Fall Lecture Series “Art and the Church”

Art serves many purposes. In the late Medieval and Renaissance, the Church used art to beautifully illustrate prayer books, to adorn places of worship and signify status, and to strike against the Protestant Reformation.   

The Adult Christian Education Committee announces a series of three informal lectures-discussions on aspects on how art deepened spirituality, edified, pleased, and reflected power  during late Medieval times and the Reformation. Three highly noted art historians join us to discuss their specialties and perspectives. We meet via Zoom on Sunday mornings. The link is provided in advance for each session.

Sept. 27 at 9:45 a.m., Linda Wolk-Simon, The Role of Art in the Counter-Reformation
Most recently director and chief curator of Fairfield University Art Museum, and prior to that a long-time curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library & Museum, Dr. Wolk-Simon curated the acclaimed exhibition “The Holy Name. Art of the Gesú: Bernini and His Age,” which charted the foundation narratives of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and their mother church in Rome, the Gesù, through the presentation of major loans from the church and some 20 American public and private collections.  


She will show some images from her exhibition and explain how art played a role in the Counter-Reformation and the mission of the resurgent Church. Our lecturer has published several  articles in such journals as Apollo, the Burlington Magazine, and MASTER DRAWINGS, and has authored numerous essays exhibition catalogues, including  Art of the Gesù–“the most important book on the subject in any language,” according to renowned Jesuit scholar John O’Malley–of which she was the editor and principal author.  


Oct. 4 at 10 a.m., Roger S. Wieck, Medieval Bestseller:  The Book of Hours
During the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance — from 1250 to 1550 — more Books of Hours were written (and printed) than any other text.  They were more popular than the Bible.  Mr. Wieck explores this popularity, which lasted three hundred years, by discussing the genre’s traditional texts and customary (sometimes unusual) illustrations.  Used mainly by laymen and –women, Books of Hours ranged in quality from those handwritten by their owners and unilluminated, to copies written in gold and silver, adorned with scores of hand-painted miniatures, and used by the royals.

Roger S. Wieck is the Melvin R. Seiden Curator and Department Heads of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Morgan Library & Museum. Mr. Wieck, a noted authority on Book of Hours, has curated two major exhibitions and written widely on the topic including The Hours of Henry VIII (Barcelona: Moleiro, 2016); a monograph on the Briçonnet Hours, to which he contributed two chapters, appears this fall.  



October 11, Columbus Weekend–no meeting  

October 18 at 10 a.m., Alexander Nagel, Raphael and the Transfiguration of Art
Professor of Fine Arts at New York University, and recently department chair, Dr. Nagel’s many scholarly contributions include The Controversy of Renaissance Art (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

He explores how a Europe-centered view of the world came to be. Nagel is expected to discuss the context of Renaissance art with its story-telling, naturalistic, and fresh perspectives and their impacts on the public then and from a current understanding.      

For more information about Faith Formation at The Brick Church, contact Jeff Shayne.