Category : Art

Exploring the Grounds for Solidarity Mural from the New Natl Museum of Afr Am History

The National Mall is a seat of democracy, a site for protest, and the home of the Smithsonian Institution. These truths converged in 1968, when antipoverty demonstrators staged a six-week campaign on “America’s front yard.” The Smithsonian had a front seat to “Resurrection City, USA,” the protesters’ name for their encampment. Today, a salvaged mural from the often-forgotten event is back on the Mall, in the collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The slogans of solidarity inscribed on the mural inspired curators Aaron Bryant (NMAAHC) and Mireya Loza (NMAH) to reflect on the campaign’s multiethnic character, while Kendra Greendeer (NMAI) brings the legacy forward to recount how American Indians and allies traversed the same hallowed ground at a recent march across the Mall.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Art, History, Race/Race Relations

(NYT) An Artistic Discovery Makes a Curator’s Heart Pound

It’s an auctioneer’s jackpot dream. A man walks in off the street, opens a portfolio of drawings, and there, mixed in with the jumble of routine low-value items, is a long-lost work by Leonardo da Vinci.

And that, more or less, is what happened to Thaddée Prate, director of old master pictures at the Tajan auction house here, which is to announce on Monday the discovery of a drawing that a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art says is by Leonardo, the Renaissance genius and master draftsman. Tajan values the work at 15 million euros, or about $15.8 million. On Thursday, this reporter was ushered into Tajan’s private viewing room, where the drawing, of the martyred St. Sebastian, about 7½ inches by 5 inches, stood resplendent in an Italian Renaissance gold frame on an old wooden easel.

In March, Mr. Prate recalled being “in a bit of a rush” when a retired doctor visited Tajan with 14 unframed drawings that had been collected by his bibliophile father. (The owner’s name and residence somewhere in “central France” remain a closely guarded secret, at his request.) Mr. Prate spotted a vigorous pen-and-ink study of St. Sebastian tied to a tree, inscribed on the mount “Michelange” (Michelangelo).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Art, Europe, France, History

(NYT) Ezekiel’s Wheel Ties African Spiritual Traditions to Christianity

African-Americans have long been among the country’s most fervent Christians, from the choir to the pulpit to the affirming voices from every “amen corner.”

Their deep faith saw them through the trials of slavery and then a century of Jim Crow repression. Finally, it emboldened them to leave the sanctuary of their churches and join the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in a quest, his “dream,” for their full freedom and equality.

Just when and how their ancestors broke with traditional African spirit practices and adopted Christianity has never been fully resolved. Now archaeologists in Maryland have announced the discovery of an intact set of objects that they interpret as religious symbols ”” traditional ones from Africa, mixed with what they believe to be a biblical image: a representation of Ezekiel’s Wheel.

No one had found this combination of religious artifacts before, said Mark P. Leone, a University of Maryland archaeologist who led the discovery team. “Christianity had not erased traditional African spirit practices,” he concluded. ”It had merged with them to form a potent blend that still thrives today.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Art, History, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CT) Mark Galli–The World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy

Yet Jesus Christ is also the Life. This means he is the one who conquers death and offers life eternal to all. But as many biblical scholars have noted, “eternal life” is about a life of unimaginable quality. A life of beauty.

“Beauty,” wrote psychologist Rollo May, “is the experience that gives us a sense of joy and a sense of peace simultaneously. ”¦ Beauty is serene and at the same time exhilarating; it increases one’s sense of being alive. ”¦ Beauty is the mystery which enchants us.”

Beauty fills us with joy and peace precisely because it indirectly and mysteriously manifests the one who is the Life. One might even paraphrase our Lord and say that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the beautiful. Or to put it more succinctly, it is in Jesus Christ that we can know, relish, and live into what we here at CT call a “beautiful orthodoxy.” It is in Christ alone that we can know, relish, and live into the truly good, the truly true, and the truly beautiful as manifested in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Art, Christology, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

An ”˜Evolving’ Episcopal Church Invites Back a Controversial Sculpture: Christa

Times have changed, Ms. Sandys said on Monday as the statue arrived at the cathedral, swaddled in the kind of dark gray blankets that movers wrap around furniture.

“It was startling then,” said Ms. Sandys, who is a granddaughter of Winston Churchill and whose name is pronounced “sands.” “Now? Well, we have women bishops now.”

The current dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev. James A. Kowalski, saw the return of the statue as “an opportunity to reframe the conversation and, frankly, do a better job than the first time.”

And this time, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, Andrew M. L. Dietsche, wrote an article for the cathedral’s booklet ”” an approving article. “In an evolving, growing, learning church,” he wrote, “we may be ready to see ”˜Christa’ not only as a work of art but as an object of devotion, over our altar, with all of the challenges that may come with that for many visitors to the cathedral, or indeed, perhaps for all of us.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Art, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Religion & Culture, Theology

(CEN) The Rev Peterson Feital –A pioneering ministry to the country’s Creatives

He is known as the ”˜Red Carpet Curate’, but the ministry of the Rev Peterson Feital is far more significant than the tabloid nickname would suggest.

Last year he was appointed the first Missioner to the Creative Industries by the Diocese of London. It was just the latest of innovative new appointments that is being made by the Church of England as it seeks out new mission opportunities.

But what does this post of Missioner really entail? Sitting in the heart of Soho, he told me about the vision he has for his strategic role. Surrounded by creatives on every side ”“ London’s arts and media specialists contribute over £70 billion a year to the UK economy ”“ he is very aware of the unusual environment in which he finds himself.

The people he has in his patch include film-makers, actors, designers, advertising executives and many other professionals. But their lifestyles are rather different to the people around them.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Art, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture, Theatre/Drama/Plays, Urban/City Life and Issues

Grainger McKoy’s true-to-life carvings seem like they could fly away at any moment

For 46 years South Carolina native Grainger McKoy has turned wood into wings. His carvings of birds at rest, in flight, and in conflict with nature are well known to both hunters and birders. The detail is extraordinary, enough so that at first glance many pieces appear to be taxidermy. In typical modesty and humor, he says “All I do is remove wood. How I make a living is I know when to stop.”

Possibly his most prominent piece is a carving of a pintail wing, originally commissioned by the Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston. The upright sculpture captures the wing in its recovery stroke and is accordingly titled “Recovery.”

“Over the years, having looked at photographs and watched film of birds in flight, the recovery position seemed to be the one with the most beauty and the one that was the most intricate,” says McKoy. “Yet it’s the weakest wing position. Weakness is where the truth comes out, and all of us, somewhere in our lives, are in recovery.”

Read it all and don’t miss the amazing pictures.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Art, Theology

A prayer for the Feast Day of Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grünewald and Lucas Cranach

We give thee thanks, O Lord, for the vision and skill of Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grünewald and Lucas Cranach the Elder, whose artistic depictions helped the peoples of their age understand the full suffering and glory of thine incarnate Son; and we pray that their work may strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and the mystery of the Holy Trinity; who livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Art, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

The Church Window that Influenced Bishop Edward Salmon above any other

Probably the oldest of the figured stain glass windows in the Trinity nave is the image of Christ as the Good Shepherd near the center of the north wall.

Read it all from trinity Church, Natchez, Mississippi.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Art, Christology, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, Theology

Icelandic Artist Hugleikur Dagsson on Brexit

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Art, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Humor / Trivia, Iceland, Politics in General

(NPR) National Cathedral Will Remove Confederate Flag Stained Glass Windows

The National Cathedral will be removing two images of the Confederate Flag from the building’s stained glass windows, after a period of public discussion on issues of race, slavery and justice.

The windows in question memorialize Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson; they were installed in 1953 after lobbying by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Art, Episcopal Church (TEC), History, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

(CT) Meet the Man Behind the Bono and Eugene Peterson Conversation

“My aim is to make a case,” he says that night from the podium. “The visual arts . . . enable us to see the world as God sees it. Our sight is broken and needs mending. Artists come along and say, ”˜Hey, I can help.’ ”

Halfway through the lecture, Taylor displays a photo of a multimedia piece called The Chancel, built from panels of plywood interlaid with paint, gold leaf, and obscured Scripture passages.

“This work intends to give visual expression to the resurrection of Christ,” he says. “How many coats of paint?” he calls out to a woman in the crowd.

“Maybe 80?”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Art, Music, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

For MLK Day–Mt. Pleasant girl honors Emanuel AME shooting victims through art

Standing in front of Madeleine’s church are more than a dozen people who all look different. A heart is between each person.

Madeleine’s currently working on another drawing, this one of a group of dogs sitting in a field of grass.

“Being colorblind is awesome. You should give it a try,” is written across the top of the page.

Melanie says her family is active in the community, adding that she and her husband try to teach their two children the importance of kindness.

“I was talking to them about love and forgiveness and hope,” Melanie said. “And Madeleine said ‘I love the world HOPE for our little project we are doing. What else could it stand for?'”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Art, Children, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Violence

Ice Melt Sculpture at St James’s Church, Piccadilly

On the eve of the Paris summit on climate change, St James’s Church Piccadilly highlighted the perilous state of the polar ice caps by hosting a giant melting ice sculpture.

The artwork entitled ”˜Her floe-fall lament (COP21)’ was created by artist and placemaker Sara Mark.

The installation, which lasted less than a day, was created by a column of frozen water, on top of an oil steel drum melting into the cavity below. The steel drum was burnt and was made as hot as possible before installation, and then surrounded by wood ash, not only to separate the sculpture from people who might touch, but to suggest that destruction of trees are not helping the environment.

The work, placed in the centre of the nave, to disrupt normal church proceedings, was an accompaniment to discussions on the end of days and looking to Christ for hope, which is central to the Advent message. After the evening service, everyone processed around the sculpture, to a fire in the courtyard of the church, which cemented the idea of the delicate balance in the environment of heat and cold, which makes up the world.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Art, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology, Theology

Christopher Howse on Winged angels carved on the beams of churches in East Anglia

Those who like angels ”“ and they’re popular at the moment ”“ have had a rolling feast of the creatures this week, with the Guardian Angels commemorated yesterday and a separate red letter day earlier in the week ”“ Michaelmas. Michaelmas is not about daisies. It honours St Michael, no man but the prince of the heavenly host of angels.

I celebrated by devouring The Angel Roofs of East Anglia by Michael Rimmer (Lutterworth, £19.95), enjoying the astonishing colour photographs. The book’s subtitle is Unseen Masterpieces of the Middle Ages, which may sound odd, since the carved angels have been on show for 600 years. But is quite accurate, since they are mostly so far above ground level and badly lit that only a telephoto digital camera can catch the true details.
People who use Twitter might know Michael Rimmer’s Angel Roofs account that since 2012 has shown the progress of his work recording the riches of East Anglian timber church roofs aflutter with angels. It’s a peculiarly English glory, and of the 170 or so angel roofs that survive, about 120 are in East Anglia.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Architecture, Art, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK