Chekhov’s extended family comes from Taganrog; he was born and went to school there; and later visited the town in 1881, 1887, 1894, 1896 and 1899. In his adult life, Chekhov was active in several causes to improve cultural environment of the town. For instance, he advocated creating a natural history museum, restoring the town library, and even advised sending local teachers to intern in an agriculture school so they can supervise works in the town gardens. There are more than 25 buildings and locations in Taganrog surviving to this day that are linked to various points of Chekhov’s life, his literary output, and preservation of his legacy.
Chekhov home museum
Chekhov’s family lived in this house from late 1859 to early 1861. Anton Chekhov was born in one of its adjoining wings in 1860. An exhibit was opened in the house in 1926, thus it’s the oldest Chekhov museum. The small house is surrounded by garden planted with cherry trees. Inside the house, there is a small exhibit with photographs of the elder generation of the Chekhovs, documents related to retail operations of P.Ye.Chekhov, other family items.
The Chekhovs store museum
The Chekhov family lived in this building from 1869 to 1874. P.Ye. Chekhov’s store and the kitchen were on the ground floor, while the family members had rooms upstairs. Anton Chekhov and his siblings often helped in running the store. His short stories Ванька, Спать хочется, Канитель, Певчие, Архиерей, Отец семейства and Тяжелые люди are influenced by these experiences.
The Chekhov literature museum (Taganrog Gymnasium)
Chekhov studied at the Gymnasium from 1868 to 1879. Short stories Репетитор, Учитель словесности, Случай с классиком, Ариадна, Человек в футляре are based on his experiences during that time.The new exhibit A. P. Chekhov to his native town and the world was opened in 2010 to commemorate 150-year anniversary of his birth. It’s one of the most technologically advanced museum exhibits in Russia, and uses modern means of interpretation. The exhibit illustrates the entirety Chekhov’s life and the body of work as well as the place of his work within the cultural heritage of the world. Uniquely to this museum, several rooms – including assembly room, class-room, and detention room – recreate educational environment of that time.
The State Museum of Literature
The State Literature Museum holds a 9,000 item collection of Chekhov artefacts and memorabilia, including: 1) photographs, including personal and family photos, photos from Chekhov’s trips and photos of theatre productions; 2) personal items; 3) drawings and paintings of Chekhov’s siblings as well as other artists connected to the family; 4) archives of materials from theatre productions around the world and of illustrations to Chekhov books.
Chekhov Memorial house
Chekhov lived in the house (with several other members of the family) from August 1886 up until he left for his trip to Sakhalin in April 1890. While living there, Chekhov wrote about one hundred short stories, as well as the works Степь, Скучная история and Иванов. Rooms on the two stories of the house, including Chekhov’s study, his bedroom, bedrooms of his siblings, and the drawing room, are restored with period details and furnishing using contemporary drawings and descriptions. The exhibition spanning his entire life and literary history contains a number of personal and original items, including items connected with his medical practice.
The Melikhovo Estate
After his return from Sakhalin, and realising he cannot afford to live in Moscow, Chekhov has purchased this estate in Melikhovo. He lived there from 1892 to 1899, and wrote, among other works, the plays The Seagull and Uncle Vanya.
The museum consists of the main site with several original wood buildings and structures surrounded by gardens, recent administrative, conference and research buildings and three branches in nearby towns, two of which have connection to Chekhov. The big family house contains an exhibit dedicated to the entire Chekhov family. Bedrooms of the family members are restored with specific details: painting stand with paints in the room of his sister Maria, dried medicinal herbs and a ledger book in his father’s.
On the grounds, there are several preserved buildings: Chekhov’s study, where he would retire to write when the main building became too noisy; fire shed, built by Chekhov for the villagers; and the kitchen with adjacent “French” kitchen garden. Additionally, some ancillary yard structures were re-built in 2000s to recreate the life in a country estate. The museum staff recreated a medical practice of late XIX – early XX century (Амбулатория) in one of the buildings to illustrate work of Chekhov-doctor.
The museum boasts a 28,000 item collection, in particular photographs, paintings by family members and friends, contemporary editions of Chekhov’s books, his autographs, personal items.
Museum of Chekhov letters in Lopasnia
While living in Melikhovo, Chekhov boarded trains, saw his visitors off, and received some correspondence at the Lopasnia railway station, about 25 km away, which was in operation since 1866. Eventually, Chekhov, along with other local residents, petitioned for opening of a post office at the station.
The post office was opened on January 2 1896, and thus Chekhov started receiving his mail daily; his mailing address became “Лопасня, Москов. губ.”, Lopasnia of Moscow Region. A few months later, a telegraph station was added to the post office, and Chekhov was invited to the opening. Altogether, Chekhov mailed around 2,500 letters, as well as manuscripts, telegrams and packages through this post office.The museum is located in the station building. One of its exhibits recreates a postal office of that time. The other is dedicated to Chekhov’s epistolary output, and more broadly, to letter-writing tradition from the late-medieval time to this day.
Memorial school building in Novoselki
Chekhov donated money for the building, which from 1897 to mid-1970s housed first a земская школа (three-grade primary school), and later other education units. Currently it’s a site of the exhibit “In the world of Chekhov characters”, which gives educational interpretation for his literary works, such as the realities of life at that time, the meaning of archaic and obscure idioms, the ranking system of nobility and state employers and other details which might be lost on a casual reader today.
Chekhov House in Sumy
Chekhov visited Luka area near Sumy in 1888-1889, staying at the western wing of the Lintvarev (Линтварёвы) family three-building country estate. He practiced medicine and wrote drafts of short stories (Неприятность, Красавицы) and plays (Трагик поневоле). Chekhov used observations he has made during his residence in the works Именины, Скучная история, Лешийand Чайка.Several literary and book-publishing figures have visited him at the estate. It has been suggested that Chekhov considered moving to the area for good.
An often quoted line of his letter to N.M. Lintvareva is: Аббация и Адриатическое море великолепны, но Лукаи Псел лучше. There is a somber connection to the place as well: Chekhov’s brother, Nikolai, died in 1889 and is buried in the Luka cemetery. Chekhov’s last visit to Sumy was in August of 1894.Museum exhibition consists of drawing and dining rooms with reconstructed interiors, Chekhov’s office and a nook for compounding drugs. Museum collection includes personal items, first editions of Chekhov’s books, original documents and photographs. Part of the exhibit is dedicated to Nikolai, and contains, among other documents, his original drawings.
Museum of the Chekhov book The Island of Sakhalin in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
The museum is a non-profit organisation within the Ministry of Culture of Sakhalin Region. It is financed through a grant from the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and, to a lesser extent, private donations. It was founded as a result of civic initiative, and in 2013 moved to a new modern building.The museum is dedicated to the trip Chekhov took to Sakhalin area in 1890, and the resulting book The Island of Sakhalin.
The book is seen as bringing to light the plight of Sakhalin population, and the eventual change for the better. The museum’s stated mission is to popularise the book and preserve Chekhov legacy in Sakhalin, as well as Sakhalin other cultural traditions.The main exhibit focuses on Chekhov’s live, with a special emphasis on the time he spent in Sakhalin, and on the content of the book. To illustrate the narrative, the exhibit draws on contemporaneous and some original personal items that used to belong to Chekhov and the other members of his family.
Chekhov and Shakhalin Museum in Aleksandov-Sakhalinsk
This is a municipal museum with non-profit status, combining natural history, ethnography and literature exhibits. It occupies the house where Chekhov stayed in July of 1890 during his trip to Sakhalin. Chekhov part of the museum collection covers his work on Sakhalin population census and the book Остров Сахалин. The museum offers a guided tour about Chekhov’s motivations for the trip, his work and impressions during it.
Memorial Room in Colombo
Chekhov stayed 12 to 18 November 1890 at the Hotel Grand Oriental his way from Sakhalin. Here he finished the short story Gusev.The hotel preserved Suite 304 as a memorial room with contemporary furniture, and in 2010 the Russian embassy has unveiled a memorial plaque and a statue of Chekhov in the lobby.
Chekhov House-Museum in Yalta – “White Dacha”
Chekhov moved to Yalta in 1898 on advice of his doctors. In one year, from October 1898 to September 1899 he built a house, which was his residence until his death in 1904. His mother and sister Maria lived at the house as well. Here he wrote some of his most recognised works, including the shot stories The lady with the Dog, The Bishop, На святках, The Bride and the plays Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.The house and garden were in the care of Chekhov’s sister after his death, so many of the items currently on display are the original belongings of Chekhov and his family. The garden retains planning and a few trees that were planted by Chekhov. The museum holds a biennial conference Chekhov Readings, and supports research on Chekhov’s biography and his works.
Chekhov has purchased this property in January of 1900, as a place where he could escape from numerous visitors and guests of his Yalta house. Here he wrote the first act of the play Три сестры. While Anton Chekhov himself did not live in this house for extended periods of time, several members of his family did.Three rooms of the house are restored with contemporary furnishings. The exhibits are dedicated to Chekhov’s relationship with his wife, Olga Knipper, the play Three sisters, and the people that have surrounded him, his family and friends.
The Omyur dacha is located in the centre of Yalta. Chekhov rented two rooms there from October 1898 to April 1899. During this time, he oversaw construction of the White dacha, planted the garden, practiced medicine, and had written the short stories Случай из практики, По делам службы, Душечка and Новая дача. In the latter he gives a description of the Omyur dacha.
Chekhov Salon Museum in Badenweiler
Chekhov came to Badenweiler, a well-known at that time TB resort, in early June of 1904 after his illness took a turn for the worse. On July 15th he died in the Hotel Sommer. The museum’s exhibit and archives hold documents about Chekhov as well as other international literary figures connected to Badenweiler. The museum also serves as a base for cultural and museum exchange programs, conferences, play performances, etc.