Graham Buckle, Vicar of St Stephen’s We are trying something new this Lent, and I am delighted that our friend Marc Woodhead, was able to help and make some wonderful suggestions of paintings both from where he works in the National Gallery in London, and also from the Frick collection, NYC. Each week we will look at a painting, not always the most obvious we might associate with our themes for the week. But we encourage you, together with our contributors, to go more deeper into the picture, and explore with your own thoughts to aid your prayer and devotion. We have included the web link to the picture, where you can explore the painting in greater depth and detail. We encourage you to do so as you read and pray.
John Beddingfield, Rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, NYC I will never forget the first day of a class I took on Art and Spirituality in seminary. Professor Fred Shriver began by asking, “Has anyone checked out my credentials for teaching this course?” Getting no response, he asked, “Do you know where I studied art history, painting, architecture, color, and light?” Again, there was silence, until Professor Shriver shouted, “NOWHERE! THAT’s where!” He went on to explain, “I know what I know, and ask what I ask of art, and you, and God, because I have spent years LOOKING. That’s how we learn—by looking.” I often think of that class with tremendous gratitude for the gift of encouragement Professor Shriver gave me and so many others—to look, to apprehend, and to pray with our eyes. Lent is an especially good time to practice our looking, and I’m so very grateful to be practicing with our two parishes and friends. This season, and always, may God bless us with eyes to see and hearts to love.
Marc Woodhead, Educator at the National Gallery When we are discussing the paintings in the National Gallery, London, and the paintings of the Frick Collection, New York, the paintings seem to me to come to life, to be alive. When we are responding to the paintings, sharing our thoughts, reflecting upon the feelings they evoke in us, I always feel that I am learning more about the paintings and about myself, and what it is to be human.
It is a great privilege to be part of this conversation about Art, a conversation during Lent, across the Pond, and, we could also say, communing with artists and ideas across time.