So as for you not to miss out, we wished to highlight a few exhibits this fall at various museums and shrines which touch on Catholic culture.  Naturally, there are other surrounding influences which form the context and background of these various exhibits.  However, in each one we can find salient aspects born from and nourished by the Catholic faith as a way of life expressed in culture.  Enjoy!

God’s Servant First: The Life and Legacy of Thomas More [exhibit info]
Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Washington, DC


“Over 60 relics and artifacts bring to life the courageous witness of a great man in a special exhibit, God’s Servant First: The Life and Legacy of Thomas More. This original exhibition features treasures from the Stonyhurst College Collections in England and is available to view only at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine.

Some of the featured items include the following: a hat used by St. Thomas More; a religious garment embroidered by Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII; a monumental woodblock print by the German artist Albrecht Dürer; a first folio by William Shakespeare; the pectoral cross and saddle chalice that belonged to John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States; and first-class relics of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher.” Excerpt from the exhibit description.ssvm.1.23.London.St.Thomas.More.C


Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven [exhibit info]
September 26, 2016 – January 8, 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Related Met links about the exhibit: featured media [embedded short films],  exhibition galleries, audio guide, exhibition objects, upcoming related events.

“Beginning around the year 1000, Jerusalem attained unprecedented significance as a location, destination, and symbol to people of diverse faiths from Iceland to India. Multiple competitive and complementary religious traditions, fueled by an almost universal preoccupation with the city, gave rise to one of the most creative periods in its history.

This landmark exhibition demonstrates the key role that the Holy City played in shaping the art of the period from 1000 to 1400. In these centuries, Jerusalem was home to more cultures, religions, and languages than ever before. Through times of peace as well as war, Jerusalem remained a constant source of inspiration that resulted in art of great beauty and fascinating complexity.

[see more of these short videos under featured media embedded at bottom of the Met page]

This exhibition is the first to unravel the various cultural traditions and aesthetic strands that enriched and enlivened the medieval city. It features some 200 works of art from 60 lenders worldwide. More than four dozen key loans come from Jerusalem’s diverse religious communities, some of which have never before shared their treasures outside their walls.”  Excerpt from exhibit description.

In conjunction with the exhibit is a photography exhibition.

Faith and Photography: Auguste Salzmann in the Holy Land [exhibit info]
September 26, 2016 – January 8, 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

See also: exhibit objects.auguste-salzmann-exhibit-met

“This exhibition is the first devoted exclusively to the career of Auguste Salzmann (1824–1872), the French academic painter, archaeologist, and photographer who, in 1853, embarked on the arduous journey from Paris to Jerusalem. Hoping to verify religious faith through the objective documentation of the city’s holy sites, he turned to photography, creating one of the most enigmatic bodies of work of the 19th century.” Excerpt from exhibit description.


Beyond Words: Italian Renaissance Books [exhibit info]
September 22, 2016–January 16, 2017 at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Boston

Information about the larger Boston-wide project “Beyond Words”, a collaboration with Houghton Library, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and McMullen Museum, Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA).


“Just as we question today whether printed books will become extinct in the digital age, this exhibition invites you to revisit the era when the advent of printing made hand-painted manuscripts obsolete. In the 1400s book production witnessed groundbreaking advances in design and technology that transformed pages from parchment (animal skin) to paper, script to font, and vividly colored illuminations to black and white prints. A surge in literacy and demand for books drove innovation. These radical changes did not occur instantly but through a gradual process of experimentation marked by notable leaps in achievement. Much like analogue and digital culture today, manuscripts and printed books co-existed for a long period serving different purposes and readers.” Excerpt from exhibit description.


Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence
August 9, 2016 – December 4, 2016 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston [exhibit info]
February 5 – June 4, 2017 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC [exhibit info]

NGA Online Feature “Della Robbia: A Closer Look” (includes: “Materials and Techniques of Della Robbia Sculpture” and “Della Robbia Sculpture in Florence”)


“Luca della Robbia (1399/1400-1482), a master sculptor in marble and bronze, invented a glazing technique for terracotta sculpture that positioned him as one of the most innovative artists of the 15th century. Today, the sculptures created by Luca and his family workshop retain their brilliant opaque whites, deep cerulean blues, and botanical greens, purples and yellows over modeling that makes them powerful and engaging examples of Italian Renaissance art.” Excerpt from the exhibit description.


Art and Nature in the Middle Ages [exhibit info]
December 4, 2016 to March 19, 2017, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas

“Spanning the 12th to early 16th centuries, Art and Nature in the Middle Ages explores the diverse modes of expression and variety of representations of nature in European medieval art, whether plant or animal, sacred or profane, real or imagined, highlighting the continuities and changes. The exhibition, organized by the Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris, and on view exclusively at the DMA in the United States, presents more than 100 extraordinary objects, rarely before shown in the United States, that reflect the wide range of styles, techniques, and iconography that flourished during this period. The featured works of art—which include an astonishing array of media, from stained glass windows to illuminated manuscripts—emphasize the fundamental bond between humans and nature, and nature’s constant presence in the immediate environment and spiritual life of men and women in the Middle Ages.” Excerpt from exhibit description.