The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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A Whole Life Given to the Museum Profession


On July 4, 2018 our colleague Valentina Lebedeva died at the age of 94. She was the eldest employee of our museum, and an honored cultural worker, she participated in several ICLM ICOM sessions. She died just a few days shy of the 70th anniversary of her work at Yasnaya Polyana.

Valentina Lebedeva was lucky to personally know and work together with Leo and Sophia Tolstoy‘s granddaughter Sophia Tolstaya-Esenina, the writer‘s secretaries N.N. Gusev and V.F. Bulgakov, the researchers of Tolstoy‘s heritage K.N. Lomuniv and E.G. Babaev, and with our museum‘s earliest employees, K.S. Semenov and N.P. Puzin.

For many years, Valentina Lebedeva headed our museum‘s research department and was one of the authors of a major exhibition dedicated to Leo Tolstoy‘s life and heritage. She was the author of articles on Tolstoy‘s pedagogical activities, and participated in the preparation of the scholarly description of Leo Tolstoy‘s personal library (the Russian-language part). She devoted her whole life to the study of the  biography of Leo Tolstoy, and managed to convey her love of his work and personality to several generations of her colleagues. Her fascinating stories of the life of the museum and its employees in the difficult post-war time were a good lesson for her colleagues of a caring and loving attitude to Yasnaya Polyana and everything related to the writer’s life and work.

Now, in our time of grief, we see Valentina Lebedeva as a charming, beautiful, and amazing  interlocutor, teacher, and friend who could always support you at a difficult time. She will always remain in our hearts!

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