National Art Museum

more than a year ago

Minsk’s fabulous National Art Museum, or the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus to give it its full title, holds the largest single collection of Belarusian and international art in the country and is a must-see sight for anyone visiting the city.
Holding individual collections of Belarusian Art from the 12th to the 20th Century, Russian Art from the 18th to the 20th Century, Western European Art from the 16th to the 20th Century and Oriental Art from the 15th to the 20th Century, the museum’s origins date back to before the war and a Resolution of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, passed on January 24, 1939, its official founding date. Starting life in the humble surroundings of Minsk’s Upper Communist Agricultural School, by 1941 the museum’s collection numbered 2,711 works of art, most of them donated by galleries in cities in Russia and Belarus. The coming of the Great Patriotic War however saw the collection looted by the occupying Nazis and spread far and wide, with not one item remaining and almost nothing recovered at the end of hostilities.
Starting from new, like the city in which is was housed, the collection was rebuilt from scratch with the notable work of the museum’s Director, Elena Aladova (1907-1986) who ran operations for 33 years from 1944 until her retirement. After the war the museum moved from home to home as the collection slowly grew.


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