"Pilgrimage to the Museum: Man's Search for God Through Art and Time" by Stephen Auth. Sophia Press (Manchester, NH, 2022). 240 pp., $17.99.
Have you ever visited a museum and found the narrations in the self-guided-tour headsets a bit tedious? Slightly too clinical, perhaps? And have you ever noticed that God is rarely mentioned in art museums these days, unless in a cold, archaeological, “scientific” way? All of that is about to change.
In Pilgrimage to the Museum, author-curator Stephen Auth takes you on a provocative and colorful journey through the history of Western art, interpreted through a lens of profound Christian faith — appropriately so since, in Auth’s view, much of Western art expresses humanity’s search for God, the Divine Artist-Creator.
In this beautifully illustrated voyage, drawn largely from works on display at New York’s popular Metropolitan Museum of Art, you will experience the ups and downs of humanity’s determined quest. Leaving all the art-history jargon at the front door, Auth will transport you in his spiritual time machine from Egypt’s Old Kingdom, through Greece and Rome, to medieval Europe; from the age of the Renaissance, through the Ages of Exploration and Enlightenment; and from the rise of atheism in the late 1800s to the seeds of a spiritual rebirth in the modern era. Along the way, you will experience anew the masterpieces of many artists, from Polykleitos to Raphael, Duccio to Rembrandt, Monet to Picasso.
Through the works of these great artists, you will encounter the profound truths that lead many to God and cause many others to wonder. You will discover how various themes and motifs of man’s struggle to find God occur, morph, fade, and then reoccur centuries later. As you laugh, cry, and pray your way through this illuminating voyage, you will emerge refreshed and renewed in your own journey to God— and you will never look at a work of art the same way again.
Steven Auth is a member of the Regnum Christi movement and sits on the national board of the Lumen Institute, which he helped found in New York. He has participated in missions in Mexico, and with his wife, Evelyn, has led the New York City street mission for ten years. Steve and Evelyn are involved in a number of other apostolic activities, including a spiritual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art called “Man’s Search for God: A History of Art through the Prism of Faith,” which they developed and give on occasional Friday evenings. Steve also serves on the board of the Program for Church Management, being developed in Rome by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
Purchase this book now from the Sophia Institute Press.
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