July 18, 2019: a new Chekhov museum is set to open its doors in Taganrog. The house of Pavel Yegorovich Chekhov - Anton Chekhov
's father - is located on the grounds of the former Chekhov family's homestead in Kontorskaya Street (now Luxembourg Street). It was built in 1874 upon the project of the architect E. Dalphon in a plot of land presented to Pavel Chekhov by his father. It was their first and the only house of their own in Taganrog.
Chekhov's father expected not only to live in his own house, but also to take in lodgers. However, these plans were not realized. In spring 1876 Pavel Chekhov had to leave town for Moscow because of his debts. Other family members gradually moved there too except for Anton, who stayed in Taganrog to finish his studies at school (gymnasium).
At the end of the same year the house was put on sale and was consequently acquired by Gavriil Selivanov - one of the tenants. Therefore, in his final school years Anton had to switch roles with the new landlord and lived as a tenant, earning money by tutoring. Those were the most challenging years for Chekhov, but this was also the time when he began his literary work - starting with a self-published humorous magazine and up until his first play, which is known as "Untitled Play" or "Fatherlessness".
In August 1879 Anton abandoned Taganrog and the home in Kontorskaya Street, now known as "The Family Seat", which saw the Chekhov family's downfall, humiliation and poverty. Sad memories of his last five years in this house had an impact on many of his works. Having visited Taganrog in 1887, Anton Chekhov
wrote: "The house of Selivanov is empty and abandoned. I was bored to look at it and I wouldn't want to own it even at a fire-sale price. I wonder how could we have lived in here anyway?!".
Today the house that belonged to Pavel Chekhov is in the regional list of cultural heritage sites and forms part of the Taganrog State Museum-Preserve. July 15, 2019 a temporary exhibition "Taganrog and Chekhovs" opened in the "Family Seat". It presents information on four years spent by Anton Chekhov
in this house and his early literary activities. The inauguration of the new museum will take place on January 29, 2020 within the framework of commemorative events dedicated to Chekhov's 160th birth anniversary.