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The Museum of Russian Icons has announced a new name

New Members

Expanded mission drives name change

CLINTON, MA–The Museum of Russian Icons has announced a new name, The Icon Museum and Study Center, that emphasizes a revitalized mission to balance the organizationʼs focus on exhibition and scholarship, while expanding the collection to include sacred icons from a broader diversity of Eastern Christian cultures. The new name, mission and graphic identity will be unveiled at “The Big Reveal” event on October 14 celebrating the museumʼs 17th birthday.
“By weaving both the Museum and the Study Center into the new name, I believe that we are a truly unique and welcoming resource in the world of icons and Eastern Christian art,” stated Executive Director Simon Morsink. “Icons are intriguing and very beautiful. They have their roots in early Christianity and they are an art form that has ties with many areas of Western culture from antiquity through the Renaissance to the present day. Russian icons are part of a fascinating world of Eastern
Christian art. This sphere includes Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Crete, Ukraine, Venice, and other places–there's so much to explore and to show our public.”
Building on museum founder Gordon Lanktonʼs international worldview, the Museumʼs renewed mission is to illuminate the art of the sacred icon for a global audience. While exploring the eternal beauty, fascinating history, and deep spirituality of icons, the Museum will embrace the whole world of Eastern Christianity. Serving as a leading center for dialogue on icons as a diverse and living tradition, the organization will inspire learning and understanding through innovative exhibitions, programs, and scholarship.
“Our Study Center will foster innovative ideas and cultural understanding through scholarly programs, lectures, conferences, and internships,” continued Morsink. “We will seek partnerships with museums, academic institutions, and private collectors worldwide. While pursuing these ambitious goals, we will also work to strengthen our ties with the local community, and to create a financially sustainable and respected institution.”
In order to clearly express this new, broader mission of the organization, the Board of Trustees are adopting a new name, The Icon Museum and Study Center. The new name allows the Museum to present its core collection of Russian icons in a broader context, as part of world heritage, and to explore the diversity of Eastern Christian culture.
Upon the announcement, Board President Jack McCabe said, “Our new name reaffirms our founder Gordon Lanktonʼs commitment to preserve and promote the art and history of icons, and to educate and inform our visitors as a means of understanding and celebrating cultures around the world. This is a tremendous moment for our Museum.”
Simultaneous with the renaming of the Museum of Russian Icons as The Icon Museum and Study Center, the Main Gallery will become the Gordon B. Lankton Gallery in honor of the Museumʼs late founder. This newly installed gallery will display a selection of the very best icons from Lanktonʼs collection, alongside icons recently acquired through the Gordon B. Lankton Fund, oering a comprehensive overview of the history of Russian icon painting.
The renaming of the Museum grew out of a nearly year-long strategic planning process that involved input from the surrounding community, following the death of Lankton and the retirement of founding director Kent dur Russell.
Created by Wilcox Design located in Cambridge, MA, the new logo and brand identity visually embodies the newly revitalized and expanded mission. The Wilcox Design team conducted extensive interviews with the organizationʼs sta and volunteers, leadership, and community members and led a core committee of Board members through an exploration of options for the name. “The new name emerged from that process,” explained principal Jean Wilcox. “The new name is a bold statement of the leadership role they are claiming as the only organization entirely devoted to the collection, exhibition, and study of Eastern Christian art in the U.S.”
The new logo features a typographic rendering of the halo which is a key feature of all icons. The negative space indicates a head and shoulders, the golden color is a bright, warm, illuminating tone that connects to the gold leaf embellishment featured on icons.
Wilcox Design is known for award-winning design solutions for arts and cultural organizations, academic institutions, and the print and digital publishing industry. Its highest-profile clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim Museums, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and the Peabody Essex Museum.
The new brand identity will include a new logo and visual identity. The Icon Museum and Study Centerʼs website,, is being redesigned to incorporate the new name and expanded mission. New social media handles, as well as refreshed signage around the museum property in Clinton will be unveiled in fall of 2023.
The Museum of Russian Icons, founded in 2006 by the American entrepreneur Gordon B. Lankton, holds the most comprehensive collection of Russian icons in the US, as well as a growing collection of Greek, Veneto-Cretan, and Ethiopian icons. The permanent collection and temporary exhibitions offer unparalleled opportunities to situate Eastern Christian art within a global context and to explore its connection to contemporary concerns and ideas. For many, the Museum serves as a place for contemplation and for experiencing the beauty and spirituality of icons.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10am-4pm. Closed Monday–Wednesday.
Admission: Adults $15, Seniors (65+) $12, Students (with ID) Free, Children and youth (0-17) Free.
Location: 203 Union Street, Clinton, MA, 01510; 978-598-5000,
Visit the Museumʼs engaging new website,, to experience the culture, art, and history of icons and immerse yourself in art of eternal beauty and spiritual power; explore online exhibitions; browse the online collection (including research papers on individual icons); take a virtual tour of the Museum; read the Journal of Icon Studies and explore the British Museumʼs catalogue of Byzantine and Greek Icons. Follow The Icon Museum and Study Center on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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