Because I’m a huge dork, I’m currently reading (for fun) King, Kaiser, Tsar so let’s just say I’ve got Russia on my mind. And what a surprise it was for me to learn that a museum dedicated to the religious artworks of the Eastern Orthodox Church exists in the United States. Located about an hour from Boston in the town of Clinton, the Museum of Russian Icons was founded in 2006 to house the personal collection of Gordon B. Lankton, a business executive who bought his first icon at a flea market in the Izmaylovo District of Moscow while on a business trip. This was at the end of the Cold War, but for decades Lankton had always wanted to travel to Russia. In his memoir The Long Way Home, he took a motorcycle trip around the world in the mid-1950s, visiting 24 countries along the way, unfortunately, Russia wasn’t one of them. Even though that’s all quite interesting, it’s his acquirement of Russian icon images, symbols, and forms that created his legacy (not that motorcycle journey). Spanning over six centuries, the 500 icons and artifacts of the collection are displayed in a 150-year-old renovated carpet factory. There is even a honor system cafe (in that visitors pay at the gift shop upstairs) with imported Russian treats, a hot beverage machine and antique tea kettles. I think the saying goes “Make tea, not war”…or maybe not?