Dmitry Shkolnik worked on lettering in entranc of St Mary's Orthodox Cathedral. The northeast Minneapolis cathedral is undergoing a massive renovation including new iconography.
Glen Stubbe, Dml - Star Tribune
Orthodox cathedral installs new icons
- Star Tribune
- February 10, 2012 - 10:03 PM
Ornate icons -- depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary, angels, saints and other religious figures -- are a hallmark of Orthodox churches.
For St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral in northeast Minneapolis, the wear and tear of more than a century has prompted a massive renovation of both the church and its iconography.
Crumbling, fading and in need of repair, the old iconography was removed and the walls repaired. New iconography was applied that gives the interior both an updated and more traditional touch. Work on the iconography began last fall, and the installation is expected to finish early next week.
"The old iconography ... was not a bad example of late 19th century Russian work," said Archpriest Andrew Morbey, dean of the cathedral. "Very Western. The new ... is far more traditional Orthodox iconography.
"Up until the modern era, Western art could be characterized as being naturalistic," he said. "The painters tried to portray three-dimensions.
"Traditional Orthodox iconography is the opposite. It's not three-dimensional. So the difference between westernized art and Orthodox iconography is that westernized art might look like you're looking into a mirror or looking at the world, whereas this traditional iconography is meant to look beyond the appearances of this world."
Other Orthodox churches are following suit and also replacing iconography with "something more traditionally Orthodox, more reflective of the spiritual values of the Eastern Orthodox Church," Morbey said.
The new iconography, which is the work of Russian iconographer Dmitry Shkolnik (www.shkolnik studio.com), is part of a years-long renovation of the cathedral built in 1905. Much of the detailed work was done on canvas in Shkolnik's San Francisco studio and brought to Minneapolis.
The cost so far is about $4.2 million and is expected to increase as the renovation continues.
"I think it could be a lifetime" of renovation, Morbey said.
Rose French • 612-673-4352
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