Icon Motif

Orthodox Icons, Monuments, and Embroideries

V. Rev. Andrew and Galina Tregubov

(603) 542-6273

We accept commissions for original icons, monuments, murals,

embroidered shrouds and banners

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Galina Tregubov ~ Biography


She was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1950. All women in her family -- her mother, aunts, and grandmother -- were excellent craftsmen. Galina's grandmother, Olga Vasilieva (1899-1973), who brought her up from her infancy, was also the one to take care of the house. She used her free time not only for sewing clothing for the family, but also for doing her embroidery, into which she put all her heart. She did not make ecclesiastical objects but household items, such as table cloths, pillow cases, and napkins. She was a true master, possessing great artistic sense, and she was able to create her own ornaments and had a vast knowledge of different techniques. It is primarily from her that Galina acquired the skills, love, and interest for embroidery.

Galina's grandmother told her that she herself was taught by her own grandmother, Anna Volzhina-Kovalsky (1854-1933), who was a well-known master of her time. The great-grandmother used to be the head seamstress in the prestigious dress shop in Moscow. The customers of this shop were exclusively of the nobility and ordered both traditional and modern clothing. Because Russian fashions of the 18th and 19th centuries employed a great deal of embroidery, this was a time when the art of embroidery was in full bloom. The shop was named after its founder, fashion designer Nadezhda Lamanova. Even now in Moscow there is a fashion design show named after her. Of course this was secular embroidery, but its technique was the same as the ecclesiastical form, and the shop received commissions from churches as well.

Despite continuing religious persecution in communist Russia even after the World War II, the art of the Orthodox Church was open for the general public to see. Special museums and exhibitions, reproductions, books on icons, church architecture, wood and ivory carving, and precious metals and embroideries -- all of these were exploited by the government to satisfy the special interest of foreign visitors in Russian heritage.

As a result of this abundance of printed material Galina's family has collected many books on the ecclesiastical arts over time. This library gave her the basic historical and theoretical knowledge on the art of embroidery. In addition, living in the capitol city Galina had the opportunity not only to visit museums and exhibitions, but also to visit those churches that were allowed to stay open and that contained a great wealth of ancient embroideries.

Later, in 1975, Galina and her husband Andrew emigrated to America. In a few years her husband was ordained a priest for the parish in Claremont, NH. After they settled there, Galina started to embroider full time. Her husband, who became a professional iconographer as well, helped her in her understanding of the development of the iconographic tradition and in the technical aspects of drawing. She was able also to acquire a great deal of new and helpful information from their studies of Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in Western Europe, especially in France, England and Italy.

In 1978, to celebrate the birth of their son Timothy, Galina completed her first big embroidery of the Holy Shroud. And in 1983, when their daughter Anna was born, she embroidered her first set of church banners.
In 1995 she was honored to receive the New Hampshire Council on the Arts, Traditional Arts Fellowship Award.

In 1996 her embroidered icon of Ss. Peter and Paul, traveled with the Heaven on Earth exhibit of the Anchorage Museum to such museums as the Field Museum in Chicago and The Newark Museum in New Jersey.

In 1999 she was exhibiting her embroidered icons and giving workshops at the Celebrating New Hampshire Stories exhibition, the part of the Smithsonian Museum Folklife Festival in Washington, DC.

In 2002 Galina published the instructional book Guardian Angel on the embroidering of a traditional banner.

In the course of 25 years she have completed more than 50 different embroideries for churches and private homes all over the US.