On 8 December 2020 the Ovcharenko Gallery announced that it successfully bid 61.2 million rubles ($826,756) at auction to purchase the former house-studio of Isaac Levitan in Moscow. The conditions of the auction (and legislation related to the preservation of objects of cultural heritage) require the Ovcharenko Gallery to spend additional funds to restore and preserve the building, which is currently a fire hazard and in poor condition.
Quoted in TASS, Vladimir Ovcharenko, the gallery’s founder, said, “Art will live in it. Before us is a lot of work to restore the building. It’s a fire danger. But this doesn’t scare us. . . . The spirit of Levitan will help us. In return, we promise to devote ourselves to art and world-class artistic projects.”
In 1889 Sergei Morozov, a wealthy Moscow entrepreneur, gave Levitan the use of the detached building on the grounds of his father’s grand mansion in a fashionable, secluded part of the city. The artist remained there until his death in 1900, living on the ground floor and working in his studio on the second floor.