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23.01.2015 – 24.05.2015
Special Fund, 1937-1939
Curator: Julia Lytvynets
National Art Museum of Ukraine
together with ICOM Ukraine
present restoration project
(works from the special storage, 1937-1939)
January, 23 - April 26, 2015
Curator: Julia Lytvynets
Opening: January 23, Friday, at 6 p.m.
Some leading museums of the former USSR have special collections known to museum workers as "spetsfunds". But they do not preserve special masterpieces or rare artworks. Those artifacts that were "lucky" to be stored there should have been put far away from people's eyes, and at the worst to be destroyed.
In the National Art Museum of Ukraine (then the State Ukrainian Museum) Special secret storage was formed in 1937-1939. It contained works from Kharkiv, Odesa, Kyiv, Poltava and from special storages of Ukrainian art exhibition created by so called enemies of the people. They were formalists, nationalists, those who, according to party ideologists, "distorted reality" and threatened the existence of the "new society". Most of the names and artworks were forgotten for a long time in the history of Ukrainian art. Thus, the works of Oleksandra Ekster, Oleksandr Bohomazov, Davyd Burliuk, Viktor Palmov, Oleksa Hryshchenko, Onufrii Biziukov, Neonila Hrytsenko, Semen Yoffe, and lots of others were transferred to the Special storage of the NAMU.
1939 inventory book of the Spetsfond numbered 1747 positions of painting, graphics, book covers, photographs, sculpture, dishware, folders with museum affairs, posters, crosses, icons, books, diplomas, correspondence, newspapers clippings. They were saved by war which pushed the fight with "hostile" art aside and by the efforts of devoted Museum workers.
Since 1987 the painstaking work with transferring these art pieces to the main storage began. Some of them were already shown to public, for example, the works of Viktor Palmov or Vasyl Sedliar, and some works never seen from 1930s remain. The work is in progress, and exhibition project Spetsfond is only one step on a long road of restoration and rehabilitation of forgotten pages of Ukrainian art.