Hometown of Marc Chagall – Vitebsk – throughout the life of the master was an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Domes of temples and ancient streets, miniature houses and benches with signs, ribbons of wooden fences, cabmen on the streets always remained on the picturesque canvases together with his famous angels in the sky and lovers…
Nowadays, scientists, historians, art historians and, of course, painters from all over the world come to this city to imbue with the atmosphere and see where one of the brightest representatives of the world avant-garde of the twentieth century lived and worked…
House-Museum of Marc Chagall in Vitebsk
The famous house on Pokrovskaya Street, in which the artist’s childhood and youth passed, was built by his father in the early 1900s on the right bank of the Western Dvina. During the war the brick building was badly damaged by the bombing and fire – and miraculously survived.
In 1997, the Memorial Museum of Marc Chagall was opened here. In his exposition objects of everyday life of the turn of the XIX-XX centuries are collected, as well as real “witnesses” of Chagall’s life – archival documents and first works, personal belongings of the artist and his family. They were not much preserved, but the atmosphere of the era was passed as accurately as possible: the old exhibits for the collection were selected using a series of drawings, which Marc Chagall
himself created, from memory, capturing the interiors of the parents’ house.
On the left bank of the Western Dvina is the second building of the museum – the Art Center of Marc Chagall, where one of the largest collections of Chagall in the world is located, uniting more than 300 original graphic works and reproductions of the most famous paintings.
Art Center of Marc Chagall
The Art Center of Marc Chagall was opened in 1992 in a building of the 19th century, which is depicted on the world-famous canvas “Above the City”. The first exhibits in the collection were works presented by friends – “A circle of assistance to the Chagall House-Museum in Vitebsk” (Ninbur, Germany).
The museum contains a rich collection of graphic works by the artist, which included lithographs, woodblock prints, as well as 3 colored aquatints donated in 1994 by the daughter of the artist Ida Chagall, and 96 etchings representing a series of book illustrations transmitted by the granddaughters of the artist Meret and Bella.
The pearl of the collection is the magnificent illustrations of Marc Chagall for literary works, including a series of sketches for Nikolai Gogol’s poem “Dead Souls” (1923-25), a series of color lithographs under the titles “The Bible” (1956 and 1960) and “The 12 Tribes of Israel ” (1960)…
It also holds a weighty collection of printed graphics of outstanding representatives of the European avant-garde – Juan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Leger…
Traditionally, the Art Center hosts exhibitions of works by Marc Chagall from his own collection of the museum and a collection of his descendants, as well as paintings by contemporary Belarusian and foreign artists.
Within the framework of the Shagal’s Readings there are scientific conferences, vernissages, lectures, concerts, performances of theater and circus groups, plein airs, as well as exhibitions of graphic works by young artists of the city.
In the building of the Art Center there is a scientific library where you can find books about the life and work of Marc Chagall. The opening took place in 2002 in honor of the 115th anniversary of the artist’s birth and was possible due to the generous gift of Dr. Henry Mandel (Irrel, Germany).
The collection of the library includes more than 3,500 books in different languages of the world – English, German, French, Russian… The funds hold editions from the beginning of the twentieth century to our time, including rare, in the history of fine art, Russian and European avant-garde, a monograph on creativity Mark Chagall, the publication of the autobiography “My Life”, memories of the artist, books with his illustrations…
Events in honor of Marc Chagall
Throughout the year, in honor of the iconic events of the life of the famous artist, the only museum of Marc Chagall in Belarus turns into a world cultural center. Here scientists, artists, writers, musicians gather, as well as interesting events:
International Shagalov Readings
Literary and musical meetings “Visiting Mark and Bella”
International Children and Youth Art School (since 2007)
The cycle of creative meetings “XXI century. Dialogues about culture »
Marc Chagall’s Birthday – July 7
In 2015, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the marriage of Marc Chagall and Bella Rosenfeld in Vitebsk, a wedding extravaganza “Lovers over the City” was held.
Address and opening hours of the Marc Chagall Museum
The house-museum of Marc Chagall is located in the center of Vitebsk near the railway station – st. Pokrovskaya, 11.
Art Center of Marc Chagall – st. Putna, 2 (Soviet, 25).
Working hours: 11.00 – 18.30. Weekends: from October 1 to April 1 – Monday, Tuesday; from April 1 to October 1 – Monday.