“Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion” Exhibition Has Opened at the Museum of Russian Icons
Russian Icon Collection is pleased to share the news that the Museum of Russian Icons has opened a new exhibition titled “Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion.”
New York, NY (PRUnderground) March 20th, 2023
The online gallery Russian Icon Collection is pleased to share the news that the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA, has opened an exhibition titled “Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion.” The exhibition features an impressive selection of Russian and Mexican religious artworks from the Museum of Russian Icons and the University Art Museum at New Mexico State University (NMSU). “Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion” is a fantastic display of the artistic traditions that, although developed in two different parts of the world, appear to have a lot in common.
Possessing one of the largest collections of Orthodox icons outside of Russia, the Museum of Russian Icons aims to preserve Russian cultural heritage and share it with the international audience. It also hosts the Center for Icon Studies, offering a scholarship to those passionate about conducting research in this area.
Located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the University Art Museum at New Mexico State University stands in the very center of one of the most culturally diverse places in the United States. It constantly collaborates with artists of diverse backgrounds and organizes community-based events to help familiarize the audience with modern and contemporary art. The Museum also happens to have the biggest catalog of 19th-century retablos in the country.
Russian and Mexican religious artistic traditions might seem like an unlikely combination. However, “Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion” offers a fresh perspective on the global history of art through a comparative lens. The exhibition contrasts Russian Orthodox icon paintings with the retablos that represent devotional images developed in Mexico in the 19th century. Retablos appear to reflect some of the features commonly associated with Catholic artistic tradition while also including the unique influences of Mexican folk art.
Similarly to Russian iconographers, retablos painters never claimed the authorship of the pieces they created. When it comes to religious art, it is not the artist but the sacred purpose of the piece that is important. Both icons and retablos were regarded as a way to connect to God on a more personal level, especially when placed in domestic altars. Retablos usually depicted biblical scenes and religious figures on the sky-blue surface representing Heaven.
“Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion” introduces the audience to the ideological underpinnings of Russian and Mexican artistic traditions, as well as their differences and similarities in styles and techniques. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Elizabeth Calil Zarur, a renowned art historian and researcher of Latin American and Portuguese art. The exhibition materials are available in English and Spanish.
“Icons & Retablos: Images of Devotion” is on view at the Museum of Russian Icons at 203 Union Street, Clinton, MA, through August 27, 2023. For additional information about the Museum, its mission, and upcoming events, please visit the official website of the Museum of Russian Icons.
Featured image: Our Lord of Sacromonte and Our Lady of Sorrows, Señor del Sacromonte y Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, Mexico, 19th century, Oil on tin, NMSU Permanent Art Collection, Donated by Gloria Giffords and the Giffords Family.
About Russian Icon Collection
Founded by Oleg Kushnirskiy, Russian Icon Collection is one of the leading online galleries of antique Russian icons. It represents the most accurate compilation of all the knowledge and expertise gained from many years of collecting and selling rare and famous religious icons of museum quality. Initially created to preserve this sacred form of art and to display the true masterpieces of Eastern Orthodox iconography, Russian Icon Collection has become a reliable place where everyone can enjoy and sell authentic antique icons and religious artifacts.