Annual John Barns Research Scholarship

Position Title: Researcher

Reports To: Director of Interpretation

Start Date: Flexible

Duration/Schedule: Minimum 120 hours, flexible schedule

Location: In-person

Stipend: $750, awarded at the completion of the research period


The John Barns Research Scholarship is open to any person with a broad or specialized interest in icons or iconography, the religious art of Eastern Christianity. The Museum offers a myriad of research possibilities and fertile ground to investigate, explore, and interpret the visual traditions and culture of the art of the icon. Additionally, the candidate may want to break new ground in the understanding of the icon tradition in America with both historical and newly created American iconography.

Possible topics to explore:

  • Carved wooden icons of Saint Nicholas
  • Carved wooden figures of St. Nil Stolbensky
  • Unconventional subjects that developed in Russia, such as the All Seeing Eye of God and Sophia Wisdom of God
  • Icons of Dmitri, son of Ivan the Terrible
  • Painted borders with art nouveau or imitation enamel cloisonné
  • Oklads
  • More topics available upon request

To Apply:

Please send a current résumé or C.V. with a letter of interest and a copy of an unofficial transcript to Amy Consalvi, Director of Interpretation, at aconsalvi(at)museumofrussianicons.org. Selected candidates will have a short, 30-minute Zoom interview with the Director of Interpretation and John Barns.

Application deadline is April 30, 2023.

The Raoul and Mary Smith Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant at the Museum of Russian Icons

The Center for Icon Studies (CIS) at the Museum of Russian Icons promotes the study of all aspects of sacred icons. While the main focus of the Museum is Russian icons, CIS takes a broader perspective. It is interested in the origin and development of orthodox icons from the Byzantine period to the modern era around the globe.

To promote this goal the Center is offering The Raoul and Mary Smith Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant. This annual grant funds a Ph.D. candidate to conduct in-house research at the Museum. The grant recipient will use the Museum’s resources – a collection of over 1,000 icons, a 2000+ volume research library, and a network of scholars and museum professionals – to conduct their research. In addition, the research will support the CIS and the Journal of Icon Studies, published annually by the Museum.

The grant amount is $2000. To apply, send by April 30, 2023, a Curriculum Vitae, two academic letters of recommendation, and a two-page letter describing the dissertation topic, including justification of the use of the Museum’s icon collection and library to Amy Consalvi, Director of Interpretation, at aconsalvi(at)museumofrussianicons.org. Any questions regarding the grant or application process can also be directed to aconsalvi@museumofrussianicons.org.


Each year, the Museum of Russian Icons hosts interns who contribute their talents to the organization while gaining professional skills. Past interns have worked on substantial projects such as curating small exhibitions, creating marketing material, planning programs, and designing products for the Museum Shop. Tasks vary depending on Museum needs and students’ interests. One of the benefits of being at a small organization is that interns can observe all staff and departments while specializing in one particular area. The Museum currently offers in-person, virtual, and hybrid internships.

There are no internships available at this time. Please email Director of Interpretation, Amy Consalvi for more information.

What our interns are saying:

“The opportunity to intern at the Museum of Russian Icons allowed me to do research in a unique environment where I could explore the museum’s extensive collection and pair my findings with texts from their library, not to mention consult with the experts on staff who were open and willing to talk about anything icon and/or museum-related. All in all it was an enormously rewarding and intellectually invigorating experience.”

– Natasha Zinos, Boston College, 2019 intern

“My Curatorial Internship with the Museum of Russian Icons was invaluable. Throughout the summer, I researched lacquer boxes, which involved translating inscriptions, researching production centers and folktales, and collaboration with the Registrar. My summer culminated in a presentation on my research and a discussion of the commonalities between lacquer box design and Orthodox icons. Even after my internship ended, the museum presented me with many professional development opportunities, such as returning for a gallery talk. The MoRI’s internship program is an excellent opportunity for students of all academic backgrounds to expand their skills.”

– Erik Livingston, The College of Wooster, 2020 remote intern

“Interning at the Museum of Russian Icons was a truly enriching and amazing experience. As a Russian Studies Major, it was incredible to have access to the museum’s wealth of resources and artwork as I conducted independent research on the connections between icons and Russian literature. My internship culminated in a detailed presentation of my research paper to staff members and professors. Overall, I had an unforgettable and fulfilling experience interning at the museum.”

– Clement Doucette, Vassar College, 2020 hybrid intern


Volunteer Educators are our tour guides who work with the public to enhance the visitor experience through formal guided tours and informal one-on-one conversations. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about icons, Russian culture, and art history while working closely with a dedicated volunteer group. The program consists of a six-month training period and continuing education opportunities, including lectures, workshops, local trips, and special events.

All training is provided at no cost. New docents are asked to make a one-year commitment. The time requirement is roughly eight to twelve hours per month. In addition, docents must be available to attend meetings on two Wednesday mornings per month from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

Currently, the Museum is not accepting new docents into the program. Please watch this space for future opportunities.

For inquiries or questions, please contact Amy Consalvi by calling 978.598.5000, x125, or by email, aconsalvi(at)museumofrussianicons.org.