Angels All Around Us
- Visit North Central
Do you believe in angels? Visitors to the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton can’t help but be enraptured by its gallery filled with angels.
Angels Representing Seven Churches, the central element of this exhibit, is a set of free-standing, eight-foot tall windows created by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1902 at Tiffany Studios in New York City. The Angels exhibit runs through October 16.
Originally commissioned for a church in Cincinnati, the seven windows depict nearly life-size angels that illustrate passages from the Bible’s Book of Revelation. Although they form a set, each angel named according to its Biblical reference has different characteristics—and its own personality—depicted in glass through the artistry of Tiffany Studio.
Removed from the Cincinnati church when it was razed for a highway project in 1964, the windows sat in storage for decades until they were re-discovered by a new church pastor in 2001. Through fund-raising and donations, church members were able to get the windows restored and establish a traveling museum exhibit.
The stunning windows portray the angels of the early Christian churches of Asia
Minor (in present-day Turkey) to whom letters are addressed in the Book of Revelation. Each full-length angel holds the gift that God promises if the churches reform their ways. Each has a slightly different stance and type of garment, lending individuality to a group united by their flame-like wings against the sky.
The In Company with Angels exhibit is designed around the central experience of viewing the seven back-lit stained-glass angel windows. Text panels introduce visitors to the historical background, artistic qualities and the spiritual inspiration of the window series. The exhibit also includes a short video on the restoration of the windows.
It’s estimated that half of Tiffany’s church windows have been lost. The tour of this full set of seven rediscovered windows is a unique opportunity to appreciate both Tiffany’s art and his craftsmanship in an intimate museum setting. Along with the windows, the museum exhibit includes interpretive text, illustrations, and music.
On November 5, the museum opens Holy Fools to Wonder Workers: Saints of the Orthodox Faith, featuring 30 icons from the Museum’s collection that are not regularly on view. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to explore different types of saints celebrated by the Orthodox Church, from Prophets of the Old Testament to the Monastics living in rural Russia. Popular saints, such as Nicholas and George, will be shown alongside those who are lesser known but equally fascinating figures.