Yanka Kupala State Literary Museum

Address: Minsk, Yanka Kupala Street, 4
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Yanka Kupala (1882 — 1942) was a classic of Belarusian literature: a poet, playwright, translator, author of about 2,000 works that were translated into many foreign languages. Together with Yakub Kolas, he was a founder of a new Belarusian literature. In his poems lyricism and melodiousness of traditional songs harmonized with the achievements of the soviet literature. Yanka Kupala wasn’t only a poet, but a dramatist as well. He is the author of 4 plays. That’s why in the museum there’s a hall dedicated to theatre. Kupala was friends with fathers of Belarusian theatre Ignat Buinitsky and Florian Zhdanovich who constantly inspired him to write something for theatre. That’s actually how the first comedy by Yanka Kupala was created. Today the performance based on the famous comedy Paulinka is projected on the improvised stage.

The history of the museum originates in 1944. Vladislava Luzkevich , the poet’s wife, was the first director of the museum. In 1959 the museum moved into a new building at Yanka Kupala Street. Up to the present day it’s located in the park named after the poet since 1972. It appeared here for a reason. Yanka Kupala’s house was situated here on the bank of the river Svisloch before it was burnt down in the first days of the Great Patriotic War. The museum collects, preserves, researches and interprets the heritage of Yanka Kupala (1882-1942). The exposition presents the life and works of Yanka Kupala and his role in the historical and cultural development at the national and European context. Significant projects of recent years are: the setting up of a new permanent exhibition, the publication of the catalog "Autographs of the 1st national poet of Belarus - Yanka Kupala", the socio-cultural action "Reading Kupala together" the exhibition to the 100th anniversary of the play "Paulinka" and the 120th anniversary of U. Lutsevich. The total number of fund items is 51,823 (2012). The most valuable are: the autographs, portraits and lifetime editions of Yanka Kupala, photographs and personal things of the poet and his family.

The presentation of Kupala’s heritage is carried out in traditional and new forms of cultural and educational activities: overview and thematic excursions, lectures, evenings, and interactive projects for different categories of visitors. In partnership with the museums of Europe and the CIS countries, there were the exhibitional, cultural and educational projects in Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Armenia, and Bulgaria. The museum includes branches the «Trenches» (Logoysk District), «Yakhimoushchyna» (Molodzechno District), the Kupala memorial preserves «Viazynka», which annually hosts the Republican festival of poetry, songs and folk crafts, and «Liauki» (Orsha District). Yanka Kupala's museum located in one of the most beautiful areas of the capital of Belarus. Having changed several places since foundation, it was finally established on the site where the original house of the poet stood, demolished with the fascist bombs in the first days of the World War II. Together with the grand monument to the poet and the fountain called «Kupalye» (bathing), the museum fits into a solid harmonious ensemble.

Many towns, parks, libraries and schools throughout Belarus bear the name of Yanka Kupala. The poet’s name is also attached to the National Academic Theatre in Minsk, the Literary Institute of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences, the University of Grodno, as well as a park and a metro station in Minsk. One of Kupala’s most famous poems «A khto tam idze” («And, Say, Who Goes There?”) was translated into 82 languages. His name is also given to the streets in Belarus (Brest, Gomel, Minsk), Russia (Volgograd, Nizhni Novgorod, Kazan) and Ukraine (Kiev, Lutsk, Lviv). His monument stands in New York’s Arrow Park.

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