It’s been another busy stretch at MOCRA. The response to Good Friday has been tremendously positive, with a higher-than-usual number of groups scheduling visits. We’ve also been busy with two projects:
The first, supported by a grant from the VOICES project at Saint Louis University (funded by the Lilly Endowment), is a booklet of reflections on the artwork in Good Friday for use by visitors who wish to approach the exhibition in an attitude of meditation or prayer. The booklet takes a different approach from our wall texts/didactics. While those provide relatively “neutral” information about the iconography of the work or the artist’s expressed intent, the booklet explicitly puts the works in a (Christian) faith context. You can see a sample page on the MOCRA website.
This is something we’ve been interested in trying for a while now — bridging art appreciation with theological reflection and catechesis (religious education) — and this exhibition presented an excellent opportunity to experiment. So far feedback has been encouraging.
The challenge ahead will be to develop similar resources for future exhibitions (which may not have such clearly religious themes) and for visitors of other faith traditions. Also, we will be exploring what sorts of activities are “appropriate” in a museum setting–either sponsored by the institution, or simply permitted?
We’d welcome feedback from our blog readers. If you would like a copy of the booklet, send us a message with your snail mail address and we’ll send one your way.
–David Brinker, Assistant Director