Saturday, February 16, 2008

You better believe we'll get tickets to this...

I am totally psyched to learn that the "Vatican Splendors" exhibit now touring the U.S. for a limited time (check out the excellent website here), and only showing in three cities in total, is coming to St. Paul, Minnesota! Do you hear that fellow Minnesotans? This is potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of these works of art that are rarely even shown in Rome (the works of art in the exhibit are only allowed to be away from Rome for up to 1 year). I highly recommend the little YouTube style video they have on the front page of the official website to get a good flavor of what is contained in the exhibit. For anyone living near St. Petersburg, FL (currently showing) or Cleveland, OH, you are blessed with the chance to see this exhibit as well. For us Minnesotans, they don't yet say where the exhibit will be showing yet, but I have to believe it's going to be at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I'm trying to think of a specifically Catholic place they would show this, and I don't think there is one that could handle the traffic.

At any rate, I'll be keeping an eye on the official website to pre-order tickets!


Bryan Jerabek said...

I saw this exhibit last time it was here, several years ago, in Fort Lauderdale (maybe it was 2003?). It was pretty awesome. But I have to say that there were so many beautiful pieces of art, and truly grand pieces of art, that by the end of it I had something of a headache and was a bit overwhelmed. A bit overstimulating. But worth it. It was sad to hear so many people being cynical afterwards, saying how if only the Vatican would sell these things, they could help the poor, yada yada... "The poor are always with you"... too bad they couldn't realize that and appreciate this great patrimony that Holy Mother Church preserves for mankind.

Anonymous said...

Uh, do you have any idea what that verse means - in context?
"the poor are always with you"
Jesus said it and was contrasting the poor with Himself and His time on earth, which was a short period of time. (see Matthew 26:8-13)
Now, as beautiful as some of these works of art are, they are not being used in any way to minister to Jesus, right? (As in the above passage) So the person may have had a valid point. Now, I'm not going to just say that those paintings definitely should be sold - I'm not making that judgement, I just was bothered that the verse was taken way out of context.

Brendan Koop said...

Keep in mind that much of the value of this collection are the intimate connections that many of the pieces had with real saints (i.e. relics of saints). That's much of the reason I want to go. It's a rare chance to see real relics of St. Peter, the staff and mitre of John Paul II (the Great), etc. I love being able to see relics of the saints as that adds a whole other spiritual dimension to what you are seeing.

Joe Clarke said...

This exhibit looks fantastic. A few years ago my wife and I were able to travel to Rome and we saw the Vatican museum, Scavi (Excavation) Tour under St Peter's (where you see the high altar was built directly above St Peter’s tomb), the catacombs, and many other great sights. The trip really gave a boost to our faith, especially when we saw how much care was given to placing St Peter’s altar directly above his relics (there’s a great story as to how that was discovered about 40 years ago).

Great art has always been used by the Church to teach the truth and thus evangelize souls for Christ. That evangelization and the connection to the saints that Brendan mentioned are no doubt why the Vatican is making this artwork available for a wider audience to see.

We’re definitely going too.

Sue said...

We drove to Milwaukee to see this exhibit (or something really similar) a couple of years ago - it was fabulous! The most poignant piece in the exhibit? A chalice and paten fashioned from tin cans and found in Auschwitz. Also, relics from St. Gregory the Great, exquisite vestments covered with Carmelite embroidery, a beautiful reliquary carved into the shape of a ship with the Apostles on board (the bark of St. Peter), and tons more. It gave a sense of the ancient-ness of the Church in a way that's hard to experience in America. Well worth the drive. The only disappointment was the pathetic gift shop at the end. I was really inspired to add some piece of edifying beauty to my home after being surrounded by it for the previous 2-3 hours and all I found were things like plastic rosaries and posters advertising the exhibit.