An Electronic Сatalogue of Slobozhanshchina Icons of the Late 18th – Early 20th Сenturies: Prerequisites for Creation, Purposes, Functions
The article substantiates the need to create a virtual catalogue of Slobozhanshchina (Sloboda Ukraine) icons and sets the aim of developing the main characteristics of the projected electronic collection. Based on the use of systemic-historical and historical-genetic methods, documentary sources were analysed, the results of research of Russian and Ukrainian historians and culture scientists were studied. The history of museums in Sloboda Ukraine, which collected works of icon painting, is considered; special attention is paid to the Historical and Church Museum. Until the revolutionary events of 1917, this museum’s collections were constantly replenished with new exhibits. The history of the creation of the Museum of Ukrainian Art and the Central Art and History Museum named after Gregory Skovoroda (Museum of Sloboda Ukraine) is analysed. The influence of the events of the twentieth century on the icon-painting heritage of Sloboda Ukraine is considered. This heritage, as a result of the atheistic campaign of the 1930s and the actions of the occupiers during the Great Patriotic War, lost unity and was fragmented between numerous museum and private collections. The consequences of the German fascist invaders’ plunder of the museums of Sloboda Ukraine were especially grave: hundreds of thousands of exhibits were destroyed or taken out of the country. The fact of huge and often irreparable losses in the cultural heritage of Sloboda Ukraine by the middle of the twentieth century is stated. At present, the museums of Sloboda Ukraine have already collected a significant part of icon-painting works (about 500), but this number is not comparable with the richest heritage of Sloboda Ukraine of the beginning of the twentieth century. The author emphasises that a certain number of Slobozhanshchina icons continue to remain in churches and private collections in both Ukraine and Russia. Information about icons received from individuals is insufficient for attribution and museum documentation compilation, so many of the icons have not yet been fully introduced into museum circulation. The way out of this situation, according to the author, is to create an electronic catalogue of Slobozhanshchina icons, which will be a database of icon-painting works from museum and private collections with texts and images. The concept of the electronic catalogue has been developed. The catalogue is designed to unite all the works of Slobozhanshchina icon painting that have survived to date.