Russian icons are sacred, "living" text that serve as a window between heaven and earth and a gateway between the Orthodox believer and God. The icon is a world of signs, each filled with spiritual significance. Nothing about an icon -- the paints and materials used, colors, the position and size of characters -- is casual. The stature of icon masters is close to that of monks; icons are traditionally painted at large monstery centers called "lavras." Russian icons are blessed and approved by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Museum of Russian Icons has recently opened in nearby Clinton, Massachusetts. In the spring, the Russian Program sponsors a trip to the museum. The Museum also offers a student internship program.