The newest exhibition at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Embodying Faith: Imagining Jesus through the Ages, is a must-see for art enthusiasts, as well as anyone interested in the Christian faith and life of Jesus Christ.
Published: December 13, 2018
By: Courtesy of The Birmingham Museum of Art
Author Website: Click to Visit
The Birmingham Museum of Art is pleased to present an exhibition that considers the wide-ranging representation of one of art history’s most pervasive subjects, Jesus. Drawn largely from the Museum’s permanent collection, Embodying Faith: Imagining Jesus through the Ages showcases 30 works that span more than six centuries and feature varying depictions of Jesus by artists working across the globe: from Ethiopia to Italy and France to Fayette County, Alabama. The exhibition traces how artists imagined Jesus and includes work in a range of media including prints, drawings, paintings, sculpture, quilts, flags and books.
For centuries, artistic production in Europe, and elsewhere, was dominated by Christian themes. This religious art served many purposes, from embellishing altars and aiding in private devotion, to educating the faithful and acting as propaganda either for or against the church during the Protestant Reformation. Artists often conveyed complex theological concepts through their representations of the figure. Types of images, such as the Madonna and Child, developed and evolved over time.
“Historically, visual traditions were critical in communicating important events from the life of Jesus and reflecting his central role in the Christian faith. This exhibition encourages visitors to explore the many ways artists represented the life of Jesus and how these traditions and conventions changed with time and place,” says Dr. Robert Schindler, The Fariss Gambrill Lynn and Henry Sharpe Lynn Curator of European Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art. “Works that in essence express the same narrative, could have widely different aesthetics and purposes. Depictions of the Crucifixion, for instance, could focus on the symbolic meaning of his death, imagine the historical setting or aim to evoke an emotional response in the viewer.”
The BMA celebrated the arrival of Embodying Faith on Saturday, December 8 from 3-5pm with a holiday event that was free and open to the public.
Embodying Faith: Imagining Jesus through the Ages is made possible by the Altec Styslinger Foundation and the City of Birmingham.
Photo credits: (from left to right) Voudon Flag by Joseph Oldof Pierre (Haiti), 1990, Christ with Instruments of the Passion by Jacopo d’Archangelo del Sellio (Italy) 1485 and Last Supper by Watanabe Sadao (Japan), 1973
About the Birmingham Museum of Art: Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art has one of the finest collections in the Southeast. More than 27,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian and Native American. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of Asian art, Vietnamese ceramics, the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.