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Birmingham Museum of Art Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd
(Formerly 2000 8th Ave. N)
Birmingham, AL 35203
T: 205.254.2565
F: 205.731.9425
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www.artsbma.org
Embodying Faith: Imagining Jesus Through the Ages
December 08, 2018 - April 22, 2019
Arrington Gallery

Through the ages and across the globe, art has reflected faith. For centuries, artistic production in Europe, and elsewhere, was dominated by Christian themes. This religious art served many purposes, from embellishing altars and aiding in private devotion, to educating the faithful and acting as propaganda either for or against the church during the Protestant Reformation.

Jesus is Christianity’s central figure, and Christians believe he is the son of God and the savior who died to atone for humanity’s sins. How did artists represent such a crucial figure? How did they depict the central events so important to the story of salvation according to the Christian faith? And how did these traditions and conventions find artistic expression in different places and how did they change over time?

To depict important events from the life of Jesus and to reflect on his central role in the Christian faith, artists relied on texts, visual traditions, or both. At the same time, artists often conveyed complex theological concepts through their representations of the figure. Types of conventional images, such as the Madonna and Child, developed and evolved over time. Depictions of Jesus’s crucifixion could focus on the symbolic meaning of his death, imagine the historical setting, or aim to evoke an emotional response in the viewer.

This winter’s exhibition in the Arrington Gallery traces how artists imagined Jesus through examples drawn primarily from the BMA’s own collection. Included are prints, drawings, paintings, sculpture, quilts, flags, and books spanning more than 500 years.

Embodying Faith: Imagining Jesus Through the Ages is presented by the Altec / Styslinger Foundation and made possible by the City of Birmingham

Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics
Through May 31, 2019
8th Avenue Lobby

Ceramic art is an ancient and enduring form of creative expression in Japan. Contemporary Japanese ceramic artists are mindful of this tradition, and their works abound with historical references—the types of clay used, glazes, and techniques. At the same time, many Japanese ceramic artists bend and stretch conventions to create new interpretations, challenging traditional Japanese notions about the ceramic medium.

This exhibition presents more than a dozen contemporary ceramic pieces created by Japanese artists, offering new perspectives on centuries-old traditions.

Ways of Seeing: An Exploration of Line
Through February 10, 2019
Bohorfoush Gallery

We see lines everywhere in daily life: in cracks on the sidewalk, on our notebook paper, and as we stand in lines buying groceries, just to name a few. We may learn in school that a line is created by connecting two points in space. How is line defined in visual arts? How do artists use line to create meaningful works of art?

This exhibition will begin by answering these questions. Part One will create a vocabulary of line, giving viewers the tools to see, understand, and talk about line in the visual arts. Part Two explores invisible lines that we experience instead of see. Each artwork in this section employs line to communicate about invisible lines drawn by social constructs such as race, gender, and borders, giving the viewer the opportunity to use the knowledge they gained in the first section to undercover meaning in the second.

While the first part of this exhibition is meant to encourage close-looking and answer questions about line as a formal element in visual art, the second half is intended to generate more thinking, questioning, and conversation about what divides, what unites, and the space between the two.

Ways of Seeing is an ongoing series of exhibitions located in the Bohorfoush Gallery in the First Floor hallway that explores themes, perspectives, and ideas from across the museum’s global art collections.
Exhibition Sponsors

Ways of Seeing has been made possible by the City of Birmingham.

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