April 2008 – Feb. 2009
Blessing Family Gallery
A figure of the Virgin Mary on a chest, a delicate rosary hanging from a door handle, and a colorful tin cross gracing a bedroom wall are personal and intimate manifestations of faith. Devotional images within the home are a tangible link between the physical and the spiritual. They tell us of an individual’s or a family’s relationship to God and the heavenly realm. Whether it is a simple altar, a grouping of images or a single item, these objects of intrinsic divine force are believed to protect the home and symbolize respect and reverence for the saintly.
In this exhibition, examples of devotional objects from the Hispanic collection are shown alongside a series of color photographs by Alex Harris. In 1972, Harris made a rural Hispanic village high in the
Intimate sacred spaces in Hispanic homes have a long and rich history. They testify to centuries-old pre-Hispanic traditions of indigenous groups such as the Maya, Toltec and Mexica creating domestic altars to their deities. After the Spanish arrived in the
These selections of inspiring devotional images, complemented by the intimate scenes of spiritual life captured in Harris’s photographs, speak of generations of artistic and cultural customs. Still today, a home life surrounded by visual elements of faith conveys an important aspect of Latino identity—a vital tradition deeply rooted in religious devotion.
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