During this month we've been learning all about Russia (and the Olympics). Today, in an effort to bring this country a little more "up close and personal" we took a trip to The Museum of Russian Icons (who would have guessed that the largest museum of Russian icons in the United States would be right here in Clinton?!). We'd never been before so we had no idea what fabulousness awaited us before we walked through this door. And trust me, the fabulousness inside was amazing!
For those that don't know, icons are religious pictures painted by monks that were (and are) routinely found in homes of people in the Orthodox faith (in this case Russian Orthodox). Generally, the icons have been sanctified and blessed inside a church by a priest. Each icon looks similar since the goal was to make the person/saint easily recognizable. Outside of the saint each icon is different as it depicts different stories or events.
Emma takes a closer look at the detail in this icon.
We were so very happy to be able to have our friends join us on this adventure. Eleni and her family are Greek Orthodox so she was able to tell us lots about icons and answer any questions we may have had. It was like having our own personal tour guide with us!
A closer view of the icon above.
Updating her scavenger hunt.
I love that she's using a magnifying glass to update her scavenger hunt!
Russian letter blocks in the kids play area.
There was so much to do in this little spot!
Holding the tiny babies.
The Russian Tea Room was full of yummy treats.
We really enjoyed these wafers!
And these chocolates were super yummy too!
Saint George and the Dragon.
We even found a unicorn in an icon!
We, of course, had to bring a set of Matryoshka dolls home with us! The girls already have their sights set on a second set of dolls the next time we go back!
We had a truly incredible time today! I could not get over how this all fell into place so perfectly. I remember when we first heard about The Museum of Russian Icons. I couldn't believe that there would be a museum for this topic but I am so glad there is! It really is a very special place! We spent over three hours exploring the museum and I'm sure that we could have spent even longer. As we were getting ready to go, we had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the museum Mr. Gordon Lankton. He told us that he has been to Russia fifty times and truly loves it there (and highly recommends we make the trip sometime). As a way to house his collection, and share these beautiful icons with the community, he opened this magnificent museum. It truly is a treat to have this museum so close to home! We thanked him for sharing all his treasures with us and told him we looked forward to coming back again soon!