History of the museum

The first attempts to create a museum of I.E. Repin in Chuguev were made in 1914. Ilya Efimovich Repin endorsed the idea of ​​creating a museum and promised to send for museum his own collection. But the First World War broke plans.

The second attempt to build a museum was made in 1936. Much work was done to collect information on the artist's family, his childhood and youth, were made drawings with Repin′s places and neighborhoods. The war in 1941 stopped the work and gathered collection disappeared.

Since the early 1960s a work was began to create a museum of I.E. Repin in Chuguev. At the same time it was decided to organize a regional art museum named after I.E. Repin in Chuguev.

There was no house in which Repin was born, nor his parents' house in Osinovka under Gridina Mountain, that is why the house was chosen in which Repin lived during his visit in 1876-1877. Local teachers N.A Yavnikova and L.I Brezinskaya helped to establish a location of this house.

Artistic community and museum experts from Kiev, Moscow, Leningrad, and Kharkov rendered great assistance in the development of the first exhibition. Valuable artifacts were donated by the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Museum-Estate "Penates", Kiev Museum of Russian Art, Kharkov Art Museum.

August 3, 1969, to the 125th anniversary of the birth of the artist, were opened the doors of Chuguev Art Memorial Museum of I.E. Repin. Here in a small house age of military settlements in the former Nikitinskaya Street (now – R. Luxemburg Street) Ilya Repin lived with his wife and daughters from October 1876 to September 1877. Here in 1877 a son Yuri Repin was born. This visit was one of the most productive in the artist’s creative work after graduating from the Academy of Arts and internships abroad. Artist repeatedly visited Chuguev after his departure to St. Petersburg.

In 1979, to the 325th anniversary of the reunification of Ukraine and Russia, Chuguev museum of I.E. Repin for the first time opened an exhibition of works by artists of the State Repin Prize. Sixteen artists showed their 40 works. These artists were the first who presented their works to the town. State Repin Prize was founded in 1966 and was awarded annually until 1991 for the best works of painting, sculpture, graphic and decorative arts. During this time 197 artists were awarded the prize.

August 5, 1984, a day of the 140th anniversary of the birth of I.E. Repin, a permanent gallery of the winners of the State Repin Prize was opened in Chuguev. It is located in a beautiful building, Pokrovsky Cathedral, an architectural monument of the first half of the XIX century. The works are an example of a worthy continuation of Repin′s realistic art traditions. The exhibition gallery features more than 1,000 works by 180 artists. Since 2009 the Art gallery moved to one of the most significant monuments of architecture of the XIX century - Headquarters Military Settlement building.

December 15, 1984 a museum of Chuguev region history was opened. It was located in one of the old buildings of Chuguev, in a monument of architecture of the XIX century, in Gvardeyskaya Street. The exhibits for the museum were bagged for many years. Local people showed great love for their native land and its history. They donated the documents of historical value, tools, household items, decorations, personal belongings and photographs of notable fellow countrymen.

In 1989, to the 145th anniversary of the birth of I.E. Repin, artist’s workshop on the Memorial estate and the department "Art Chuguev region" were opened in the basement of the gallery "Laureates of Repin prize".

A new department of the museum "Travel Palace" was opened in 2008. 

In July 2009, the Kharkov Regional Council accepted the offer from Chuguev Town Council about passing to the regional control of the museum in January 2010.

In 2000, International Repin plein airs were organized by the museum and they became traditional for our town. The main purpose of these plein airs is to popularize Repin′s traditions of realistic art in the works of contemporary artists; to achieve Repin′s dream about making of Chuguev in the real center of art. The initiators of plein airs are Chuguev Town Council and the National Union of Artists of Ukraine, with support of the Kharkov Regional State Administration.

In 2011 the Kharkov Regional State Administration revived State Repin Prize in the field of fine art in three categories:
- Monumental and decorative arts;
- Painting and Graphic arts;
- Sculpture.

The main purpose of the prize is supporting of the development of realistic art, stimulation of the creative potential of cultural workers and promotion of their personal best achievements.