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Russian Orthodox Museum

Russian Orthodox Museum

The Museum features artifacts dating from eighteenth century Russian America (now Alaska) until the present day. Among the objects on display are recently restored processional banners (possibly dating to 1794); rare icons believed to have been painted in the Sitka school of iconography (19th century); personal objects of St. Innocent (Veniaminov); a kayak frame used by missionaries traveling along the Nushagak River and beaded priest's vestments designed and sewn by the Tlingit artist, Emma Marks.

Orthodox missionaries arrived in Russian America in 1794 baptizing the Native people throughout the territory. Alaska is considered "the Cradle of Orthodoxy in North America" and the Orthodox Church recognizes five saints who labored here during the Church’s early presence. The Russian Orthodox Church is the longest surviving institution in Alaska’s history. Scattered across the state, there are currently 97 Orthodox parishes, many established during the Russian American era. A large number of the artifacts in the Museum’s collection were retrieved from old churches, which have been restored or rebuilt.

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