The Museum of Russian Icons will open a new exhibit, "Pondering Mary: Her Story Through Icons," on Saturday, March 18. A symposium, presented by three local scholars, will precede the opening reception.
The exhibit, curated by the Rev. Chris Visminas, features 38 Russian icons (sacred art used for veneration by the Orthodox Church), some of which date back to the 1500s. The exhibit tells the story of Mary, the Mother of God, as portrayed in icons and how views of her differ distinctly in different cultures.
Visminas is an ordained Episcopal minister. She holds a bachelor's in theology from Duquesne University, and a master's in theology from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
"Over the centuries, as Western devotion to her grew, Mary was depicted as a slim young woman with flowing hair, who was both sweet and compassionate with demure humility," Visminas said. "In the East, however, she was portrayed as one who is in full possession of her powers. She is a woman who has born life and death, seen joy and grief and has 'pondered all these things in her heart.' "
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