Icons of the Hellenic World will be the first major exhibition at the Museum of Russian Icons that focuses exclusively on Greek and Byzantine iconography. On view June 22 – October 21, 2018, the exhibit will delve deeply into the links and the continuity of Greek art and culture from Late Antiquity, through Byzantium, to the present.
Largely comprised of icons created after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, Icons of the Hellenic World will also feature works from the Byzantine period (330AD-1453). The earliest object in the exhibition is a rare “Portrait of Man” from Fayum, Egypt, produced in the 1st or 2nd century CE, and painted in the encaustic technique, a wax painting method practiced in ancient Greece that probably originated in Egypt. Encaustic portraits are thought to be prototypes for painting the earliest Christian icons.
The exhibition features numerous icons and objects from the Cretan School as well as pieces from the Greek Islands of the Aegean Sea, and the so-called Ionian School. This was the art produced in the Ionian Islands by Cretan artists who took refuge on these Venetian-held islands after the fall of Crete to the Ottoman Turks in 1667. The School of the Ionian Islands produced some famous and talented artists who provide a direct link from the art of Byzantium to modern Greece.
Icons of the Hellenic World comes from one of the finest collections of Greek Icons in the nation. A leading international expert in the field of Greek icons and an avid collector of Greek and Russian Icons ever since his university student days in the 1960’s, Athens-born Emmanuel Tiliakos was interested in icons long before they were considered to be “works of art” by most collectors. Collecting icons has been a labor of love, taking him on frequent travels to antiques markets all over the US and many European capitals.
The Museum is pleased to announce an exhibition of contemporary paintings by Russian-American artist Alexander Gassel. Based on traditional Russian artistic values, his surreal work employs a combination of details from different civilizations. Ancient symbols are joined with contemporary subjects to reflect his experience of life in America.
Directed by Frank Capra, 1939, 129 mins.
In the last of this four-program series, film columnist JoAnn DiVerdi shines a light on four classic American films to reveal how symbols of Christian faith and stories of Christ have been recreated in ways that we may not recognize at first, but that have much to do with why they resonate with us to this very day.