Category : Art

(FCD) Why Doctors And Cops Are Taking Art Observation Classes

Looking at art isn’t just a pleasurable way to spend a few hours. It also has real benefits for professionals who are far afield from the art world, from detectives to doctors.

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school suggests that taking art observation classes could sharpen medical students’ visual analysis skills. This is important because the ability to correctly read and interpret images like X-rays and other kinds of scans is vital in the process of diagnosis–one that beginner medical students are often lacking, at least partially because it’s a skill medical schools don’t teach.

The study, published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, focuses specifically on medical students studying ophthalmology–the medical field focused on the eyes–because so much of that discipline relies on doctors using observation to examine and diagnose patients. For the study, 18 first-year medical students took art observation classes, where they had six-hour-and-a-half sessions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, while a control group also composed of 18 first-yearmedical students did not. None of the students had prior art training….

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Posted in Art, Education, Health & Medicine, Police/Fire

(WSJ) Tom Freudenheim–The Cardboard Cathedral: An Architectural Resurrection Story

In Christchurch, New Zealand, one of the world’s most unprepossessing contemporary churches manages to be among the most spectacular and celebrated. Colloquially called the “Cardboard Cathedral”—officially, Transitional Cathedral—the potentially temporary structure was designed by Shigeru Ban (b. 1957), the 2014 Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect. Mr. Ban—who combined his native training with graduate work at New York’s Cooper Union, where he was strongly influenced by his professor John Hejduk’s revisionist views of modernism—has been celebrated for his use of unusual materials in creating buildings that can be rapidly constructed following disasters. He has also designed more conventional projects: the Japanese Pavilion for Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, and a couple of museums (Centre Pompidou-Metz in France and the Aspen Art Museum in the U.S.).

The Christchurch project, which Mr. Ban worked on pro bono, came about after the 2011 earthquake severely damaged Anglican Christchurch Cathedral (1864-1904), rendering it unusable for liturgical purposes—a partial ruin, subject to disagreements about whether to restore and rebuild or start from scratch. The new structure is a few blocks away, on the site of another church destroyed by the earthquake. A court decision—insurance money couldn’t pay the costs of a temporary building—made private fundraising necessary (about $5 million, including overruns). Dedicated in August 2013, its modest exterior hides a majestic interior. Is it a large A-frame house, oddly misplaced in mid-city? But the church also appears descended from the hall churches of the late Middle Ages, whose radical design shift created wide-open spaces, less encumbered by the massive basilica columns that impeded sight lines, with interiors more useful as preaching churches, a development especially important with the growth of Protestantism in the 16th century.

Architecture’s tenet “truth to material” spans fields as disparate as the Arts and Crafts movement and brutalism, but Mr. Ban’s church suggests new by-ways of this principle.

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Posted in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia, Architecture, Art, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(Economist) Chinks of light When TED talks came to a British prison

Soaring performances of songs from “Cats” and “Les Misérables” are unusual fare for a prison. But on May 3rd an inmate at Leicester prison brought an audience to their feet with his renditions. The recital was part of a TEDx conference, a popular lecture series that had never before been held in a British jail. In the midst of a prisons crisis, with violence against inmates and officers at record levels and crippling staff shortages, the event is an encouraging example of smaller efforts to improve conditions.

On a stage covered in prisoners’ art, inmates thundered the words of Shakespeare. An officer recited his own poetry: “I could tell you tales that would make you laugh…tales that would turn your stomach, tales that would break your heart,” he intoned. Organising the event was a logistical nightmare, says Phil Novis, the governor at HMP Leicester. But the enthusiasm of all involved suggests it was worth it.

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Posted in Art, England / UK, Music, Prison/Prison Ministry, Theatre/Drama/Plays

(Church Times) Death of cathedrals: reports ‘have been exaggerated’

Suggestions that as many as half the 42 Church of England cathedrals are in danger of closing as a result of continuing financial mismanagement have been dismissed by the Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Adrian Newman.

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, called the stories “grossly erroneous”.

Dean Dorber was speaking during the three-day annual conference of deans, in London this week. “There are financial stresses but these are not new,” he said. “I am optimistic, but there is panic in high places, and we need calm rational discussion rather than public hand-wringing.”

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Posted in Architecture, Art, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

The Bishop of Chichester’s 2017 Easter Sermon

I am not, and probably never will be, a gardener. This does not mean that I don’t like gardens: I do, but mainly when they are somebody else’s responsibility. But one of the things I like about gardens is that they are great for playing hide and seek, which is what today’s gospel is all about.

In fact, the whole of St John’s gospel is a brilliantly constructed unfolding of the unseen God who is hidden revealingly in Jesus Christ: it’s an eternally significant game of hide and seek. And John’s literary method is also brilliantly captured, in art, by Graham Sutherland’s depiction of the hide and seek moment that is central to this Easter celebration.

Sutherland’s 2-dimensional garden is a jewel-like work that is filled with memories of the garden of Eden where we enjoyed but seriously damaged, our friendship with God, according to the book of Genesis. The prize it holds out to us is finding a way back into that garden of friendship for real, and not simply as a theoretical proposition.

If you have time after the Eucharist, go and find this icon of the resurrection. It’s at the far end of the south aisle. Go and pray; light a candle and rejoice in the opportunity to seek and find the image of the risen Christ. And here are five details that are hidden in the picture…

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Posted in Art, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Easter, Preaching / Homiletics

In The Garden of Gethsemane

Posted in Art, Holy Week

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.

Check it all out.

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