“Splendor and Light,” an installation of Russian Orthodox art, now on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

EUGENE, Ore. -- (August 25, 2016) – “Splendor and Light: Highlights of Russian Art” is now on view in the McKenzie Gallery at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus.  On view through April 16, 2017, this exhibition offers a fresh look at objects from the JSMA collection.


“Splendor and Light” was organized by Johanna G. Seasonwein, Ph.D., Senior Curator of Western Art, with the assistance of Anastasia Savenko-Moore, a 2015 Master’s graduate of the Department of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and Heghine Hakobyan, Slavic Librarian.


Gertrude Bass Warner, the founder of the University of Oregon Museum of Art, as it was then known, acquired an impressive group of Russian Orthodox icons as part of the Murray Warner Memorial Collection.


“Splendor and Light” includes highlights from the original collection of icons from the 17th through 19th centuries, as well as examples of cast metal crosses and icons. In addition, selections of lacquer boxes made in the 1970s and ‘80s demonstrate the connections between the sacred and secular arts.


Gifted to the JSMA in 2014 by the family of Dr. and Mrs. R.G. Van Horne, the boxes depict scenes from Russian history, fairy tales, literary works and daily life. Lacquerware is created by gluing thin sheets of cardboard together and pressing them into the desired shape. Then, it is covered with several layers of black or red varnish before an artist painstakingly paints the desired scene, using a brush with only one or two hairs for the smallest details. Gold leaf is often applied, and then the box is polished and varnished again. A single object can take many months to create, and the largest and most detailed pieces can take up to a year.


“It was important to me to respect the language and traditions of the artists that made these objects, especially in light of the large Russian Orthodox Old Believer community in Oregon,” says Seasonwein. “We incorporated Russian titles and text throughout the exhibition as one way to pay respect to this community.”


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, the Americas and Europe as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is the only accredited academic art museum in Oregon.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


JSMA: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,