Under the threat of prosecution, Pokrovsky applied her scientific discipline to learning the forbidden art. Her acquaintance with Mother Julian (Maria Sokolova) was a great encouragement and her spiritual father, Alexander Men, insisted that Ksenia would be a leader in the recovery of icon painting in Russia. Beginning as a restorer Pokrovsky discovered many of the techniques that had preserved ancient Russian art for centuries in spite of vandalism and neglect. She achieved an extraordinary level of skill as an international restorer of 14th-16th century icons now held in private collections. Her art is firmly based on knowledge of Orthodox theology, Orthodox Church history, and the symbolic and semantic language of iconography.
During one of the most repressive periods for sacred art in the Soviet Union, this courageous mother of five formed a network of accomplices throughout its vast territories and became a leader of a clandestine movement that revived icon painting in Russia during the 1970s and 1980s. When Perestroika loosened the atheistic yoke on Russian society, Pokrovsky and her associates were acknowledged for their heroic efforts. Her icons can be found in many countries throughout the world, including Russia, the United States, Germany, France, Japan, and Philippines. Pokrovsky icons have been presented as gifts to Patriarch Dimitrius of Constantinople and Roman Catholic Pope John Paul II. Pokrovsky has painted more than 3000 icons (more than 1000 in the USA) commissioned by individual believers, priests and bishops, church parishes (in Russia and abroad), and the Moscow Orthodox Church Patriarchy (as gifts of the Patriarchy to honored guests). Her icons can be found in many countries throughout the world, including Russia, the United States, Germany, France, Japan, and Philippines. Some of Pokrovsky's icons have been presented as gifts to Patriarch Dimitrius of Constantinople, Roman Catholic Pope John Paul II and Billy Graham.
She exhibited in the summers of 1992 and 1995 at the 10th and 11th Councils of Orthodox Church in America (OCA) held in Miami. It was here that her icons were presented by the OCA, as a gift to Theodosius, Metropolitan of all North America and Canada. She exhibited in the fall of 1993 at Gordon College in Wenham MA, Visians Gallery, Albany, NY, 1996 and many other places in the USA. Pokrovsky has designed the entire iconostases for both the American Antiochian Church, St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Lexington, KY, and the Orthodox Church of Annunciation, OCA, in Brick Town, NJ. The latter church has splendid architecture resembling Russian Pskov style. Rich collections of Pokrovsky's icons are in the Orthodox Church of Christ the Savior, Paramus, NJ and in the Orthodox Church of St John the Baptist, Little Falls, NJ. Sailor's Valentine Gallery in Nantucket, MA has a permanent exposition of Pokrovsky's icons.
In 1995 Pokrovsky wrote the icon "Synaxis of All Saints Who Have Shone forth in North America" with 18 smaller icons in it (kleymos), representing the entire history of Orthodoxy in North America. The icon now is under ownership of the Orthodox Church in America. In the last decade and a half, Pokrovsky's teaching has spread to North and South America, Australia and other parts of the world. Pokrovsky immigrated to the United States in 1991 and lives near Boston. Her 40 plus years of experience is helping to found an incipient American school inspired by the ancient Byzantine/Russian iconic form.
KSENIA POKROVSKY fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, July 7, 2013. It is with profound sorrow that we at Hexaemeron learned the news. But her work will go on, as God wills. Ksenia began her vocation in 1969 and worked in the Moscow region until the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1991 she immigrated to the United States where she worked until her death in 2013. During her lifetime Pokrovsky produced a distinctive and prodigious corpus of icons for churches and individuals. Her influence continues to resonate through the work of hundreds of students throughout the world who studied with her.
Ksenia gave up her career as a biophysicist in the late 1960s to dedicate herself to the ancient art of icon painting. These were not welcoming times for such a decision. Stalin had realized, two decades earlier, the political advantage of halting the destruction of Russia's religious art treasures produced by a 1000 years of Orthodox Christianity. But the official ban on "making new icons" remained aggressively in force. con painting workshops in monasteries and artisan centers were shut down. The practical knowledge and skill of icon painters, transferred orally from one generation to next, had all but disappeared.