Мистецький Арсенал
вул. Лаврська, 10-12
Київ, Київська область 01010

29th November Mystetskyi Arsenal starts hosting «Open Collection. Ihor Dychenko, Valeriya Virska – to Ukrainian people» project, which will exhibit works from the unique private collection of a famous art scientist Ihor Dychenko. The collection was passed to Mystetskyi Arsenal by his widowed wife Valeriya Virska.  The ceremony took place on 12th October 2015 and was attended by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Thereby a private collection consisting of 509 paintings, drawings, crafts became a part of the Museum Fund of Ukraine. Thanks to Valeriya Virska noble decision – a priceless world art heritage will be passed to the future generations, who, having an example of great Ukrainian artists, will develop the world-class art, and ordinary people will be able to see the art works in open museum exhibitions. 

Given the scale and an artistic level of the collection, this event is unprecedented for our cultural life of the last decades. The last example of such a selfless gift – is the collection of the famous Kyiv collector and pediatrician David Sigalov, which was passed to Kyiv Museum of Russian Art in early 1980th, and also a gift of Pushkin’s collection by the collector Yakov Berdychevskyi, which became a foundation of the Pushkin’s museum in 1999 in Kyiv. It is essential that this noble tradition, started by Metropolitan Andriy Sheptyckyi in early XX, Hanenko and Tereshchenko families, Vasyl Krychevskyi and Mykola Bilyashivskyi lasted up to today’s difficult times. 

Throughout his whole life an art scientist and artist Ihor Dychenko collected works of great artists, who glorified Ukraine, − K. Malevych, O. Bogomazova, V. Palmova, V. Ermylova, O. Hvostenko-Hvostova, V. Meller, O.Pavlenko, D. Burlyuki, M. Boychuk, A. Gorska, О. Zaluvaha, А. Kryvolap. Even in Soviet times, experts attributed his collection to a top ten contemporary private collections. The art works were exhibited in New-York, San-Francisco, Tokyo, Munich, London, Edmonton, Odense, Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Perm, and Odessa. Ihor Dyschenko  was well aware of the value of the collected masterpieces and potential dangers associated with their retention, thus starting from late 1980th passed the most valuable masterpieces for temporary storage of state museum institutions – at various times the collection was stored by Ukrainian Museum of Books and Printing, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv City History Museum, starting of 2011 the collection has been partially passed for a temporary storage to Mystetskyi Arsenal. Ihor Dychenko dreamed about a museum in Kyiv, where we would be able to exhibit his collection, generously share his own knowledge about art. Unfortunately, collector’s dreams of opening his treasures to people were not destined to come true during his lifetime. «Arlekin ide» exhibition, which was held in Mystetskyi Arsenal this August and a long-awaited publication of the exhibition catalog, became a peculiar postmortem dedication to the famous collector. 

Even living in difficult circumstances and having different interesting propositions, Ihor Dyschenko above all sought to preserve an integrity and inviolability of his collection. In 2014 he declined a proposition of the Moscow gallery «Proun» regarding exporting of some artworks to an exhibition outside Ukraine, for he believed that in such difficult time his masterpieces should stay at home. «He had been creating a collection to leave it to the people of Ukraine», ‒ said his widowed wife and supporter Valeriya Virska.