Scientific heritage of the academician of AUAS Fedor Schmitt: sources for studying the museum sociology in Ukraine (1990s-2000s)

  • T. O. Kutsaeva National museum of history of Ukraine
Keywords: Fedor Ivanovich Schmitt, museum sociology, museology, museum audience, History of museums of Ukraine


The origins of the actual direction of modern museum activity in Ukraine, the museum sociology, have been studied. A retrospective review of the achievements of the museum sociology has been conducted according to the historiography of 1990-2000s and periods of this trend’s development have been defined from the beginning of 1990s. Other examples of the study of Ukrainian museums audience and in other historical periods (19th–20th centuries) have been found. The conclusion that attention of the museum staff to the visitor is not only limited by 1991 has been made. In order to solve the scientific task of the article, the academic heritage of the academician of AUAS Fedor Schmitt (1877-1937) and historiography on him has been analyzed.The relevance of the research is grounded by the fact that not only the study of the audience is now a part of the museum’s activities, but also the understanding of the sources of this process. There are a lot of publications on different aspects of learning of needs, motivations, expectations, behaviors, a socio-demographic profile and social categories of museums’ audience. However, little attention is paid to the key personalities of this sphere of scientific knowledge. Thus, the development of sociology and museology in the nineteenth century gave rise to the increased attention to the person in the museum. That’s why Schmitt’s scientific heritage is one of the keys to understanding the abovementioned phenomenon. The birth of the Ukrainian school of museology, where the leader was Nicholay Bilyashivsky, happened within the Archaeological Commission of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences led by Schmitt. In general, the historiography on Schmitt consists of works of his contemporaries, rare reports on the repressed scientist in the late 1960s. Only in the beginning of 1990s, Ukrainian historians introduced back to the scientific use those archival documents, which revived this forgotten figure. The logical fact is that Schmitt’s works are special. They are diverse. In academic institutions, museums of Kharkiv, Kyiv, Leningrad, Akmolinsk and Tashkent, where he was serving sentences, he worked very intensively. Part of Schmitt`s heritage is lost forever, and those works that are stored in the libraries of Ukraine, have never been republished. Some Schmitt`s ideas, which were expressed in his article describing the characteristics of his works, filed in 1910-1920’s, original thoughts, opinions and comparisons would draw the attention of modern museums researchers as they demonstrated the traditions of Museology of Ukraine. And as Schmitt`s ideas are largely overlapping with the relevant areas of the museum activity and some of them have just been announced by the museum workers, the scientific heritage of this scholar can really be regarded as certain foundation of the modern museum sociology in Ukraine. Even though the scientist has firstly mentioned the sociology in the context of museums activity only in Leningrad, but this result would be impossible without the experience, got during the Ukrainian practice.


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How to Cite
Kutsaeva, T. (2017). Scientific heritage of the academician of AUAS Fedor Schmitt: sources for studying the museum sociology in Ukraine (1990s-2000s). Grani, 20(2), 66-71.