Victoria Lysenko, proprietor of the Victoria Museum, a 19th-century Kiev museum of costume and style, founded it in 2016 as a response to national events. She believes it is culture that is the strong parentage distinguishing a country from any other countries, accentuating its uniqueness, and authenticating its history. The museum includes a collection portraying the life of middle-class residents of major Ukrainian cities: Kiev, Kharkiv, Odessa, Lviv, etc. Victoria Museum today is a city center building of the capital. In 2016 it was renovated by Victoria and her husband (on their own account); right then Victoria created intellectual and cultural environments within the renovated space.
Victoria Museum is a relatively junior museum. Yet the key indicator of the project’s success is not its age, but the number of achievements and victories. Over the years in the circumstances of lockdowns, quarantines, and crises, the museum activities have not stopped. Viktoriya Lysenko set a goal to develop the museum as a cultural center for Kiev citizens, and no circumstances have stopped her in this endeavor. For these years the collection of the museum has increased up to more than 1000 exhibits, carefully restored in the museum workshops, the biggest collection of ancient fans of XVII-XX centuries is collected, more than ten thematic exhibitions organized, several thematic catalogs published, more than 600 lectures, master-classes and workshops for various audiences held, and about 1500 people visited the most glorious exhibition.
The greatest present, as well as the core meaning of museums, is the flow of visitors, yearning for knowledge, history and culture. Viktoria Lysenko speaks specifically for our edition on reasons to visit the museum.
1. Humanity Lessons. With its exhibits, informers, and audio-guides, the museum space is a perfect avenue to learn about history and culture, not only of different countries, but also of diverse eras; to track and experience the evolution of the consciousness of predecessors. An excellent example in this respect is our exhibition dedicated to Lesja Ukrainka, which allowed many visitors to feel the energy of a living person drawn from the historical figure portrayed on the hryvnas. Not only her image has grown closer, but also the beliefs, culture and morals of the time – easier to comprehend.
2. Broadening one’s consciousness and horizons of perception. A major benefit of visiting museums is the idea that one can change perspectives and situate oneself in the shoes of those people whose costumes, for instance, are on display in my museum. One can experience the emotions of someone of a certain era, see what they wore, imagine what they believed in, etc.
3. Inspiration. Occasionally a person might feel “out of sorts.” Don’t we just feel the need to get out of that for an hour or two? Having said that, the very fact of stepping out already ‘gives’ great inspiration boost! The psyche definitely has to be ventilated and refreshed. Otherwise it will look like in a musty room. And the ‘muse’ lives in a ‘museum!’ A museum provides a great place to recharge the mind and get inspired.
4. A conversation subject. I mean, how long can we stay virologists and political scientists? Now it is time to turn into culturologists. Visiting a museum may provide new themes for conversation and discussion. Tell us what touched you about the exhibition. Which exhibit is the most memorable? What amazes you about the museum? What would you like to learn extra? Did you have a good speaker for the lecture? And what new things did you learn? Enjoy an interesting and positive evening.
5. Peace and quiet. Nowadays stress is an integral part of our life. Trying to get rid of it is not easy, especially if it is rooted deep in the psyche, deforming and distorting it. Many are now seeing psychologists, life coaches, less often yoga, pilates, meditation, etc. to cope with the pressures of life. Museums have an alternative for peaceful and quiet relaxation. As you walk through the halls of a museum, listening to the audio guide, silently contemplating the beautiful exhibits in the showcases and unraveling their meanings, you also have an opportunity to reflect deeply on your personal life on a larger scale and find at least an hour or two of peace and quiet. In a sense, there seems to be something very spiritual about museums; their soothing effect may resemble a visit to a church, a synagogue or a mosque.
6. Joining a group of soulmates. Nearly all museums offer lectures, workshops, quests, excursions to meet new people who share the same love of art and culture. One can also come to the museum with a roommate, co-workers, etc., thus strengthening relationships grounded in shared experiences.
7. Tourism. A visit to a museum is a wonderful way to explore the culture, history, and traditions of the city you are staying in.
8. Education and Development. Kids and the museum are a significant concern. Children of today will soon be the leaders of tomorrow, the leaders of the future state. So what will that future world be like if the children grow up not having experienced firsthand the contribution of the arts to society? With culture and the arts, how does it shape a person? For this reason it is crucial, if you have children, to attend exhibitions, museums, theaters, etc. together with the children. Discuss what you see, help your child to discover and ‘unlock’ himself, fill the voids in his or her psyche – fill it through history, beauty and culture.
9. New impressions and feelings. Believe it or not, the museum itself may be interesting! One can listen to an audio guide, take a couple of photos in the replicas or special photo-zone, read additional information on museum tablets, make stories for your subscribers, attend a featured lecture.
10. Increasing the Happiness Index. This particular point is the most convincing for many! Visiting a museum is well-proven to favorably influence our human experience. Museums safeguard our heritage, the chronology of both the best and the worst in its history, and serve to enrich the lives of visitors, for present and future generations.