September 14–November 15, 2013

This exhibition features a group of historically significant Russian icons dating from 1590 to the present, all drawn from the collection of The Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA.

Visitors are invited to explore the historical context in which the icons were created, the definition of an icon, and how icons are made—both in the past and today. The exhibition also looks at Russian history and culture, and the systematic destruction of holy images, or the practice of iconoclasm.

Windows to Heaven: Treasures from the Museum of Russian Icons beautifully complements Maryhill Museum of Art’s own collection of Russian icons, a portion of which is on permanent view. Much of Maryhill’s Russian icon collection once belonged to Queen Marie of Romania. Queen Marie’s mother was devoutly Russian Orthodox and, as a result, despite being raised as a Protestant herself, Marie retained a lifelong interest in the symbolism and ceremony associated with Orthodox icons.

The Museum of Russian Icons was founded by collector Gordon Lankton, who, after 40 trips to the former Soviet Union amassed more than 340 icons dating from the 15th to the 21st century. Located in central Massachusetts, it is the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to Russian icons.

Image: Smolensk Mother of God, c. 1750, Egg tempera on wood with metal basma (possibly tin), 11½” x 13½”. Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA.