Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Little Gem of a Museum

Museum of Russian Icons
Clinton, Massachusetts

Icons and writing icons have become enthusiasms of mine in the last few years. Therefore it was a great pleasure for me to discover a little gem, a heavenly place for icon lovers and iconographers. In a small town southwest of Lowell, Massachusetts (home of a textile museum and quilt museum), is housed a sizeable collection of Russian icons dating from the 16th through 19th centuries. The collection was assembled by Gordon B. Lankton. It is mounted in a first class facility created in a former courthouse and jail built early in the 19th century. Clinton became a sizeable textile center during the Industrial Revolution like many other mill towns in the state. Eventually the mills became the home of the Bigelow Carpet Company.

Mr. Lankton, President of Nypro, an international plastics injection molding company headquartered in the former Bigelow Mills began collecting in Russia while on a business trip in 1989. His frequent travels to Russia have allowed him to expand the collection to over 500 pieces, 250 of which are on exhibit at any given time.

I enjoyed the personal attention and information offered by a skilled and very interesting docent. The option to listen to an audio guided tour of the collection was also available. Adding to my enjoyment was the opportunity to visit an icon writing class taking place in the museum at the time of my visit. A really lovely highlight was meeting Mr. Lankton himself. His philanthropy made restoration of the building and mounting of the collection possible.

For details on hours, admission, directions, gift shop, etc. go to or call 978-598-5000.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I visited here when I went to visit my parents last year. Clinton was where I "grew up" for every day things as my own little town nearby is very small and we didn't have any places to shop, eat, etc. This is an awesome place!