Odesa’s Arts Museum has one of the richest and the most interesting collections of artworks in the country. It is located at the very center of Odesa, in the town’s most beautiful building – the ancient Pototsky Palace. This unique architectural monument was built in 1826, designed by the well-known Italian architect Francesco Boffo in the style of Russian classicism. The building’s first owner was Countess Pototska; later on, it was purchased by Odesa’s governor, a prominent activist and collector, who donated the space to the Arts Museum.
The museum’s fist paintings were a gift from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts; they became the basis of the museum’s original collection. Over time, the Arts Museum’s collection became more robust over time, mainly through the efforts of the Odesa Fine Arts Society. The society added new and unique pieces to the museum’s collection, and today, it is rightfully considered to be one of the most significant and diverse arts museums in Ukraine. Currently, it has over ten thousand works of visual art: paintings, graphics, sculptures, icon paintings, as well as decorative and applied arts. The collection is arranged in a clear, chronological order.
Famous seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky’s paintings are the Arts Museum’s pride. It also houses paintings of prominent 19th and 20th century Russian artists - Mikhail Vrubel, Valentin Serov, Nikolai Rerikh, Wassily Kandinsky, and others. There is a gallery of modern art in the museum, where current works of talented Ukrainian artists, in particular from Odesa, are exhibited.