February 18, 2011—Ethanol, sturgeon-bladder glue, Dammar gum resin, watercolor paints, cotton swabs, an iron, and recycled Amherst Student newspapers...

Yury Bobrov, head of the Painting and Icon Conservation Department at the Repin Art Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, used these materials during his three-week visit to Amherst, where he examined and conserved nine of the Mead's Russian icons, or symbolic religious images. Painted in tempera on wood panels, these icons (listed below) belong to the important gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937). In addition to cleaning delicately and retouching these works, Brobov also offered public lectures on the spiritual concepts  and scientific conservation of icons during his stay.

Bobrov has worked as an icon conservator since the late 1960s; he has taught icon conservation at the Repin Art Institute since the 1970s. In addition to his faculty position, he serves as vice rector and director of research at the Academy of Arts. His publications include books on the iconography of Christian art, the conservation of tempera painting and the online catalogue of the Russian icons in the British Museum.

Clicking on an object description below will bring the reader to that object's corresponding on-line catalogue entry. Please note: the images currently provided in the on-line catalogue depict each work before conservation; post-treatment images will be added to the database in the weeks to come.

The Prophet Elijah
AC 2001.582

The Prophet Jonah
AC 2001.583

Deesis, 18th century
AC 2001.587

Metropolitan Peter, 16th century
AC 2001.590

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, 17th century
AC 2001.594

Christ Pantocrator, 16th century
AC 2001.595

The Life of St. Alexander Svirskii, 18th century
AC 2001.597

The Spice-Bearing Woman at the Sepulchre, 17th century
AC 2001.591