Journal of Icon Studies, Volume 1, 2015

Click the image above to view the entire Vol. 1 as a pdf.

Editor’s Greeting

Raoul Smith

As the only museum in the United States dedicated to the collection and exhibition of icons, the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts, established the Center for Icon Studies in 2012 to support research in iconology and iconography. We are pleased to introduce a print version of the first compilation of papers from its online Journal of Icon Studies. 

The research presented here covers a variety of topics, from the analysis of specific iconographic elements in icons, such as identifying new elements in traditional icons, to a philosophical inquiry on the representation of the divine. Each contributing researcher has a different perspective and level of experience in the field, from Engelina Smirnova, the doyenne of iconographic studies in Russia, to Diana Dukhanova, a graduate student at Brown University.

The editorial goal of the Journal of Icon Studies is to continue to expand the topics espoused in the Center for Icon Studies mission statement to encompass every aspect of religious icons and iconography—geographical, art historical, philosophical, social or religious—and we challenge our future contributors to broaden the type and scope of research to appeal to the widest range of readers.

We hope that this publication will encourage the submission of original research—by both experts and novices in the field—-to the Journal of Icon Studies that advances our understanding and appreciation of this centuries-old religious tradition and art form.

Saint Nicholas with Angels and Miracles, Novgorod, 16th century. Private collection, London. 54 x 42 cm.

Nativity of the Mother of God, The Icon Museum and Study Center collection, Accession, 2011.39a
Resurrection and Descent into Hell, The Icon Museum and Study Center collection, 2011.90

A Teratological Source of Hellhead

Henry A. Hundt and Raoul N. Smith

Paternitas, c. 1590, The Icon Museum and Study Center collection, R2009.18
Ladder of Divine, Ascent, Lankton Codex, The Icon and Study Center collection, R2010_57
“Damned Trinity,” Model 3: Judas sits in the Devil’s lap, the Devil sits in a Hell-Giant’s lap. Detail of the Descent into Hell icon, Vladimir-Suzdal, 16th century