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April 12, 2022

Museum of Russian Icons founding director to retire

Photo | Courtesy of the Museum of Russian Icons Museum of Russian Icons Founding Director Kent dur Russell

The founding director of the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton announced plans to retire in May after more than 16 years of leadership.

Kent dur Russell was hired by museum founder Gordon Lankton in 2006 when the museum first started. The Museum of Russian Icons is the only museum in the United States dedicated to Russian icons and holds the largest collection of icons outside of Russia, according to the museum’s Tuesday press release.

Russell became friends with Lankton in 1995 while working as a curator at the Fitchburg Art Museum. He worked with Lankton for two years before the museum’s founding, designing and building the Clinton institution. 

During those two years, Russell was the executive director of the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, a role he served in for 11 years before becoming director of the Museum of Russian Icons. He has worked in the museum field since 1977.

“I am very proud of our collective achievements and thankful to everyone whose creativity, vision, and hard work made them possible. The museum is in great shape and ready for a seamless and smooth transition to new leadership,” Russell said in a written statement.

The Museum of Russian Icons focuses on Russian and Slavic culture, exhibiting sacred paintings used for worship in the Orthodox tradition. Its collection includes more than 1,000 icons and related artifacts.

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