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Byzantium to Russia: Origins and Development of Russian Icons, 1200 to 1900

Collection of icons traces the stylistic development of sacred art from ancient Byzantium to the introduction of Christianity to Russia

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This article originally appeared at Russia Beyond The Headlines

A collection featuring 48 icons and artifacts from the Renowned British Museum will be displayed in the Museum of Russian icons in Clinton, Massachusetts.

This exceptional, compelling selection of 48 icons and artifacts from the British Museum traces the stylistic development of sacred art from ancient Byzantium, center of Christian civilization, to the introduction of Christianity to Russia. The exhibition of rare icons will also include Byzantine cast metal objects, ivories and engraved gems.

This is the first time the renowned British Museum in London has lent Saint John the Baptist(Constantinople c. 1300) and the famous Saint George and the Dragon (Pskov, late 14th century). These extraordinarily rare icons—two of the oldest and finest icons in existence—alone are worth a visit to the exhibit. In addition to the icons and artifacts from the British Museum, the exhibition will be augmented with related icons from the collection of the Museum of Russian Icons.

Following the exhibition in Clinton, MA the show will travel to the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA.

The concept of the exhibition was initiated by English icon expert Sir Richard Temple Bt., who founded the Temple Gallery in London in 1959 as a center for the study, restoration and exhibition of ancient icons and sacred art. He is a member of the Advisory Panel of the Art Fund (formerly the National Art Collections Fund of Great Britain) and has been active in the acquisition of icons by several major museums, among them the British Museum, the Musée du Louvre in Paris and the Museum of the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Moscow. Temple, along with HRH Prince Charles, has been encouraging the British Museum to exhibit its collection of icons that are mostly in storage out of public view.

The Origins and Development of Russian Icons was organized by the Museum of Russian Icons and curated by Museum Founder Gordon B. Lankton, Research Fellow Prof. Raoul Smith and Museum CEO and Curator Kent Russell.

The Museum of Russian Icons collection of more than 1000 Russian icons and artifacts is the largest of its kind in North America, and one of the largest private collections outside Russia. Spanning six centuries, the art includes important historical paintings from the earliest periods of iconography to the present. The Museum was founded in 2006 as a nonprofit educational institution by Massachusetts industrialist, philanthropist and art collector, Gordon B. Lankton.

For more information about the museum and opening hours visit the web-site.

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