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About “The Fan – Renaissance” project


Odessa Bleshunov Museum of personal collections will present the first scientific catalog of fans in Ukraine. The project is supported by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. The Museum received the third grant for the implementation of its ideas.


The Bleschunov Municipal Museum of personal collections consists of separate collections of various exhibits. It is planned to compile a catalog for each collection, in which the research results will be presented. Ten years ago, the museum compiled the first catalog of icon paintings.

The Museum now has 54 fans – this is the largest collection among the municipal and state museums of Ukraine. Forty-three fans came from the personal collection of Alexander Bleshunov, collectors and friends of the museum donated 11 fans. Most are made in France as well as unique samples of Asian countries of the XVIII-XX centuries. Among them, you can find hand-made fans made of paper, silk, lace, ivory plates, as well as a tortoiseshell.

For two decades, the collection was systematically revived by restorers. The first fans began to be restored back in 2003. Some copies cannot be stored in the daylight due to the nature of the material; they will be placed in pull-out display cases. More “young” specimens will show off in hinged display cases.

The fan consists of a skeleton (lower part) and a screen (upper part). When the screen failed, the owner of the fan ordered a new top. The skeleton of one of the fans in the collection of the museum was made of ivory by the craftsmen in 1770, the screen is 100 years younger than it.

At the same time, the museum staff processed the exhibits for the publication of a scientific catalog, the professional purpose of which is the development and introduction into professional circulation of special terminology (thesauri). This will help in solving the current problem of the domestic museum industry – the creation of electronic databases using thesauri, taking into account their compliance with international standards to interact between professionals, including outside the country.

The Fan – Renaissance project is a scientific catalog that contains all the information about the unique fan collection, its description and historical overview. The museum will present two versions of the scientific catalog – a digital one, which will be posted on the museum’s website, so that anyone can get acquainted with it, and a printed version, which will also be freely available in the museum and will be published at the presentation of the project.

Here we have in mind a double meaning: “revival” as the revival of a museum object, giving it an expositional look; and the second is a revival of interest in the fan.

Odessa Bleshunov Museum of personal collections