After this exhibit, we moved on to the free areas, and found a treasure of Sacred Icons in a couple of the galleries on the second floor. We moved through these rooms, looking with wonder and reverence upon the ancient Icons portrayed there. I recognized several of them as their images have been reproduced over and over again, having graced covers of magazines and devotional books, stained glass and pamphlets, and suddenly it struck me that these do not belong in a museum; they belong in a church, in a cathedral, in a basilica. They have all likely been blessed, have all likely come from, not a personal collection, but a church. Perhaps with a votive candle and a prie dieu, a place of meditation upon the truths expressed within them. And this room indeed had a totally different FEEL than the other galleries. Several times I had to fight off the urge to kneel before some of the icons and triptyches and offer various prayers, supplications, thanksgivings. I had to forcefully remind myself where I was, and now that I have had time to reconsider, I wish I had taken time to kneel before those blessed works of art and give God the glory that they bring to him.
I had to realize, however, that as much as I was on the verge of being offended at art which is sacred to us as Catholics, and probably the Orthodox as well, that those images likely convey graces to the unsuspecting visitor. Graces they can't see, hear or feel, and perhaps there are conversions that occur when these unsuspecting souls enter such a gallery, surrounded by blessed objects on all sides.
But I still had to ask....don't those icons belong in a church? In a side chapel? Several of them were designed to grace alters...and the collections have been split up, possibly in wreckovations that took place after the rape of Vatican II...uh...I mean the MISINTERPRETATION of Vatican II. I'm sorry...did I say what I really mean again? I guarantee....it'll happen again and again and I'm not a bit repentant about it.
In another gallery, they featured some Rennaisance religious art, and the placquards next to them were so theologically incorrect it made me crazy. Perhaps I should get my grad degree and then teach a class on the Theology of Art and why the galleries need docents who are well versed in actual Catholic teaching.
I was about to start a class on the spot in reference to Genesis and why Eve was NOT the demon she is always made out to be.
But I restrained myself...just barely.
We went back to my parish to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for a holy hour, and then left for the Nativity Story at a nearby theatre. I will post on this seperately. In the meantime, go check out
Cathy's poston our awesomely Catholic day together!