1903||Began his independent architectural career at the Kharkiv City Council as the helper of the city architect Alfred Spiegel. Made a project of the House of trade rows; after a year, worked at the design office of the Service of Roads and Buildings of the Kharkov railway junction. At the same time he worked in an architectural office of a well known Kharkiv architect, A.Beketov, designing in various styles facades of many representative buildings in Kharkiv. He also created some independent series of house designs.|
|1903||Won an architectural competition to build the Poltava Zemstvo Building (The Poltava Museum of Local Lore named after Vasyl Krichevsky). His design of the building, which was in a new style based on the traditions of Ukrainian folk architecture founded a new style – Ukrainian Modern. He was the first in Ukraine to use ceramic majolica in the outer decor.|
|1906–1908||Moved from Poltava to Kiev. Decorated in the Ukrainian style the facade of the house of Mykhailo Hrushevsky.|
|1907–1910||Designed sets and costumes for more that 20 plays and operas produced by the Sadovsky’s Theater in Kyiv.|
|1911–1912||Worked in the sphere of book Graphics, especially for the Ukrainian Publishing Association. While in Lviv, made for Mykhailo Hrushevsky the paintings for the «Illustrated History of Ukraine». Together they went to the Universal architectural exhibition (Rome, Italy).|
|1912||Married to Eugenia Pavlovska, maiden name Sherbakivska. They had a daughter called Halyna.|
|1911–1913||Took part in the exhibitions of Ukrainian painters (Kiev, Historical museum)|
|1912–1914||V. Krychevsky – art director of the rug-weaving and cloth-printing workshop organized by Barbara Khanenko (village Olenivka, Kiev region). Made projects of decorative carpets for the second All Russian exhibition (St.Petersburg) handicraft exhibition (Salt town near St. Petersburg).|
|1917||Was one of the organizers of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts.|
|1918||At Mykhailo Hrushevsky's request he designed the state emblems and seals of the Ukrainian National Republic, The Big and Small seals and a number of bank notes stamps, forms and instruments of ratification.|
|1918||V. Krychevsky with his family moved to Myrhorod to take part in the reorganization of the Ceramics school named after M. Gogol to the Ceramics Institute.|
|1922||The section of Arts of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Science chose V. Krychevsky to be its member. He became a professor of the Kiev Architectural Institute (later united with the Academy of Arts).|
|1925–1927||V. Krychevsky worked with great success in cinematography – artistic director of the historical movies «Taras Shevchenko » (1925), «Taras Triasylo» (1926), the film of О. Dovgenko «Zvenyhora» (1927).|
|1927||At the first All-Ukrainian Art Exhibition (Kiev) presented 39 works.|
|1929||Made the final project for the museum of T. Shevchenko in Kaniv. Designed an edition «Ukrainian Poesy».|
|1935||Designed an edition «Ukrainian Song». Made the project of a monument at the grave of Mykhailo Hrushevsky|
|1938–1939||Designed films «Nazar Stodolya» based on T. Shevchenko work and «The Sorochyntsi Fair» based on M. Gogol work, the shooting of these films was at the Veliki Sorochinci village in Myrhorod region.
Personal exhibition of his works at the Kiev House of Scientists.
|1939||Initiated by the board of directors of the Kyiv Art Institute got the degree – Doctor of Science of art approved by The Highest Attestation Commission.|
|1940||A retrospective personal exhibition of V. Krychevsky’s creative work at the State Museum of Ukrainian Art, Kiev. For his artistic merit was given the title of an "Honored Artist of the USSR" by the Government of Soviet Ukraine.|
|1943||Moved with his family to Lviv, where he became the Rector of a newly founded art school «The highest Fine arts studio».|
|1944–1945||Went to Bratislava in Czechoslovakia, later, after the war ended, to his older son Mykola to Paris (France), where he lived until 1948. V. Krychevsky was chosen to be an honorary member of the Ukrainian Independent Academy of Sciences.|
|1948–1952||Moved to his daughter Galina Linde to Caracas, Venezuela. Here he painted cycles of paintings, the great sceneries of Ukraine and Crimea. Presented his works at the numerous exhibitions at Caracas and took part in Ukrainian exhibitions in the USA.|
|1952||Died the 15th of November and was buried at the city cemetery in Caracas. In 1957 thanks to Patriarch Mstislav, Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA and the Ukrainian community, his ashes were reburied at the Ukrainian Orthodox cemetery in Bound-Brook, New Jersey, USA.|