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Opening of the museum (Kirovograd TV, 1994, video, in Ukrainian)

HISTORY OF FOUNDATION

     Osmerkin Art-Memorial Museum was founded in 1985 on the basis of the memorial building, where A.A.Osmerkin, the famous artist and teacher of the first half of the XXth century, had spent the days of his childhood and youth.
   Alexander Alexandrovich Osmerkin (1892-1953) is one of those prominent masters of painting of the first half of the XXth century whose artistic life was remarkable for the indefatigable search for his creative individuality. A.Osmerkin's creative heritage consists of more than 700 works of painting, graphics, scenery that are kept at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow), Museum of Russian Culture (St.-Petersburg), Kiev Museum of Russian Art and at some other museums in Ukraine, Russia. Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Lithuania and also in some private collections.
   A.A.Osmerkin was born in Elisavetgrad (Kirovograd) on the eighth of December, 1892 in the family of post-office clerk. His first classes in painting he took at the drawing department at Elisavetgrad Regional Professional School under the supervision of the famous Ukrainian Peredvizhnik painter - F. S. Kozachinskiy. Since 1911 └.└.Osmerkin had been studying at Kiev Professional School of Art. Then he moved to Moscow and joined Ilya Mashkov's artistic studio. A.A.Osmerkin is well-known as the youngest representative of "The Jack of Diamond" union of Moscow artists. Together with the other members of the union he exhibited his works since 1914.
   A.A.Osmerkin combined his work with teaching practice. Being the professor of Art he had his private studios at Leningrad Academy of Arts and at Moscow Institute of Fine Arts named after V.I.Surikov, had a considerable influence on the development of modern art having taught a lot of famous painters, - among them are - People's artists of USSR - P.Krylov and E.Moiseenko, People's artist of Belarusia - E.Zaytsev, People's artists of Armenia - M.Aslamazyan and M.Abegyan, honoured artists of Russia - A.Nikich and M.Konchalovsky and many others.
   In 1948 A.Osmerkin was accused of formalism, and the spread of western approaches in Soviet art; so consequently he was dismissed from teaching and exhibiting. It was the last straw. On the 25th of June 1953 he died while executing landscape painting in Pleskovţ in the suburbs of Moscow. He was buried at Vagankovo Cemetery in Moscow.
   The memorial building is a historic landmark (a monument of the architecture); it was built in 1899 on the project of the famous Elisavetgrad architect Yakov Pauchenko (1866-1914), uncle of the artist. The building consisted of 6 rooms; interiors were notable for the moulded decor and fretwork. Regrettably, in the middle of 1950s, they were completely destroyed.
   June 21, 1994 museum exposition was opened for the visitors. It should be mentioned that the opening of the museum was preceded by the repair and restoration works that lasted for nine years. Nadezhda Osmerkina, the widow of the artist, took an active part in the creation and forming the collection of the museum. Being an architect, she worked out the project of the reconstruction of the museum. The project presupposed the renewal of the initial exterior of the house and interior of the rooms in order to create several exhibition halls. Besides, Nadezhda Osmerkina kindly presented to the museum some of the paintings and graphic works of the master, painter's archive and his personal belongings, including some items of the creative work, such as the palette, the easel, the painter's case, the brushes and the collection of the still lifes.
   The exposition of the museum is located in four exhibition halls. The memorial exposition hall offers the visitors to get acquainted with life and creative work of A.Osmerkin. Special attention is attracted by the artworks that represent A.A.Osmerkin's favorite genres - portraits, still lifes, landscapes as well as child's drawings, the early works and the last unfinished landscape. There are original photos, documents, paraphernalia, some items from the artistic studio, memorial items from the Pauchenko-Osmerkins' house exhibited in the showcases and on the stages. Thematic art exhibitions are presented in other halls.