Thursday, July 28, 2005

Those Darn Jesuits: Hope and Healing in a Time of Plague

Thomas Worcester, S.J. is one of the curators in an art exhibit at the Worcester Art Museum, co-sponsored by the Jesuit College of the Holy Cross. The exhibition, entitled, "Hope and Healing," is the subject of a very interesting review in today's New York Times. Fr. Worcester gave me a personal tour, and I have to say it is very good. If you'll be in the vicinity of Worcester in the coming months, you really should check it out. Here's the review:

July 29, 2005
Desperately Painting the Plague

WORCESTER, Mass. — Some of us thought the end of a world had come when AIDS started picking off friends and lovers in the 1980's, and in a sense it had. A certain world really did end. Yet even that experience left us unequipped to imagine the kind of despair today blanketing parts of Africa, where the disease has spread monstrously, reducing whole communities to less than a memory, to nothing.

Pandemics of one kind or another have always terrorized human history. And where science has been helpless and politics mute, religion and art have responded. That response is the subject of "Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800," at the Worcester Art Museum, a small, penumbral, single-minded exhibition that does at least one thing museum shows almost never do.

It presents mainstream Christian "high art," church art, in terms of function rather than form. The 35 paintings included are considered as devotional icons rather than as old master monuments. They are viewed from an existential rather than a doctrinal or sociopolitical perspective; through the eyes of a believer for whom a picture of the Virgin is a moral lesson and an emotional encounter before it is a Tiepolo or a Tintoretto . . .

Read the rest here.


Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Hope you don't mind - I took the liberty of posting a "Those Darned Jesuits" spinoff on my blog this morning!!

The Spirit moved me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

12:01 PM  

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