Tuesday 5 September 2023

The Catholic Home Art Gallery - John Herreid - 18 Works of Art by Contemporary Catholic Artists

The Catholic Home Art Gallery: 
18 Works of Art by Contemporary Catholic Artists: 
John Herreid (Editor)
ISBN 9781621645498

This volume is a fascinating work. My youngest two children and I collect religious Icons and prints. We have different saints we are attracted to and have devotion to. This volume contains some old favourites and a few that have inspired further study. I was familiar with the work of only one of the artists prior to picking up this collection. The day it arrived my youngest two who are ages 15 and 13 both devoured it. It took me a little while to get around to reading it, much to my children’s impatience. They wanted to draw lots and start picking which ones they can frame and put up in their room, before I had even read it. 

The description of the volume:

“The Catholic Church has a long and glorious history of sacred art. From the earliest etchings of Christian symbols on the walls of the catacombs to the exuberant works of the Baroque era, from the shared patrimony of iconography that links East with West to the monastic revival of the nineteenth century that gave us the St. Benedict medal, Catholic art is astonishing in its variety and diversity of styles.

But for too many, Catholic art is viewed as something largely in the past. This collection emphatically says, "Not so!"

This bound volume of eighteen works of sacred art by Catholic artists will convince you that the great artistic tradition of the Church is alive and well. Each work in this collection is printed on an 8" x 10" detachable page, so that the work may be removed and easily framed in your home.”

The artists are:

The artwork by artist:

Blessed Solanus Casey by Matthew Alderman
The Wedding at Cana by Matthew Alderman
Father Jacques Hamel by Neilson Carlin
Saint Charles Lwanga by Neilson Carlin
Saint Joseph Terror of Demons by Bernadette Carstensen
Mary Star of the Sea by Bernadette Carstensen
Saint Thomas Aquinas by Matthew Conner
Saint Padre Pio by Matthew Conner
The Miracle of the Sun by James B. Janknegt
Mary, the Ark by James B. Janknegt
Mary, Queen of Heaven by Timothy Jones
The Immaculate Heart by Timothy Jones
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Michael D. O’Brien
Mary, the Mother of Life by Michael D. O’Brien
St. Benedict by Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs
St. Scholastica by Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs
Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun by Elizabeth Zelasko
Our Lady of La Vang by Elizabeth Zelasko

Each section in the volume begins with A brief bio of the artist. And then the artist’s notes on the piece; these include title of painting, and description or meaning of the work to the artist. It can also contain date, size, and media. I love that there is information on the artists websites, or social media below the descriptions of their artwork. 

My favourite two are those by Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs, close behind are the offerings by Bernadette Castensen and Timothy Jones. Carstensen’s image of Saint Joepeh I have seen several times on social media, usually unattributed. I have put the one of Father Jacques Hamel up in my home gym, right beside a tapestry of Our Lady of Fatima. The siblings St. Benedict and St. Scholastica are going up in my den once I get some more matching frames. And the kids plan to put the rest up in their rooms. I have a strong devotion to Father Email Kapaun and have been looking for an icon I like for a few years but this one doesn’t do it for me. I would have loved to have seen artwork by Theophilia on Deviant Art, Ruben Ferreira, or Tierra Jackson, maybe in a second volume to continue from this first one. 

I was impressed with this volume. And love the idea of getting more religious art into Catholic homes. This book would be a great starting point, or if you already have a collection to expand it. The pages are a high quality paper. You could also frame the images from it for gifts, or gift a whole copy of the book with a few empty frames. This would make a great gift for s shower, first communion, confirmation or really any birthday or special occasion. It is a great volume and I do hope they continue and make it the first in a series. This was an excellent concept and perfectly executed.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

Books Illustrated by John Herreid:
Maria von Trapp and Her Musical Family - Vision Books
Through the Year with Tomie dePaola

Books by John Herreid:

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