The Black Santa Claus is the Real Saint Nicholas

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Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union St., Clinton, MA
(978) 598-5000
www.museumofrussianicons.org
T–F 11–3, Sa 9–3

The exhibit, Celebrating the Season: Icons of Saint Nicholas, will place eleven Saint Nicholas icons together in the upper South Gallery on display to the public for the first time, including the first icon acquired by museum founder Gordon Lankton in 1991.

Visitors will be able to see and compare more than works spanning four centuries, with fourteen others shown throughout the Museum.

Saint Nicholas was known to be wise and performed good works in secret for the poor and the oppressed. His many deeds entered the realm of myth and contribute to stories of Father Christmas, St. Nick, and ultimately, Santa Claus.

A newly acquired piece, dating from 1880, (see image above) will be displayed in the way that Russian Orthodox believers are accustomed to viewing icons–encased in an outer wooden frame or kiot, and covered with an ornately engraved screen or riza, revealing only the face and hands of the saint. The icon features an elaborate, gilded kiot with grape-leaf motif and silver riza.

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