16 November 2006, 12:20
A Protestant opened the only museum of Russian icons in the U.S.
Moscow, November 16, Interfax - The only museum of Russian icons in the USA is opened in Clinton, Massachusetts.
Gordon Lankton, a businessman, is the founder and owner of the museum located in the building of an old mill. His collection of 260 icons, the largest in North America, originated from his visit to Moscow in 1991.
He says: ‘I saw icons for the first time at the Izmailovo market. I did not know what it was, but bought one as a souvenir for 20 dollars. That is how I got my hobby.’
Mr. Lankton has been to Russia for over forty times since then, replenishing his collection with valuable items, such as the late-15th century icon of St. John the Baptist.
A lot of items in his collection are from Western Europe. The businessman guides excursions in his museum. The principle of presenting the collection is subject matter, rather than chronology or geography. He thinks it helps the visitors concentrate.
Mr. Lankton is a Protestant. He familiarized himself with specific features of Russian Orthodoxy through his collection.
His favorite icon of Christ is in Russia. It is so valuable that cannot be taken out from the country. The enterprising American ordered its copy that is now in his museum. Pervy canal reports Wednesday that Mr. Lankton comes to see the original every time he visits Moscow.