Odessa Art College. M. B. Grekova

The first art institution in Ukraine was the Odessa Art School of Drawing, which subsequently established itself in the status of an Art school. The newspaper "Odessa Vestnik" dated May 29, 1865, No. 14, indicates that on May 30, 1865, a drawing school opens and invites to the exhibition of "fine arts" accompanying this event. It was also reported that at this event it will be possible to buy a school program and exhibition catalog. The school was not a private educational institution - it was opened by the Society of Fine Arts with the patronage of famous people in the city: S. Vorontsov, Governor-General P. Kotsebu, Mayor N. Novoselsky, Princes Gagarin, Manuk Bay, Count Tolstoy, Italian Consul General Castille, the largest architects F. Boffo, L. Otton, F. Gonsiorovsky and many others. The list is impressive by the number of people who wanted to help such a noble endeavor.

For a long time, the school existed exclusively on voluntary donations and did not have a permanent address. It was difficult to solve issues of a material and educational-methodical nature. For a long 30 years, these problems have become the concern of the vice president of the Society of Fine Arts, Franz Osipovich Morandi. An Italian by birth, an outdoor counselor, an architect of the Odessa City Council, a public figure, he found time and energy to equip a drawing school: he took care of providing teaching staff, books, and visual aids. It is known that the first plaster casts, drawings, prints and mannequins were sent to them from the Milan Academy of Arts, with whom he had close contacts. Odessa customs even exempted from import duty plaster casts from abroad.

On May 18, 1876, the City Duma considered the question (at the personal request of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich) about providing a school in the city center with a place for building a school and decided: to provide a place and a house on Preobrazhenskaya Street, where the medical department was located. So, by the efforts of Odessa citizens of various ranks and social backgrounds, the school of drawing was built in Odessa, which in the future was destined to become the famous Greek school. By the time of construction, the school had released such famous artists in the future as F. Roubaud, K. Kostandi, Yu. Dmitrenko, A. Krasovsky, B. Eduard.