Illuminating Faith in the Russian Old Believer Tradition

January 29 - July 31, 2013
Ripin Print Gallery

This exhibition draws on the holdings of the AMAM and Oberlin College’s Special Collections to present late-18th- to early-19th-century illuminated manuscript leaves of the Russian Old Believers, an extant Christian faction that separated from the Russian Orthodox Church in the middle of the 17th century. Denied access to printing presses and persecuted for their dissenting views on liturgical reforms, the Old Believers copied and illustrated by hand religious books, which they disseminated secretly and venerated alongside icons. Including two complete manuscripts on loan from Ohio State University’s Hilandar Research Library, the exhibition throws light on Old Believer rituals and book illumination, which helped preserve Old Belief and its culture over the past 350 years.

The exhibition is curated by Liliana Milkova, AMAM Curator of Academic Programs.

The Crucifixion
Russian, late18th-early 19th c
Ink and color on paper
Overall: 12 15/16 x 8 in. (329 x 203 mm)
Gift of Frederick Binkerd Artz