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The Museum of Russian Icons An- nounces Spring 2020 Exhibitions

The Museum of Russian Icons will be presenting two new special exhibitions in the Spring of 2020:
Atomic Alert! Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age, an exploration of the mid-20th century Cold War era, March 20 – May 6; and Maine-based contemporary artist Lesia Sochor’s Pysanka: Symbol of Renewal, inspired by the beautiful tradition of Ukrainian Easter egg painting, March 21-August 2. A mini-display, Fighting Pencils– Fighting Faith, will be on view March 19-September 20.
     The Soviet Union’s detonation of its first atomic bomb on August 29, 1949, thrust the United States into a new and more precarious era. Just four years after celebrating victory in World War II as the only nation with an atomic bomb, Americans now found themselves confronting the probability of an atomic war.
     Atomic Alert!: Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age, March 20-May 6, explores the government’s Cold War era efforts to educate Americans about what to do before an atomic attack, how to react to a sudden, blinding flash, and what action to take in the aftermath of an atomic blast.
     Featuring articles and interpretation from Michael Scheibach, Ph.D., independent scholar and author, Atomic Alert! offers a unique opportunity to revisit the early atomic age when the world was divided between two atomic-armed adversaries: the United States and the Soviet Union.
     A special feature of the exhibition will be a large interactive element called “When the Bomb Falls,” which allows visitors to explore the impact of a nuclear blast on a geographic area.
     The Museum will be partnering with the Clinton Historical Society throughout this exhibition to explore how the Cold War fits into local history. This partnership will include joint programming and an additional exhibition Clinton in the Cold War at the Holder Memorial building at 210 Church St., Clinton.
     In the exhibition Pysanka: Symbol of Renewal, March 21 – August 2, the paintings of Maine- based artist Lesia Sochor are narratives told in paint prompted by personal experiences. The Pysanka series evolved from her annual spring ritual of creating intricately decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs known as pysanky. Depicting the symbolic meanings and traditional motifs in oils and watercolors spawned a new path of contemporary expression for this ancient art form. Lesia continues the tradition of Pysanky making, passed down by her Ukrainian immigrant mother. This beautiful, talismanic object is a direct link to her ancestral past and her roots.
     Fightling Pencils–Fighting Faith, A Mini-Display, March 19-September 20, pulls from the Museum’s collection of Soviet anti-religious posters to explore the Soviet State’s attempts to tamp down religious beliefs amongst its populace in the 1970s and 1980s. The Fighting Pencil organization was an artist’ collective based in Leningrad (present-day Saint Petersburg) which was established in 1939 to create government propaganda throughout World War II. The anti-religious campaign advocated for atheism by highlighting corruption within the church, denouncing superstition, and stirring up fears of Western and foreign influence. Nikita Khrushchev reestablished the organization in 1956, and the group continued producing posters until the early 1990s.
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