The Lviv National Museum of Ukrainian Art was founded in 1905. The history of its creation is linked with the extensive democratic movement in Western Ukraine for national and social liberation, and for the Ukrainians' right to their own culture. A leading role in the foundation of the museum was played by Ivan Franko, artist Ivan Trush, ethnographers Volodymyr Hnatyuk, Filaret Kolessa and others as well as by Illarion Svientsitsky, the museum's first director, an eminent Slavist, art historian and specialist in the theoretical and practical aspects of running a museum.
The 14-th - 18-th century Ukrainian art section is one of the museum's richest, graphically demonstrating the uniqueness vivid national unigueness of Ukrainian icon-painting, and its original contribution to the general Slavic art treasury. The best examples of the 14-th - 18-th century Halician icons meet the highest historical and artistic criteria.
The 16-th - 18-th centuries the popular masses of Western Ukraine created their own democratic culture which greatly influenced many spheres of professional art. The 19-th and early 20-th centuries Ukrainian figurative art section, a considerable part of which was collected over the last few decades, includes works by illustrious Ukrainian poet, artist and founder of realistic art in Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko, including his Self-portrait and etchings.
The crucial step towards democratic and realistic art was made by the generation who reached maturity at the turn of the century and who were headed by Ivan Trush, Olena Kulchytska and Olexa Novakivsky. The creative efforts of Ivan Trush, Olena Kulchytska and Olexa Novakivsky were supported by the other contemporary Western Ukrainian artists.
They included Anton Manastyrsky whose works have been highly popular for over fifty years. Very many of the works on exhibit are by Lviv artists and sculptors. By tradition, the Lviv school is primarily realistic and in consonance with the people's inner needs. There are many works by Lviv graphic artists and sculptors on exhibit in other museums of Ukraine but only the collection of the Lviv National Museum of Ukrainian Art and the Picture Gallery in Lviv enable us to get fully acquainted with these masters' achivements.
Lviv Study. Handbook./Compiler group manager N.Vynnytska.-Lviv:AHIL,2003.- 52p. ISBN 966-7617-59-9