Chekhov museums around the world

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 House-Museum, Taganrog
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. The small house is surrounded by garden planted with cherry trees.

"Chekhov's Shop" Museum, Taganrog
The Chekhov family lived in this building from 1869 to 1874. Pavel Chekhov, Anton Chekhov's father, had his shop on the ground floor, while the family lived upstairs. Anton Chekhov and his siblings often helped in running the shop. His short stories Ванька, Спать хочется, Канитель, Певчие, Архиерей, Отец семейства and Тяжелые люди are influenced by these experiences.

Anton Chekhov Literary Museum, Taganrog
the high school where Chekhov was a pupil, 1868 to 1879.
Short stories Репетитор, Учитель словесности, Случай с классиком, Ариадна, Человек в футляре are based on his experiences during that time.
Anton Chekhov Memorial House-Museum, Moscow
the first Moscow house Chekhov was able to rent for his family. Chekhov lived in the house 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.

"Museum-Reserve of A. P. Chekhov, Melikhovo"
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 A. P. Chekhov's Letters, Post and Telegraph Office", Lopasnya
the village post office that was opened in January 1896 due to the increase in mail that followed Chekhov's relocation to Melikhovo. 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, 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.

Chekhov Memorial school, Novoselki
The school that Chekhov founded in the village next to Melikhovo in 1897.
A. P. Chekhov House-Museum, Sumy
The Ukrainian dacha Chekhov rented for his family, 1888, 1889. Chekhov stayed 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 Лука и 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.
"Literary Museum of Chekhov's Book Sakhalin Island", Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
museum founded in 1995 in the southern Sakhalin town of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, formerly Vladimirovka, commemorating the historic book which resulted from Chekhov's visit in 1890. It was founded as a result of civic initiative.

"A. P. Chekhov and Sakhalin", Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky
museum founded in the former prison administration town of Alexandrovsk on the west coast of the island, commemorating Chekhov's visit in July 1890. 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 Sakhalin Island.
Memorial room, Suite 304, Grand Oriental Hotel, Colombo
where Chekhov stayed between 12 to 18 November 1890 on his way from Sakhalin. Here he finished the short story Gusev.
Anton Chekhov House-Museum, Yalta
the "white dacha" which Chekhov built for himself to live in between 1899 and 1904 in the Tatar village of Autka, outside Yalta. 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.

Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper Dacha in Gurzuf, Crimea
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 Three Sisters. 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.

"Chekhov and the Crimea" exhibition, "Omyur" Dacha, Yalta
the house (named after the Turkish word for life - ömür) in which Chekhov lived from the autumn of 1898 to the spring of 1899 while the "white dacha" was being built. 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.
The "Tschechow-Salon Literary Museum", Badenweiler
museum commemorating Chekhov's final days in the Black Forest spa in Germany in 1904. 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.