Windows to Heaven: Treasures from the Museum of Russian Icons

February 5—March 26
Opening reception, Wed., February 15, 2017 – 4:10 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Williams Center for the Arts, High Street, Room 108

Windows to Heaven 

The exhibition, Windows to Heaven: Treasures from the Museum of Russian Icons, features over sixty icons from the collection of Gordon Lankton, an engineer, entrepreneur, industrialist, and art collector. The museum, founded by Lankton and located in Clinton, Massachusetts, currently houses over 800 icons ranging in date from the fifteenth to twenty-first century. As the only museum in the United States dedicated solely to Russian icons, it also contains the largest private collection of Russian icons outside of Russia.

The word icon derives from the Greek term eikon that simply means an image. Within the tradition of the Christian Orthodox Church, icons represent religious figures, such as Christ, the Virgin, saints, as well as the events from their lives. For the faithful, icon is defined by its function, rather than by esthetic appeal or the material of which it was made. Thus, an icon is more than just an image, it is an object of devotion and a vehicle through which one can access the divine. The power of Orthodox icons to enable transcendence from the terrestrial to the heavenly sphere is based on their miraculous creation.

These icons—a collection from Eastern Europe dating from the 15th century to the present—are also aesthetically pleasing objects, intricate in design and superior in execution.

Curator, Ida Sinkevic